Email is, without a doubt, the premier communication method of our time. People check their inboxes constantly. Last year, almost 300 billion emails were sent and received daily, according to Statista. So it’s no great surprise that email marketing has surpassed all other types of digital marketing.
Aside from the ubiquity of emails, it’s also the marketing method that pays. According to the DMA, for every $1 spent, email marketing has an ROI of $42.
However, with so many emails being sent, you’re always competing for attention. Not only does your content have to stand out, but first, you have to make sure you’re reaching your subscribers.
Landing in the inbox is not always a definite thing, and that’s why data quality is so vital to getting the results you want. Let’s see how email validation – and email validation APIs – make a difference in your email marketing performance.
What is Email Validation?
Email validation is a way to ensure the quality of your email list. An email validator checks whether an email address is deliverable and safe to use and that keeping it on your list won’t prove detrimental.
For instance, people change their email addresses – some more frequently than others. A person signing up for your newsletter may have used a work or college email address. It’s unlikely that they would unsubscribe if they’re no longer using that address. The next time you email that contact, all you can expect is a bounce.
By using an email validation and verification service, you can prevent bounces, but that’s not all. Good email list cleaning systems detect and weed out other types of risky contacts as well.
For those with an existing email list, the first step is to use a bulk email verifier. You’d upload your list to a trustworthy email validation platform. In a short period of time, the system identifies and isolates the problematic addresses, so you can remove them.
Of course, email lists degrade every day. It adds up: in a year, 23 percent of your database will be obsolete. Regularly cleaning it in bulk is a solution, but you can save time by automating the process and validating new contacts as they subscribe.
What is an Email Validation API?
API stands for Application Programming Interface, and whether you realize it or not, you’re probably using at least one API every day. Do you have an email sign-up form on your website? That would be an example of an API. Working in tandem with your email sign-up form, you can install an email validation API.
An email validation API keeps bad and risky email addresses off of your list from the get-go. When someone is on your site and tries to sign up with a potentially harmful email address, the API rejects that contact.
What kinds of risky email addresses does an email validation API help you avoid?
- Misspelled – Sometimes it’s just a simple accident on the part of the person signing up. They’ve transposed one of the letters or have an extra number in there. Some APIs will even suggest a correction to the user so they can input a correct email address, like did you mean “freddy” instead of “frddy”?
- Disposable – Some websites generate these email addresses that work for a short while and then self-destruct. People may use them simply to sign up and get some kind of freebie you’re offering, but they have no desire to actually be on your list. It’s not worth the risk of adding such an address to your email list.
- Abuse – There are people that have a habit of labeling emails as spam, even those they sign up for. Sometimes they just forgot, and other times they’re plain malicious. It’s risky to have abuse email addresses on your list because you never know if they’ll start marking you as spam. Spam complaints are one of the most damaging things to your deliverability.
- Role–based – These email addresses (such as [email protected] or [email protected]) are usually monitored by a group of people. Chances are you’re unlikely to engage anyone with your marketing offers by emailing a role-based account. Moreover, these mailboxes tend to get a lot of emails; they become full quickly and bounce.
How to Get Started Using an Email Validation API
If you’ve been building your list for a while, you’ve probably reached out to an email verification company at least once. Reputable email verifiers allow you to maintain your list hygiene in two ways:
- by cleaning your email list in bulk and
- by checking new subscribers in real time.
If you already have an account with an email validator, setting up an API on your forms should be a breeze. Ask for your email validation API key, which is a piece of code that you embed on your online platform. Then, run a few tests with your team to ensure the API is active.
Once you can confirm that, you can be certain that the software is verifying every new email subscription in real-time.
What’s great about email verification APIs is that they work in the exact same way a bulk email verifier would – only instantly. So, all the bad email addresses we talked about shouldn’t find their way on your list.
Something else to consider is if you’re using an email marketing automation tool. Most, like Benchmark Email, offer a built-in validation tool that will approve your list once you upload it.
The Benefits of Using an Email Validation API
It’s easy to understand the mindset of not wanting to take email addresses off of your list. Who wants to take away instead of adding to? However, it’s a mistake to think that most of your emails getting through is “good enough.” It’s similar to the adage from the 1950s, “Throw ’em up against the wall and see which ones stick.”
It doesn’t apply to the email addresses on your email list. Why? The bad email addresses can compromise the chances that your email lands in the inbox for everyone else on the list. People who signed up and are looking forward to getting your emails will never even see them.
That’s because Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are always improving ways to stop senders that don’t follow best practices. Keeping bad addresses on your list sends a clue to the ISPs that you’re not a legitimate sender. So even though you aren’t sending spam, they treat you like you are.
Thousands of companies use email validation APIs on their registration and sign-up forms to prevent bad data from spoiling their lists. Let’s take a close look at the benefits of installing one yourself.
Helps you build a healthy list
You may think it doesn’t matter that you’re getting a lot of bounces because you have a huge list. The truth is you should be striving for a list with real people because they’re the ones that you should market to. An email validation API keeps your list in top shape by keeping undesirable and fake addresses off.
Supports good inbox placement
Using a neat email list means you’re making efforts to maintain a good sending reputation. As a result, your emails are more likely to arrive in the inbox where your subscribers can see them.
Fosters good email engagement
Engagement is the name of the game. You want your emails to generate activity: not only reading but also clicking and forwarding to others who in turn may subscribe. With more of your emails making it to people’s inboxes, you’ll see your engagement rates rise.
Helps you boost conversions
The conversion rate is the percentage of your readers who do what you want them to do: act upon your call to action. It reflects the effectiveness of your email campaigns. By keeping your list fresh and boosting your inbox placement, an email validation API helps boost your conversions.
It may be hard to believe, but 20 percent of all emails end up in spam. With the thought, cost, and effort you put into your emails, you can’t afford not to use an email validation API. Once installed, it works quietly in the background, keeping your list accurate and helping you get more out of your campaigns.
Paul Leslie is a Content Writer for email validation company ZeroBounce. He has a rich background in content creation as a writer, researcher and interviewer. Most often, you can find him on the ZeroBounce blog, where he writes about email marketing.