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How to verify email address before sending cold emails?

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No one loves email bounce backs, primarily when SDRs conduct cold email campaigns. According to a recent report by Constant Contact, the average email bounce rate is 9.75%.

But a good email bounce rate is less than 2%. Anything above 2% is considered critical.

In order to achieve this, you can use email verification techniques. Verification of email addresses is the process of ensuring that the emails are active and existent.

It cleans your email list by filtering the spammy and invalid addresses that help you securely proceed towards your email campaign. But many email professionals are unaware of how to verify email addresses.

This article will help them with multiple email verification processes, and it’s best practices to improve email deliverability in a considerable amount.

Why should we verify email addresses?

Before jumping into the steps to verify the email addresses, let’s go through the quick benefits of email verification. 

This will help you understand the advantages of email verifications and its consequences.

Advantages of email verification

1. Stay away from bounces

2. Better sender reputation score & email deliverability

3. Getting better results from your email campaign (sequence)

4. Keeps your email lists fresh

5. Reduce spam complaints

1. Stay away from bounces

As discussed, email bounces are the biggest nightmares of a cold email campaign (sequence). Continuous bounce back degrades your email account’s authenticity and domain quality.

Difference between Hard and Soft email bounces

Your email account might get listed in the spam index of various email service providers (ESP) and end up getting blocked.

If you verify your email list before sending a cold email, you can easily segregate your good contacts from the bad ones. 

Ultimately it will decrease your email bounce rate and make you stay away from spam indexes.

2. Better sender reputation score & email deliverability

Every email account has a sender reputation score that helps the recipient’s ESP decide the email’s quality. 

The higher the score, the better the email deliverability and vice versa.

Your email deliverability rate tells you how many people have received your email.

Email Deliverability Rate

If you send emails to invalid or spammy email accounts frequently, it can lead to the suspension of your email account.

Verifying your email account helps you get your emails to the correct recipient in an authentic manner. This will keep your email account healthy and increase your reputation score.

3. Getting better results from your email campaign (sequence)

You import a list of recipients for scheduling an email campaign (sequence). With large lists, the chances of email bounce also increase. This eventually affects your whole email campaign (sequence) performance.

Also, you spend a lot of time and energy on an email campaign (sequence), which might go in vain if it doesn’t provide you with the desired results.

Email account verification excludes the bad contacts from your lists, which increases your email deliverability.

You also receive a higher email open rate and reply rate that boosts the performance of your campaigns (sequences).

4. Keeps your email lists fresh

On average, 22.5% of email addresses become invalid every year. This happens due to various external reasons. In most cases, it’s because people change companies, and the email addresses you have on your list become inactive. 

If you don’t verify email lists regularly, the bounce rate will exceed the acceptable tenfold, and your sender’s reputation will take a hit.

Pro Tip: Verify your email list once every quarter.

5. Reduce spam complaints

Reducing spam complaints is one of the crucial benefits of email verification. Try to keep the spam rate the lowest possible. It is ideal to have less than 5 spam complaints for every 5000 emails you send.

Email verification identifies users’ email accounts who often mark emails as spam. Verifying email will flag such accounts, preventing you from getting marked as spam.

To grab all the above benefits, you need to know the best email verification practices that can help you land your emails directly in your recipient’s mailbox.

How to verify an email address before sending cold emails?

There are multiple techniques to verify email addresses. 

Some of them require advanced knowledge of email technology. However, we have added some easy techniques to verify your email accounts in this section. 

We have also tried to provide simplified solutions to tackle the technical difficulties associated with it.

7 best tactics to verify your email addresses

1. Check the email syntax
2. Ping the server
3. Send an email from a different account
4. DNS lookup
5. Perform an IP address lookup
6. Use an email verification tool
7. Verify your email list while sending cold emails

1. Check the email syntax

Typographical and syntax errors are among the most common issues with email addresses. 

They can be manually checked and modified. The standard email address follows the format of xyz@abc.com. It has three mandatory parts (unique identifier, @, and domain name).

The xyz in the email address is considered the email’s unique identifier. It can be a maximum of 64 characters long and can consist of:

  • Uppercase and lowercase letters in English (A-Z, a-z)
  • Digits from 0 to 9
  • Special characters such as ! # $ % & ‘ * + – / = ? ^ _ ` { |

The @abc in the syntax example is the domain name. This is usually the same as the business domain, like @saleshandy.com or email service providers like @gmail.com.

You need to check your recipient’s email address and must follow the required syntax. Any other format other than this syntax is faulty and is more likely to bounce back. 

Also, check the typographical mistakes like @gmal.com or @yahooo.co, leading to the bouncing back of your emails.

2. Ping the server

Pinging the server is a technical method to verify email addresses without sending emails. 

You need a tool like PuTTY for Telnet in the Windows system to perform this check. If you are using a Mac system, you can use the iTerm app. 

Follow the below steps to ping the email server.

