Email deliverability has been a hot topic for marketers for quite some time. With mailbox providers getting more aggressive about their spam blocking and filters, inbox placement has become a priority issue for many marketers to address. To protect their email deliverability, marketers need to implement email verification as part of the pre-campaign routine. In this article, we are comparing a few email verification service providers to help you find the one that will keep your email list clean.

Why Verify Your Email List?

Deliverability of your email campaigns is strongly correlated to your sender reputation and bounce rate is one of the factors affecting it. With every hard bounce sender reputation takes a hit. If you don’t implement any actions to reduce your bounce rate, it can negatively impact your inbox placement. Your domain might get marked as SPAM by Internet Service Providers, which can result in your emails being delivered to the SPAM folder, and even lead to getting your domain appear on blacklists.   

Risk of Account Suspension with Your ESP

An average email list decays at a rate of 2% per month for B2C lists and 3% for B2B lists. So if an email list hasn’t been engaged in more than 3-4 months it can have more than a 10% bounce rate on the first bulk campaign. A bounce rate over 10% can result in getting an account suspended on many email platforms, in addition to causing long-term damage to your sender reputation. 

About Catch_all and Accept_all emails

Email verification will also prevent you from sending your campaign to disposable (aka temporary) emails as well as emails that domains set up as catch_all. Disposable emails are often used by spammers and fraudsters. Once created they usually are valid for around 48hrs, and later become invalid emails that will generate hard bounce. Catch_all also known as Accept_all emails, is an address that is specified to receive all messages that are addressed to an incorrect email address for a domain. The risk with such emails is that it might seem to be valid, however, it could still generate a hard bounce. By using email verification you will be able to establish which of the addresses are set up as catch_all, but you won’t learn if it is deliverable or not. The decision to message such addresses should be based on the overall quality of your list.

Email Bounces and Cost

There is of course a budget factor – email verification can save you money. Sending your campaign to undeliverable or risky addresses via your ESP’s or marketing platform can generate extra costs, with no chance of generating any return on investment (ROI).

Choosing an Email Verification Service

There are a lot of email verification services available, and it might be overwhelming when searching for the right one for the first time. For this comparison article, we are focusing more on affordable providers we have evaluated as potential partners. BigMailer is a very affordable email marketing platform, so it was important for us to continue to offer our customers great value when integrating a 3rd party email validation service. 

Other factors that we considered besides cost are: security and GDRP compliance, availability of robust APIs to process large data sets, possibility to run a test prior to purchase, and finally the team behind the service and support. 

Below are the services we had reviewed and ranking factors we have checked for the purpose of this article:

email validation service provider comparison chart

As we were evaluating prospecting partners 2 services stood out to us but for different reasons: TheChecker and Bouncer.

TheChecker is positioned as the lowest cost provider in this space and likely to appeal to a lot of BigMailer customers. However, since BigMailer has a lot of customers in Europe, we wanted to pick a partner who is committed to security and GDRP compliance, and that is what Bouncer is. Bouncer offers a winning  combination of affordability, security, support and commitment to building the highest quality service. BigMailer customers can get a 10% discount on email validation service on Bouncer website. 

UPDATE Jan 2021:

We ran some comparison testing with DeBounce and were quite pleased with our experience and results. While DeBounce took 2hr to verify 95000 contacts the accuracy results were comparable to other providers and they offers deeper volume discounts on purchases of over 5 million credits. If you want to give DeBounce a try you can use our discount code “BIGMAILER” to get 10% off. Make sure to turn on “DeDuplication Feature” on your Account Settings page before you run any verifications so duplicate entries are removed from your list before verification begins so you don’t waste any credits. Our partners TheChecker and Bouncer automatically remove duplicates, but TheChecker doesn’t show you the info so it may be confusing to see a lower than you expect count of total contacts before verification step begins.

Happy email marketing!