Collecting email addresses is a routine part of a digital marketer’s job, but how do you know if the what you are receiving is quality? Just because you get a new subscriber does not mean the account is real, or that a typo did not happen. That’s where the importance of email verification comes in.
Perhaps you are not familiar with email verification, but you can think of it as a layer of security for your email marketing goals. Keeping your email list free of typos, fictitious and temporary email accounts that could impact your deliverability. The last thing you want to do is risk your emails getting sent to spam or rejected due to inadequate quality data.
Deliverability: Sender Score Factors
Your Sender Score is a big part of your email deliverability. It helps the ISPs determine if you are worthy of the inbox or if you get filtered to the spam folder. The higher your score, the better placement you get and the lower your score, then likely you will get stuck in the junk folder.
Here is how email verification improves your Sender Score.
1. Eliminates Hard Bounces
A hard bounce is one of the primary reasons your sender score drops. Hard bounces mostly occur because the email address no longer exists. Maybe it never existed at all, and you acquired a fictitious email address, or perhaps the account once existed and was later closed by the user.
It is a good practice to ‘clean your list’ on a quarterly basis to identify old email addresses and remove them before your next campaign. It is also recommended that you validate each newly acquired email address to prevent typos and fake accounts from creating additional unwanted hard bounces.
2. Reduces Spam Complaints
In an ideal world you want to have your spam complaint rate less than 0.1% this means that per every 5,000 email messages sent out you should have less than five spam complaints. Therefore, you must be sending quality content to interested users, but even so, we know spam complaints can happen.
In an effort minimize users clicking spam on your email the email verification tool XVerify automatically flags email accounts of users who have a high frequency of marking emails as spam.
If you become blacklisted, this is another reason why your Sender Score will suffer. Getting placed on a blacklist will prevent your message from getting accepted by the server. Some blacklists are more potent than others and some blacklists will automatically de-list you after a pre-determined amount of time.
Practicing good list hygiene and acquiring data from the right sources is key to minimizing the risk of becoming blacklisted. Keep in mind it is also recommended that you monitor your mailing IPs daily to identify if you have become blacklisted and attempt to get it resolved before you send off your next campaign.
Keeping Your Data Clean
Know your data sources:
Not all data sources are going to be good sources. Therefore, when you select partners to work with, you need to keep an eye on the quality they are sending to you. Additionally, don’t work with data brokers, often the data they are selling has been sold over many times. This means you won’t get results with the subscribers, and you will also find stale data leading to more hazards.
Remove unengaged users:
Review your list regularly, and remove unengaged subscribers. I know it is hard letting go of data you worked hard to acquire, but uninterested users can create problems. If a user has not opened any of your emails in the past three months remove them from your list. This way you are reducing risks of spam complaints and hard bounces.
Routine list hygiene with email verification:
Real-time email verification is the best way to filter out bad quality leads at the point of collection. Don’t allow typos and fictitious contact data sneak into your web form and do damage. Check your leads at the front door to prevent spam bots and fraudsters from infiltrating your email list. Also, clean your entire list on a quarterly basis to prevent emails that were once good from growing old and doing damage.
Krista Barrack is a product specialist with XVerify helping clients improve inbox deliverability through email verification and best practices.