2023-11-30 7:30 am
2024-04-21 1:00 pm
2024-04-21 1:00 pm

How to Verify an Email Address Without Sending an Email

To verify an email address without sending an email is crucial for the success of your B2B marketing campaigns. Ensuring the functionality and validity of each email reduces bounce rates and guarantees that your communications reach the right recipients. This approach is key to maintaining accurate email lists and enhancing the effectiveness of your outreach efforts.

By the end of this comprehensive guide, you will thoroughly understand the significance of email verification, the strategies for authenticating emails without direct outreach, and the substantial advantages this precision ensures for B2B interactions.

Let’s get into it!

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7 Steps to Verify Email Addresses Without Sending an Email

Sending too many emails to unverified email addresses without knowing it could be expensive and a waste of time. 

Luckily, seven main steps will allow you to probe into whether the email address you have on your list is verified – all without ever needing to send an email. If you're looking to expand your email marketing resources, you might also be interested in exploring options to buy a comprehensive email list.

Step 1: Use an Email Verification Tool

email verification tool

Email verifier tools can automate the process of MX record checking, IP address and DNS lookup, and SMTP testing.

While plenty of email verification tools are on the market, BookYourData automatically performs real-time verification on all email addresses for you. That means no wasting time on dud addresses or using a separate service for list building.

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Step 2: Check the Syntax of the Email Address

All email addresses should follow the structure:

  • Where name and domain are both alphanumeric — consisting only of the Roman alphabet (A–Z), the capital letter analog, and the numbers 0–9 — along with the “-” and “.” symbols.
  • The extension should be a recognized domain extension/suffix (.com, .co, .net, country codes, etc.).

If the syntax doesn’t match, you’ve got a dud! Discard it.

Step 3: Check Domain Existence

It’s easy to recognize standard email addresses. But, to ensure the validity of the less common domains, you’ll probably need to do some research.

Making sure a domain exists can be as simple as entering it into a web browser, performing a standard web request, or using a third-party tool. If third-party tools corroborate the domain, that will confirm its existence.

Step 4: Check MX Records

MX records indicate the validity of individual email addresses at a domain. You can use Google’s DNS lookup tool or other publicly available tools to check an MX record.

Most tools will provide automatic, user-friendly output if an email address is valid/invalid.  However, if you want to do things manually, you’ll want to look at the preference column of the individual MX file. Look for the lowest number — this indicates the main mail server for the email.

Step 5: Perform a SMTP Test

Now that you have the primary email server, you can perform an SMTP test — which essentially allows you to “ping” the email address without actually sending an email.

To do this, you’ll typically want to send a HELO or EHLO message — effectively saying “Hi!” to the email servers — along with an argument getting it to tell you whether the address can receive email.  

Specifying RCPT TO <email address> will tell you if that email address can receive mail.

You can use telnet (a command-line tool available for installation on a wide range of platforms) to perform both the MX record check and SMTP test, as detailed above.

Step 6: Conduct an IP Address Lookup

You can find the IP address of an email sender in the email header — this is very useful if you’ve already received a message from the address you’re trying to target!

Knowing the IP can help you check whether the sender is a natural person or, instead, a computer in a database somewhere.

Step 7: Perform a DNS Lookup

When sending an email, making sure that the recipient's domain is appropriately configured to receive it is essential. One way to do this is to perform a DNS lookup to retrieve the domain's Mail Exchange (MX) records. These records indicate the mail server responsible for handling incoming emails. If no MX records exist, it's possible that the domain is not configured to receive emails, which could result in delivery failure.

Finally, a full DNS lookup will help you check all domain records (including the MX records) for a full picture of whether an email address is valid.

What Is an Email Address Verification?

Email address verification is a process whereby an email address is validated against a database and is cross-referenced with trusted sources to ensure the address is correct. For more details on this process, check out our guide on how to check for a valid email address.

When checking if an email address is correct, a few factors must be considered. These include ensuring the email matches known patterns, has been confirmed as active, and is free from common typos, among other essential aspects.

How Does Email Address Verification Work?

Email address verification is a process whereby you and your mail client take steps to ensure that the addresses you are sending messages to are correct. It involves making sure there are no spelling or syntax errors in the addresses and ensuring they are valid emails that can receive messages.

Typically, you’ll start the verification process by checking the emails yourself — making sure there are no obvious typos in the entry (e.g., “john.smith@gmaOl.com”) or that there are no clear breaks in syntax (e.g., “john@smith@gmail@com”). You may also want to ensure it is consistent with the user’s other details. 

