Data quality is one of the main criteria ISPs use to distinguish between a company sending wanted email and a company sending spam. Mail thousands of undeliverable addresses and they’ll think you’re a spammer. Do it several times and you’ll see your deliverability rates plummet along with your sender reputation.
While using an email validation service is a fast and effective way to avoid these pitfalls, choosing an email validation provider is not. There are a number of steps you need to take before selecting the right email validation provider for your company.
Define Your Validation Goals
Before you even type “email validation service provider” into Google, you first need to determine exactly what you want to achieve by verifying email addresses. Are you looking to validate records at the point of capture? Do you have an older list you’re looking to re-engage? Or do you need a semi-annual cleanse to combat changing addresses? Clearly defining your end goals will help you determine if you should process your data in real time, batch or using automated FTP. It will also help clarify how often you should use the service.
Establish Your Budget
It’s important to know how much you can spend before you go out shopping; however, don’t let price be the deciding factor on which provider you choose. Free or low-priced validation tools lack the robust features of established, reputable services. Plus, as a general rule, the more emails you process, the lesser the cost per address. If your budget has wiggle room, it can be more cost-effective to validate a larger chunk of your database at one time.
Compare Email Validation Providers
There are dozens of email validation providers to choose from, but they’re not all created equal. For example, not all providers have the technology to validate across all major domains, including Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, Comcast and MSN. What’s more, many do not offer Email Correction, which finds and fixes typos, misspellings and other human errors. To divide the so-so providers from the good, make a thorough comparison of all the providers you’re considering.
Complete Free Trials
Email validation providers will say they can remove a high average of bad emails, but there’s no way of knowing how your return will look without testing them. Explore different providers’ websites to see if they offer free trials for a chunk of your database. Take advantage of these trials to see how your returns compare to each company’s average.
Create a Plan for Processing Returned Data
Do you know how to process your data once it’s returned to you? Will you be able to easily upload and integrate it into your CRM or other systems? By creating a plan for processing your data before you buy it, you’ll likely brainstorm more specific questions to ask potential providers when in the sales process.
Would you like to learn more about TowerData Email Validation? Check out our brochure!