Bad Email Addresses: A Rogue’s Gallery
Once upon a time, many businesses simply lived with bad email addresses as an inevitable cost of doing business. Today this has changed dramatically, in the face of increasing costs and regulatory consequences. According to figures from Adestra’s 2017 Email Marketing Industry Census, nearly 80% of firms proactively cleanse their email marketing lists.
What can go wrong with email contact addresses? Plenty. And what you don’t know can really hurt you. Here are just a few examples of bad email addresses and their consequences:
The faker: firstname.lastname@example.org
You build a list of leads by offering people something of value in return for their email address. Unfortunately some people want the goodie, but have no intention of ever hearing from you again. So they make up a bogus address that goes nowhere, wasting your time and resources.
The fat-fingered: email@example.com
Someone gives you their email address with the best of intentions, but types it in wrong—for example, misspelling “gmail.com” as “gmial.com”. So your future correspondence to them never arrives, with consequences ranging from lost market opportunities to customer dissatisfaction.
The trap: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here you have rented a list of email addresses, or worse, taken them from publicly available sources. But some of these addresses are “honeypots”: fake addresses designed to trap spammers. Send an email to it, and you will get blacklisted by that entire domain—which could be a real problem if this domain is a major corporation or source of leads and customers.
The fraudster: email@example.com
Someone places an expensive order with you, using a stolen credit card—and a bogus email address that never existed and cannot be traced. Better to flag these fraudulent orders ahead of time, instead of after the horse has left the barn—or in this case, the shipping dock.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. (By the way, none of these sample email addresses are real.) But these are all good examples of cases where email validation can save your time, money and reputation.
What is email validation?
Think of it as a filter that weeds out the good email addresses from the bad ones. In reality, a good email validation service will examine multiple dimensions of what can go wrong with an email address—and in some cases, can even fix erroneous addresses to make them usable. But at its root, email validation takes your email contact data and makes it clean, safe and usable.
Here are some of the specific things that Email Validation can do for your business:
Make sure the format is correct
Our standard service uses server-side scripting on Web forms to check if email address data includes a name, the “@” symbol, and a valid top-level domain (TLD).
See if the address works
Instead of relying on stagnant, aggregated lists for verification, our real-time email validation checks the authenticity of email contact data instantaneously through kinetic and responsive two-way communication with email service providers (ESPs).
Perform advanced validation checks
Advanced checks can examine things such as:
• Checking if valid data exists on both sides of the “@” symbol, in both the username and the domain name
• Verifying that the domain in the email address exists and has a valid MX record associated with it
• Testing the mailbox to determine if it actually receives mail
• Detecting and flagging bogus, vulgar or malicious addresses that may be cluttering up your list
Correct fixable errors
The email hygiene component of this service identifies and corrects invalid emails with fixable errors such as typos, extraneous text, common domain misspellings and syntax problems.
Real-time email validation improves lead quality, saves time processing and pursuing leads, and protects your company from blacklists and regulatory traps. Download our free whitepaper, The ROI of Real-Time Email Validation, to learn more about bad email contact data and how email validation can help you correct inaccurate contact data and reject bogus email addresses.