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What to look for when choosing an email validation vendor

Erin Haselkorn

If you’re an email marketer, chances are you’ve thought about the quality of your contact email list. It’s one of the most important assets you have. Without an accurate list, you could earn a bad sender reputation and end up in the spam box, or flat out unable to reach your subscribers at all.

Never fear, there are a host of vendors out on the market who are more than happy to help you validate that list and improve your email hygiene. In fact, RedPill Email just put out a new List Hygiene and Validation Guide to help provide clarity on vendors in the space.

We participated in the report and thought RedPill had some great insight on what to look for in a vendor. In light of this new report, here are a few points to keep in mind when you are working on your email address file.

1. Regardless of your validation vendor, be careful of how you build your email list. At the beginning, the report states that email-list-building practices are inherently risky. You want to make sure what when you are collecting email addresses, you are not buying lists of emails. You want to acquire your emails by asking customers if they want to receive your communications and have confirmed opt-in welcome messages. This way you can avoid being marked as spam and avoid risky spam traps that tend to be in purchased lists.

2. There are a lot of different service and pricing options available. There are a lot of options available because lots of businesses and programs on the market tend to vary in size. For smaller businesses, they may just want to validate a list before a send or a larger retailer may want to validate each email address before it goes into their database. There is no wrong answer, just make sure the vendor you choose can work on the service level that you need.

3. Security is a top priority. Data security is a top priority for many businesses, and any vendor that is going to handle any aspect of your customer data should employ strict security standards. Be sure to ask your vendor about their security level before sending over your information.

4. Make sure your vendor is checking email addresses on multiple levels. There is a wide variety of ways to check the validity of an email address. Make sure your vendor has a comprehensive way of looking at different types of domains and employs graylisting. 

5. Be careful when a vendor promises they can monitor spam traps. Several of the vendors in this report said they check for spam traps, moles, zombies, etc. The nature of spam traps means that they cannot be reliably detected. They are created on ad hoc basis by many organizations and ISPs around the world. Because of that, there is no way to detect a spam trap unless it has already been mailed to. The only way to truly prevent these is through opt-in email collection best practices.

Be sure to download a copy of the RedPill Email List Hygiene and Validation guide, and be sure to look at our own email verification services

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