Ideally, this shouldn’t take too long, as you should be doing it in regular small batches every time you update your mailing list.

Once you’ve passed this stage and made sure each email address passes the syntax check, you move on to using a computer tool or email checker. 

While technically, this approach could be done by hand, it would take a very long time!  There are various options for computer tools, but they all do the same thing.  

First, they test if the email has a valid domain associated with it by checking the DNS records (records that link domain names to root IP addresses). 

If the domain name provided is invalid, there won’t be a DNS record for it (or it will show that it has no IP currently linked to it), and hence you can remove that address.

They will then ascertain that the domain server recognizes the address. This can be done using the SMTP protocol, which keeps track of the links between individual user addresses in a domain.

It will typically assess a connection by sending an EHLO or HELO message to the server to determine whether an address of the given name is associated with the domain.

8 Benefits of Verifying Email Addresses

benefits of verifying email addresses

1. Reduces Bounce Rate

Ensuring that your bounce rate stays low is one of the best ways to make sure your messages are not flagged as spam by popular mail carriers and your email does not appear on the blacklist.

Higher bounce rates indicate that a sender could be more trustworthy and will mean that you find your later mailing campaigns meeting with less success.

Lower bounce rates mean you’re more likely to be considered a “trustworthy sender” (i.e., your email appears on the whitelist), and so you’ll increase the number of messages making it past the spam filter.

2. Improves Deliverability

A lower bounce rate means a higher deliverability! However, that’s not all verifying email addresses can do for you. Ensuring that your messages are going to relevant email addresses means the impact of each email will be much higher.

3. Protects Sender Reputation

Major email providers rank senders based on reputation to determine whether they should be sent to the spam box. 

Having a higher reputation meets the established criteria and means your email is not flagged as suspicious, is not associated with known spam activities, and is, therefore, more likely to avoid being marked as spam.

Ensuring that you are sending emails only to verified addresses — one that is not a temporary or disposable address — prevents your messages from winding up in spam traps (i.e., email addresses that mail companies use to catch spammers).

If your emails arrive in spam traps, your sender's reputation can become seriously tarnished, and you can even have your account deactivated, depending on the provider you are using to send your emails.

4. Enhances Engagement

More valid (and interested) contacts per email sent means a more significant return on investment in engagement. 

While you might have precisely the same number of respondents, your engagement percentage will be higher — that means you have a more attractive figure to show sponsors, investors, and more, all of which will benefit you in the long term.

Interested in how many people are engaging with your emails? Check out our article on how to find out if someone has opened your email.

5. Saves Money

Maintaining large email lists is expensive, both in terms of time and actual costs, especially if you’re employing somebody to manage your communications!

Reviewing and certifying that each address you have has been authenticated and has a valid MX (Mail Exchange) record may take you longer initially but will save you time in the long term as you’ll need to do less address pruning.

Plus, if you use an email distribution plan that charges you per recipient or email, an email list bloated with unverified and potentially invalid addresses effectively throws money away.

6. Prevents Fraud

Ensuring you send emails to the correct addresses will minimize the chance of potential fraud when people respond. While this may be fine for those sending out general informative emails, B2B marketing relies on being in contact with precisely the right person.

The last thing you want is for a seemingly promising lead to become a scam and lose money or products during the fake “negotiation” process.

7. Enhances User Experience

Ensuring your emails go to the correct addresses enhances the experience of your marketing/communications/sales department and those who receive the emails.  

Ensuring that you are getting positive interactions from both sides of the company-client divide is an essential step in maximizing the results of your email campaigns.

8. Ensures Data Accuracy

If you are recording any metrics from your audience, having large numbers of invalid addresses on your list means you’ll have invalid details about who you are sending your emails.

For example, if you see my email address domain that you have a 40% composition of medical professionals, you may have closer to 20% in the pruned version!

Ensuring your data list has been reviewed for accuracy will help you better target and format your communication.

When Do You Need to Verify Email Addresses?

when do you need to verify email addresses?

When You Build a New Mailing List

When building a new mailing list, you should make sure to verify the address you are adding. It's also crucial to understand the legal aspects involved in this process, which you can learn about in our article on is it legal to buy email lists. While this inspection may seem time-consuming, ensuring no issues crop up further along the line is vital.

Plus, if you do the bulk of the work on setup, further updates will require much less pruning.

