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Email List Validation FAQ

Frequently asked questions from our customers

Clean your email list


    •  How do I upload my file?

Please make sure to upload your file in .CSV format with "Email" as the header.  The easiest way to correctly format your file is to open it up in Excel, and select "Save As," then "Windows Comma Separated Values (csv)".

    • Do you identify spam traps?

Spam traps are designed to look just like regular email addresses so there's no possible way to identify all of them, even though there are some companies that claim to be able to do so. Experian Data Quality can identify some spam traps, but email validation should be used alongside best practices for email list maintenance.  The only way to ensure that you do not mail to spam traps is to use 100% opt-in data.  If you did not start with opt-in data, and are concerned about mailing spam traps, we recommend sending a re-activation or re-engagement campaign. 

      • How do you validate emails?

Our service identifies whether or not an email address is valid and deliverable, allowing you to remove harmful email addresses before you mail them.  EDQ validates every component of an email address, including the syntax, validity of the domain and existence of the username. The username validation is done via an SMTP communication, which is performed by the EDQ service in real-time to ensure the most accurate and up to date information on your email list.  

  • How much does this cost?
0 - 100,000 $0.011 per email
(min $100)
100,000 - 250,000  $0.010 per email
250,000 - 500,000  $0.009 per email
500,000 - 1 million $0.008 per email


    • Why should I choose Experian Data Quality to Validate my list?

Our service identifies whether or not an email address is valid and deliverable, allowing you to remove harmful email addresses before you mail them.  There are several companies offering various types of email validation service.  One of the major advantages to using EDQ is our proprietary technique for validating Yahoo! addresses. This allows us to deliver greater Yahoo! accuracy than any other vendor, such that we are catching bounces our competitors currently miss.  Also, we do not cache results (which could result in out-of-date validity information), and we manage ISP Greylisting more thoroughly than our competitors (allowing us to validate difficult B2B domains). 

  • Why does my Email Service Provider (ESP) want me to validate my list?

Your Email Service Provider (ESP) has the responsibility of making your mailings as effective as possible. An effective mailing is one that reaches every intended subscriber's inbox and your ESP wants to ensure that your emails will achieve that goal. Many ESPs have their own tool that does an initial scan of your list, in order identify any potential red flags that may affect the performance of your email campaign. Once they've scanned your list, they will recommend you validate it, specifically to identify which emails are invalid and may be harmful to your Inbox Placement Rate and Sender Reputation. When you remove these addresses from your lists, your ESP will be pleased with your deliverability... and so will you!

  • I have a form where I would like to validate emails as they are entered. Do you have real-time available?

Yes, Experian Data Quality also offers Email Validation through a real time API.  You can find more information here or you can contact us for information on how to get this set up in your environment.

  • How do I send to my results?

Typically, we recommend that you mail to the verified emails and remove the invalid emails from your mailing list.  For your convenience we group all of the invalid email types into the "do not mail" category.   We recommend that you mail to the "unknown" emails slowly because we can't say whether they are valid or not. The "unknown" category will contain some bounces, so by mailing to them slowly, you will keep the overall bounce rate low. 

  • Why do the results contain an "unknown" category?

In general, not every email address can be validated. Many domains are configured to accept all addresses during an SMTP transaction, meaning regardless of whether the mailbox exists, the domain will return a message of "valid".   Senders only receive a non-delivery report after actually sending an email message. So without sending a message (which we never do), it is impossible to validate addresses from these domains.  No email validation provider that uses the active, SMTP-based validation method will be able to identify these emails as valid or invalid.   There are a few areas where "unknown" results are more common including business, government and education domains.   

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