MMS Messaging - deliver messaging experiences with images and video


Email verification

Email verification often gets confused with email validation – but validation is a component of the more complex process of verification. Read on to learn more!

What is email verification?

Email verification is the process of ensuring that email addresses you are given are authentic and connected to a real person are genuine, up to date, and reachable.

You can check emails at signup or at any point throughout the customer journey – ideally, before they’re committed to an email list.

But even when you have lists – you should periodically clean them.

This is because, on average, email lists decline by 22.5% each year due to natural subscriber attrition, when people leave companies or change their personal email addresses. Email experts suggest that your lists need to be maintained regularly.

Without regular email list verification, invalid and abandoned accounts will begin to accumulate in your database, resulting in bounce backs and your content not being read.

Why is email verification important?

There are a number of reasons why email verification is important. The first is fraud prevention.

A customer’s email address can serve as a piece of personally identifiable information, which can play a role in identity verification – and fraud prevention. Because of this, it’s important to verify that the user associated with the email address is in possession of and has access to the address. This can be achieved by sending the user a single-use code to help verify the person has access to the address being used at signup.

Next, you want to make sure that people are giving you their correct email address the first time. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In older survey (from 2015), more than 60% of respondents said they will intentionally provide a fake email address.

This can be avoided by implementing email verification at signup to immediately spot incorrect email types.

Email verification at signup will also help to avoid pesky spam traps. These are email addresses used by mailbox providers and blocklist operators to identify senders who aren’t following best email practices. Getting caught in one of these traps can have critical, negative effects on your email sender authority.

Negative email sender authority could result in emails you send to customers landing in the dreaded spam box instead of the intended inbox. Customers will miss important emails, notifications, updates, offers, etc. resulting in lost opportunities, unhappy customers, and poor customer experience.

And last but not least important, verifying email addresses will help keep marketing ROI up. Since email is a cost-effective marketing channel, the cleaner your email lists are, the greater your marketing ROI will be. It should go without saying that emails sent to invalid addresses won’t result in conversions.

Benefits of email verification

There are a few key ways in which email verification benefits businesses. Let’s take a look at the main ones.

Database cleaning

Using email validation tools as a component of verification gives business a way to bulk clean invalid email records, or validate entries in real time.

Whether older email records naturally attritted or were incorrectly entered, email validation can help with both invalid record types.

Cost optimization

By verifying emails and cleaning databases of invalid or unreachable email addresses, businesses avoid the cost of sending to invalid addresses – and with yearly list degradation rates nearly one quarter, your savings are easy to calculate.

Fraud prevention

Email verficiation helps protect against sign-ups by bad actors by identifying patterns in naming, address age, and domain validity. Through timely identification of potential fraudulent actors, businesses can protect themselves and their customers.

How to verify emails

Email verification can be conducted in bulk by cleaning entire email lists – which experts recommend doing periodically due to natural email attrition – or live, one at a time.

Either way, email verification looks at email addresses for:

  1. Invalid and non-existent mailboxes
  2. Syntax errors
  3. Temporary email addresses
  4. Role-based emails
  5. Catch-all domains

Invalid and non-existent mailboxes

This method verifies email addresses before deploying messages by looking at the domain. Performing this check helps you to avoid hard bounces, preserve your sender reputation, and save money.

An example of an invalid or non-existent mailbox would be an incorrect domain, like instead of

Syntax errors

This step looks for errors in the email structure or format made by recipients. Here you can get suggestions for possible corrections.

An example would be “did you mean”

Temporary email address

These are disposable, single use addresses set up for one-time events or for a limited time period. Identify these and remove them from your database to avoid triggering high bounce rates once they’re no longer in use.

Role-based domains

These are emails associated with a company, department or group of recipients instead of an individual.

Anyone signing up to your service with a [email protected] probably won’t be a single recipient. Remove these from your database to ensure data cleanliness.

Catch-all domains

These are email domains that accept all emails sent to them, regardless of whether the recipient’s address exists. It can lead to a higher risk of sending emails to non-existent or invalid addresses, harming your sender reputation.

Following these steps is a best practice for collecting emails at signup, checkout, or any other point of the customer journey – as well as for purging existing email lists of invalid contacts.

In the next chapter, we’ll look at some more best practices.