When You Are Using Your Old Mailing List

If it’s been a while since you’ve used a mailing list, it’s important to ensure that the email addresses are still valid. Business details may have changed, and people have very likely changed or discontinued their email account(s). You’ll also have new people you want to contact in the refreshed target market.

Examine your lists thoroughly and, if necessary, make sure the address for a client has been checked for historical activity. If you cannot corroborate this data, it’s likely they’re using a new email account.

Periodically or When You Notice Anomalies

You should verify your email addresses regularly — once per quarter should be sufficient for most people.  

Suppose you notice something changing drastically (much lower CTR or deliverability, more emails going to spam, etc.). In that case, it’s also worth having your team — or yourself — analyze the situation to see if this is an issue with unverified addresses.

Tips for Improving Your Email Verification Process

tips for improving your email verification process

Establish a Clear Policy Regarding Invalid Emails

Making sure your whole team knows what they should do when an email bounces is a great way to ensure that your email verification process remains consistent. Inconsistent policy is a great way to end up with a bunch of junk emails on your list.

Keep Your Database Clean and Up-to-Date

Ensure that your database remains up-to-date to avoid having your marketers waiting on responses from email addresses that are no longer in use — some can even be transformed into spam traps!

Take Advantage of Bulk Verification Services

Using bulk verification services will massively speed up the process and reduce the effort you must put into each instance of list updating.

Ensure Proper Deliverability with Sender Reputation Monitoring

There are various tools out there that offer sender-reputation monitoring -— making sure that your reputation remains high requires that you spend time updating your email addresses.

How to Validate an Email Address Without Sending an Email

how to validate an email address without sending an email

Check Emails with a Verification Service

Several verification services can help you verify an address without sending an email. 

For example, at BookYourData, unverified email addresses don’t even make it into the database, and if anything changes, real-time verification can update it for you.

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Integrate Email Verification into Your Website

If you have people signing up on your website, you can prompt them to confirm their email address to avoid typos. You could also send a validation email to get them to confirm that they are receiving emails in their mailbox.  

Finally, you can add regular expression checking or something similar to ensure that people are entering their emails in the correct syntax.

Find Pre-verified Email Addresses in Email Verification Solutions

Email verification solutions can guarantee the validity of emails acquired through their tools. This means that you can have a high degree of confidence in the quality of the emails and can save time validating an email address.

At BookYourData, you can go one step further with real-time verification of emails upon each export, meaning you won’t need to check over them again!

Identify Whether or Not This Email Exists Through Password Recovery

You can try submitting the email for password recovery through your own system — if it allows a request to be sent, you know you’re onto a winner.

At absolute worst, you can submit requests for password recovery to other websites. However, be warned that this is a dangerous tactic, as it will usually result in people receiving warning notifications that someone is trying to access their account.

Email Validation vs. Email Verification: What You Need to Know

email validation vs email verification

The main difference between email validation and email verification is that validation is essentially the very first step of email verification — making sure that the syntax and spelling of the email is correct.  

While it’s great for initial checking, it’s not a particularly thorough process and still falls victim to a number of tricks, such as temporary domains, spam traps, and so on.

Email verification FAQs

How many emails can I verify at once?

How many emails can you verify at the same time? It depends on the tool you use! Most major tools will allow you to check quantities in the hundreds, although it may take a while. If you are verifying manually, it will, of course, be much more difficult.

What happens if my email gets blacklisted?

If your email gets blacklisted, your messages will start winding up in spam. Ensure that your email is not blacklisted by following proper email verification methods.

What are the common reasons for an email being invalid?

The most common reason an email may be invalid is incorrect syntax or spelling. Apart from this, it could be that the address doesn’t exist in a particular domain or the domain itself is invalid.

Final Thoughts: Core Takeaways on Email Verification

Verifying the accuracy of email addresses is fundamental in the B2B sector, a critical step for maintaining up-to-date, clean contact lists and avoiding spam flags. Utilizing advanced email verification tools enables efficient bulk validation, a strategic move that enhances the reach and success of your marketing campaigns. This practice is instrumental in ensuring healthy list maintenance and optimal deliverability rates.

Alongside these tools, it’s also vital to consistently cross-check your email lists against various databases, periodically reassess their relevancy, and rigorously vet new additions. Implementing these methodologies fortifies the integrity of your email strategies, paving the way for sustained success and scalability in your email marketing endeavors, thereby fostering continuous business growth.

Suppose you are spending hours verifying email addresses. In that case, you can try Bookyourdata, which offers 10 free verified leads for your B2B prospecting and already includes a built-in real-time email verification function. 👇

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