An Idiot’s Guide to Email Validation

Published by: Meredith Thornton    |   Category: Blog, Email Deliverability, Email List Cleaning, IP Reputation    

Just because you may be new to email validation doesn’t mean you are an idiot. We all have to start somewhere.

If you intend to incorporate email marketing into your overall marketing strategy, you must be willing to educate yourself on perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle that has a direct impact on performance – the deliverability of your email list.

Deliverability is often jeopardized because businesses send to lists that contain spam seeds, blacklist seeds, and spam BOTS. Suddenly, your IP becomes blacklisted, you are flagged as a spammer by your ISP, and your business takes a hit that is hard to recover from.

To ensure that you steer clear of the ramifications involved in unethical email marketing practices, you must be aware of what spam seeds, blacklist seeds, and spam BOTs are, and how they get into your lists.

1. Spam Seed/Blacklist Seed – These are email addresses used by email filtering companies and blacklist owners for catching those who are harvesting email addresses or sending unsolicited mail. Email addresses are created to see what mail starts coming into them.

2. Spam BOT – An automated program that sends out spam. There is no human interaction in this process. Email spam BOTs will gather email addresses by scraping material from the web to build mailing lists for the purpose of sending unsolicited email offers.

How do these email addresses get into your lists?

Although they won’t admit to it, some spam filtering companies and blacklist owners will create email addresses and sign up for offers to see what is being sent to them. When they get these emails, they complain and never opt out to the point where they become habitual complainers. You will also get listed as the sender of spam or unsolicited email. There are also many filtering & email blacklisting companies who post these “special” emails on websites, forums and in comment posts to see if they start receiving emails to them from people who harvest emails from the Internet.

Suddenly, if you do not unsubscribe these users yourself, which is virtually impossible, you will eventually become blacklisted and blocked or shut down by your ESP (Email Service Provider) or ISP (Internet Service Provider).

What can you do about it?

Without the manpower and technology in place, you won’t know there is a problem until you encounter one first hand and by that time, it is usually too late. That’s why it becomes essential to invest in an email validation and list cleaning service to purge your lists of spam seeds, BOTs, honeypots, habitual complainers, bad domains, and invalid email addresses. Even if you’re sure that your list has none of these “special” emails in it, email address change constantly. By validating your internal email database at least twice per year, you are ensuring that you aren’t sending to dead or undeliverable email addresses, which will also help keep your IP reputation at the highest level. This will also help in delivering your email message to the inbox versus the spam folder or being totally rejected by the ISP’s.

A small investment now will save you the hassle of trying to rebuild your IP reputation in the near future. Simply Get Started Now and implement list validation into your email marketing routine. It’s a tiny investment into your email marketing success.

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One Response to An Idiot’s Guide to Email Validation

  1. Nate Goodman says:

    Nice article. We wrote an article to help people know what to do if they’ve hit a spam trap.