Email is one of the most popular and effective communication channels. When at work, people spend about 2.5 hours checking their personal emails, and work-related emails take even more time. The number of emails sent by internet users grows at a rapid pace and is expected to exceed 347 billion by 2022. Therefore, there’s no surprise that email marketing is so popular. However, the success of your email marketing strategy depends on many factors.
You must make sure that you’re sending your emails to people who are actually interested in your products because you want your recipients to actually open emails and to follow your calls to action. You cannot send your emails to random people because they will end up in the spam folder. To make sure that your emails will reach the right audience, you can simply send them to users who gave you their contact information intentionally.
For instance, people who visit your website are likely interested in your products or services. Therefore, you can use sign-up forms to get your visitors’ contact information. However, you need to make sure that this information is correct. According to statistics, 10% of the email addresses entered into checkouts are incorrect. Moreover, about 60% of consumers intentionally provide incorrect information when completing online forms.
Why You Should Verify Emails
Email addresses are a very valuable type of data. If you have a big database of accurate, active email addresses, it can benefit your marketing strategies in many ways. Although email addresses are very valuable for marketers, you must make sure that your email data is correct. Otherwise, it will be just useless. Here are some of the most common problems associated with email databases.
- Addresses change: Quite often, people provide emails registered on their company’s domains. When they change their job, they might not unsubscribe from your emails or update their information, so this email data becomes obsolete. These addresses can go bad immediately, or your emails might pile up in these inboxes until they reach the storage quota, and then these addresses will bounce.
- Wrong formatting or misspelling: Users might provide wrong email addresses, and they don’t necessarily do it intentionally. For instance, they can simply make errors. They may make a mistake when typing their usernames or domains (“gmali.com,” “yhaoo.com,” etc.). They may also forget to add the “@” symbol. Most often, such problems occur when people complete sign-up forms from their mobile devices.
- Disposable addresses: Quite often, people create email addresses to use them just once. For instance, they may not want to share their real email address but they might want to get a discount or to download a demo version of some software. As a result, you get email addresses that will never be checked again by users.
- Fake addresses: You may also simply get fake email addresses. For instance, we recommend that you check your email list for email addresses that look suspicious (“firstname.lastname@example.org,” “email@example.com,” etc.).
- Addresses that belong to other people: Some users may also provide real addresses that don’t belong to them. Some of such addresses are linked to a certain job role, not a particular person. For example, you may encounter addresses like “firstname.lastname@example.org,” “email@example.com,” or “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
All these problems have the same consequences for your email campaign. “There are no real people behind such email addresses, and people who gave them to you don’t want to receive any emails from your company. Therefore, these emails have no value for your campaign. If you build your email strategy based on a list of useless emails, you will simply waste your time and money,” explains Katherine Lewis, a digital marketer at top writing service reviews.
Besides, such addresses will damage your performance statistics so you won’t be able to determine whether your email strategy is actually effective. Last but not least, if you send emails to invalid addresses, your messages will be marked as spam by most internet service providers.
Why Does This Happen?
If your database is old, the chances are that it contains a lot of incorrect data. However, many email marketers think that the size of their database is important for their success so they put a lot of effort into getting more email addresses, no matter whether these addresses are actually useful or not. Marketers who care more about quantity than quality may also choose some questionable practices, like purchasing email lists collected by somebody else from co-registration websites. Sometimes, marketers may also add addresses of people who contacted their company with other intentions while not looking for any marketing emails.
If you want to succeed in email marketing, you should know that such practices can only create problems. Irrelevant and outdated email addresses won’t serve their purpose because these people are not going to purchase anything from you. They will also hurt your metrics and your reputation. Besides, laws like the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act require you to follow strict rules when it comes to sending commercial emails.
Therefore, the best thing you can do is not to use questionable marketing tactics. However, sometimes marketers have to deal with the consequences of other people’s decisions. Therefore, if you need to work with a database that contains a lot of useless email addresses, you need to fix this problem as soon as possible. Here’s where email verification comes in handy.
Email Verification Is the Solution
No matter how you got them, you need to remove bad email addresses from your list to increase conversion rates, fix problems with deliverability, minimize acquisition costs, and establish an effective connection with your customers. Email address verification enables you to detect risky and invalid addresses so you can get rid of them and make sure that your list fulfills its purpose.
Email verification is an automated process that involves the analysis of data based on predefined rules, checking your whole list of email addresses, and detecting which ones are actually useful. This way, you can get rid of the bad email addresses in your list. Moreover, you can integrate email verification into your sign-up forms to avoid such problems in the future. The most basic validation systems simply determine whether a submitted email address exists. However, given the challenging email environment marketers have to deal with, they might also use more sophisticated solutions.
Different types of email verification software may have different features and rely on different approaches. However, most of them have something in common. For instance, they might perform a spell check to detect the most obvious problems. Such solutions can also analyze your email list and find so-called spam traps — addresses created specifically to detect senders who are using bad practices. If you’ve purchased email lists, the chances are that you have quite a few spam traps in them. However, even lists that you’ve got legitimately may contain them, as well.
The next step of email verification involves checking the format of addresses. This step is followed by domain verification. This way, you can make sure that the domain names are correct and these domains actually exist. The final step of the verification process is the validation of a specific mailbox. Usually, email verification services rely on the SMTP protocol to make sure that a particular mailbox is able to receive your emails.
Reasons to Use Email Verification in Sign-Up Forms
- Correct data: Quite often, email addresses serve as the basis for a company’s entire marketing ecosystem. No matter what KPIs you take into consideration, a database full of actual email addresses will always outperform the one filled with random addresses. All your marketing tools that use email data will work more effectively.
- Inbox placement: When you send your emails to invalid addresses, they hurt your sender reputation so your emails may never reach inboxes at all. If your emails end up in the spam folder, the consequences for your marketing campaign can be catastrophic.
- The halo effect of clean data: If you’re using various automation tools that rely on email data, incorrect data can damage the effectiveness of your automation tools. Most automation tools are based on artificial intelligence and machine learning so their effectiveness directly depends on the quality of your data. In contrast, clean data will improve the effectiveness of such tools significantly, enabling you to get more useful insights.
- Customer identification: Many companies use email addresses for cross-channel customer identification. If you have a list of real, active email addresses, you can reach out to your customers even beyond email (on social media, other websites, etc.). You can also use email addresses to identify customers across departments.
It’s good if you have many email addresses in your list. However, the number of addresses that you have is not as important as their quality. Quite often, email marketers deal with fake or expired addresses. Besides, customers can make typos or create temporary addresses that will have zero value for your campaign.
A great approach is to use email verification so that you can be sure that the information that you get from your sign-up forms is valuable. Thanks to email verification, you can make sure that your emails will reach recipients. You can also avoid spam filters and use clean data in all your marketing campaigns, no matter what tools you decide to use.
Ana Mayer is a freelance writer who is a qualified specialist in the field of digital marketing. She writes for different news portals and thematic blogs that helps her stay at the heart of the programming and technology news. Such work gives her the opportunity to write articles on the most relevant topics of today.