Why All Email Validation Services Are Not Created Equal

Published by: Andrew Paul    |   Category: Blog, Email List Cleaning, Email Validation    

Understanding Why Email List Cleaning is Such an Integral Part of Email Validation


Email Problems

OK, so you decided to start sending emails to your customers, leads or prospects, but you just realized that after attempting to upload your list into Mailchimp, SendGrid, ExactTarget, Constant Contact or one of a handful of other ESPs (email service providers), they shut you down before your list was even fully uploaded. WOW, that’s a shocker. Considering that you haven’t sent an email to any of these people ever, or in a very long time, why would this come as a shock? It shouldn’t – The simple fact is that 2-3% of all email address are abandoned, become inactive or are changed every month. As with most ESPs, when you sign up for a new account and think you can simply upload your email list and start mailing, you might be in for a big surprise, when they tell you your list is not acceptable.

So now what? Most ESPs will either direct you to a company that can assist you in cleaning up and validating your email list or show you the door, with a note taped to your back that says “Get Lost”, as you hear the door slam behind you.

What is Email List Cleaning?

Email list cleaning is a service, usually provided by a specialty data company that will compare your email addresses to a large compiled master list of email addresses that are known to be bad or problematic. These are email addresses you’ll never want to send an email marketing message, advertisement or any email to ever. This works by identifying, purging and removing bad, invalid, known hard bounce, seed, honeypot, duplicate, complainer and BOT email data from your list.

What is Email Validation?

Email validation is a service, usually provided by a specialty data company that will validate every single email in your list by using either a proprietary or non-proprietary application that will determine if the email address is valid and deliverable or not. This service should always be done by a professional company and never requires an email being sent to the end user while validating.

OK, are we still on the same page? Simple Right? So, why doesn’t 2+2=4?

So logically, you would assume that the first step that most of the specialty data companies that provide these services would do is clean out and remove the bad email addresses you should never send an email to prior to validating the email addresses in your list. While this sounds like a pretty good, simple and intelligent idea, it’s utterly astonishing that most companies that provide these types of services don’t do both. Email Answers is the only company that offers a complete service that will clean and validate an email list. You should also consider the fact that Email Answers service is 80% less expensive than any legitimate competitor. When I started doing some research on Google, it blew my mind that the handful of companies who offer email validation don’t (or maybe can’t) offer email list cleaning as part of their service.

Let’s Look at Some Email Validation Companies Together.

(You can click any of the images/screen shots below to see a larger version)

Now you might want to buckle up, because what I’m about to share with you, which you can test yourself by simply going to these companies websites (at least for a short while until they fix it) will absolutely amaze you.


Why would you ever want to send an email to nospam@yahoo.com even if it is valid?




ListWise HQ:

Yay! abuse@gmail.com is valid (LOL) but why would you ever want to send a marketing email to it or have this email address in your customer or newsletter database?


Byteplant – Email Validator:

This one really amazed me – they test 10 different validation components but they still allow you to validate abuse@aol.com. Why would any company ever want to send an email to an abuse email address or this type of role account?


Email Validate:

This one I really enjoyed, because they allow you to validate up to 5 email addresses at once, but totally miss the fact that they need to scrub and remove the garbage?


Email-Checker (eVerify):

Besides telling you the emails address is OK to send to, they offer an Email Extractor.

(Stay Really Far Away from this one!)


Data Validation:

This one I really enjoyed. A company that sells a service they don’t even use themselves on their own website. I was able to sign up with an abuse email using a domain that doesn’t even have name servers answering, DNS records, a web or email server setup.


But wait, it gets better. Once I sign up with a bogus abuse email account, I am taken to an up-sell page to get my free “email assurance” report, whatever that means? They even pre-populate the bogus email address I used during the signup test.


Since we’ve had a little fun today testing out some other email validation company’s forms and their email validation testing tools on their websites, I think it might be time to move on to discuss what we’ve discovered and learned today. I think we can all agree, most of you should now understand Why All Email Validation Services Are Not Created Equal.

Any Questions So Far?

It’s actually pretty sad that there are companies signing up for these services and relying on them to validate their new email signups without truly knowing what they are getting into.

Are you feeling a little sick to your stomach yet? Yea, me too.

What’s the Solution?

Email Answers offers 2 options for you to choose from.

        Below is a comparison showing the differences between our services.

Email List Cleaning Service Comparison

The main difference between Purelist and Email Answers – Email List Cleaning and Validation Service is that while Purelist is a real-time processing platform, our email list cleaning and validation service is not and requires a 24-72 hour turnaround time. Purelist does not validate each individual email address to ensure it is valid and deliverable, while our email list cleaning and validation service does.

Here’s some additional recommended reading for you:

Pay More – Get Less and Say Thank You

When a Valid and Deliverable Email is Neither Valid nor Deliverable

An Idiot’s Guide to Email Validation



Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

4 Responses to Why All Email Validation Services Are Not Created Equal

  1. J. Eric Jenett says:

    This is really well written and well done. We have used your services and I can tell you they are head and shoulders above others we’ve tried.
    Nicely done email piece.

  2. Brian Peterson says:

    I agree with J. Eric’s comment above, although most of your articles are well written and very informative. We now use your service as well, (for the past 3 months) and I can tell you we previously used one of the companies you mentioned above and your service kicked their ass. The main reason we changed email validation company’s was because they couldn’t validate Yahoo and you can. Once we switched, we saw a huge difference in the quality of work you guys do. Keep up the good work… and blog articles.


  3. Fred Bailey says:

    We made the mistake of using ^%$&%$#@ to clean up our newsletter list and it was a nightmare. Really took a toll on our IPs & delivery. Good article BTW. I just wish I saw it before we made the huge mistake. Well, live and learn.

  4. Frank Castro says:

    Great article Andrew. This capability – connecting the dots between email cleaning and validation marks a fundamental change in our industry – a change that appears your company has taken the lead on and most of the others have missed the boat on. I think we’re only seeing the beginning of a very big problem most companies don’t know or realize they currently have yet. Once they figure it out, I’ll bet you’ll see a big move, by these companies, towards your platforms.