Stop Wasting Time with Invalid Emails

It is vital you understand the various levels of sophistication that are available to make sure the email addresses you are collecting for your business are valid and functional.

Business owners must be sure there are no errors made when requesting an email address from their prospective or existing customers. Invalid email addresses are completely useless to the business collecting that information.

Whether the email address was collected through a website registration or sign-up form, over the phone, from a coupon, a subscription, or as part of an online purchase process, an inaccurate email address can jeopardize whatever next steps there are in the process for that customer. Email addresses can be used as unique customer identifiers and in many cases they represent the primary method of communication following an online transaction.

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There are simple ways to check:

Syntax — the easy form of email validation. Is there an @ sign? Are there forbidden characters such as a space or asterisk? Are there the necessary numbers of characters, example not a@b.c? This level of validation may seem simple, but it will help improve the quality of email addresses in your lists.

Spelling mistakes — this is another common method you should use. Often forms will request users to confirm their email address to check to see if both addresses match. Make sure your forms do so you can check the spelling.

Domain validity — many domains do not accept or transmit email. For some this is clearly defined while for others the necessary functionality may just not have been activated. A good instance of this might be recently purchased domains.

Compare with a list of known spammers — weed out illegitimate registrations by defending against fraudulent email addresses like info@info.com. Providers of email verification have master lists of known spammers and compare. Defending against these addresses can help prevent swindlers from ruining data.

Check the user name — email servers are configured to allow the existence of an email account to be verified, without a fully-formed email being sent or received. Enforcing this should give you the best possible chance of making sure you get a deliverable email address when you request one.

Did You Know? Customarily, if a user receives a bounced email notification it is because the address that was sent to is either invalid or not online at the time of the mail delivery attempt. Most mail systems will continue to try delivering the mail for 24-48 hours.  After that period, it is assumed to be undeliverable and is deleted from the mail queue. If a user receives many bounced email notices and they are from various senders, the issue is most likely SPAM.

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