  • Enable Telnet in windows.
  • Open command prompt, type the nslookup command: nslookup –type=mx domain.com
  • You will find multiple MX records associated with the domain. Pick the one with the lowest preference number.
  • Connect to the telnet server with the command: telnet {mail server address} 25
  • Handshake with the server by typing: HELO
  • Next, provide your identity with a random email address: mail from: {random email address}
  • As the next step add the email address you want to verify: rcpt to: {email address to verify}

The server will reply back with an OK or some error message. If the message is OK, then the email address is valid.

Email address verification using ping the server method

Source: Ilead.io

This method is accurate and provides the best results, but it’s very tedious and negatively affects your system.

3. Send an email from a different account

You can verify the email deliverability to an email account by sending them an email, but doing that from your primary email account is risky.

It is suggested to create a dummy email address and try out sending emails to your recipients. 

Further, you can manually clean up the bounced accounts from your email list. However, this method is quite tedious as you have to repeat each task twice. 

4. DNS lookup

DNS Lookup technique is used to check the authenticity of the domain. It also provides you with any blacklist or spammy data associated with the domain. 

To conduct a DNS lookup, follow the below steps:

  • Open MXToolbox DNS Check in your browser
  • Add the recipient’s domain name in the text box provided and click on DNS check
  • You will get a list of hostname and details of the DNS records
  • If you don’t see any details of the provided domain, the domain is most probably available.

This test provides you with the accuracy of the recipient’s domain but still can’t assure 100% deliverability.

5. Perform an IP address lookup

IP address lookup is another way to check the authenticity of the recipient’s email account. This lookup helps you by providing the IP details of the recipient’s email address.

Follow the steps below to do an IP address lookup:

To start the IP address lookup, we need to find the IP address of the recipient as the first step.

  • Open MXToolbox in your browser
  • Add your recipient’s email address in the text box and click on MX Lookup
  • You will get a list of IP addresses associated with the email address. You can choose any one of them

In the next step, we will start with the IP address lookup. You can find many IP address lookup tools like whatismyipaddress over the internet that can provide the IP details of the recipient’s email server.

Email address verification using IP address lookup method

You can check with the location servers and ISP details provided in the lookup results.

If you find anything unusual, then it’s a case of email spoofing and the email address is risky.

6. Use an email verification tool

An email validation tool can help you do all the technical verifications in one go. 

You just need to add the email list, and the automated system will verify all the email addresses for you.

The other methods listed above are tedious, and each task has to be done individually. You can use a bulk email verifier tool to verify an email list and get results in a fraction of a minute. 

This will help you in spending less time on email verification and providing your valuable time for cold email campaigns (sequences).

7. Verify your email list while sending cold emails

If you are planning to send a cold email campaign (sequence) and hunting for a technique to verify your email list, then this section is for you. 

You can use Saleshandy to verify your bulk email list and send cold emails together.

Follow the simple steps below to verify your email addresses.

Saleshandy Sign up page
  • Click on create sequence from the right side of the dashboard.
Saleshandy email sequence creation
  • In the next step, you need to add your prospects in a CSV format.
Adding prospect in email sequence
  • After mapping your fields, you will get an option of email verification.
Saleshandy email address verification step
  • The emails will be verified automatically and you will get an email with the list segregated into 3 parts: Valid, Bad, and Risky. It is suggested to proceed only with the valid contacts for the best results.
Saleshandy email verification summary

This technique is used by sales professionals, marketers, recruiters, and others to send email campaigns(sequences) in an efficient manner and get the best results out of it. 

Saleshandy also uses the human-like sending methodology that maintains your email account’s high sender reputation score and provides improved email deliverability.

Verifying the email addresses can be done anytime, but doing so every time won’t add any value unless you’re updating the list.

How frequently should you validate your email list?

Email list validation is an essential task for all the SDRs doing cold emailing.

But, they need not have to do it every time. You need to check out for the following conditions when you need to go for an email validation check.

1. When you get a new list

If you are planning to send a cold email campaign (sequence) to a brand new list, it is strongly recommended to verify it. 

The new list with a lot of data has chances of faulty, spammy, or invalid contact details, which can affect your email campaign (sequence) performance.

Upon verification, you will have a list of valid email addresses and you can safely proceed with sending emails. 

Once you verify the list, you won’t need to do it again before follow-ups or scheduling a new campaign (sequence) with the same list.

2. A constant increase in your bounce rate

If you are using an email list for a long time and you find an increase in bounce rate in your campaign (sequence) performance, it’s time to re-verify it.

Too many email bounce backs can affect your email account negatively. Before the situations arise, you need to verify the email address again and remove the invalid ones.

3. Periodic email list checking

Going for a periodic email list verification is suggested, once in a quarter or half-yearly basis.

There can be a change in email addresses if any employee leaves an organization or any user deletes their email accounts. 

Periodic email verification helps you in cleaning up the trash from the old list. This will maintain your sender reputation and make sure your email campaigns (sequences) get good results continuously.

What’s next?

As we learned, email verification is an essential to-do before sending a cold email campaign (sequence). 

Once you are ready with a healthy list, it is time to start lead nurturing

Send your cold emails with Saleshandy with the best email deliverability practices and make them land in your recipient’s primary inbox.

We hope you got all your answers on how to verify your email address, and our solutions must have provided great value to you.

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