How to Verify Email Addresses Without Sending an Email

If your job requires sending large numbers of emails on a daily basis, having a decent email delivery rate can be a bit of a bother. As we all know, high bounce rates affect your reputation as a sender and can cause some messages to get automatically sent to spam.

Verifying email addresses before adding them to mailing lists is something that most marketing and sales pros are currently doing in order to reduce bounce rates and improve the overall email deliverability.

In this article, we’ll be using quite a few definitions that you might not know. Check the terminology box below to learn the most important ones.

SMTP server is a machine, or collection of machines, whose primary purpose is to send, receive, and/or relay messages between email senders and receivers. An SMTP server will have an address or addresses, that can be set by the mail client or application that you are using, generally formatted as 

Source: SendGrid

MX records are DNS records that are necessary for delivering email to your address. They are used to tell the world which mail servers accept incoming mail for your domain and where emails sent to your domain should be routed to.

Source: DreamHost

Bounce is an email message that is not delivered to the recipient and is returned or bounced back to the sender.

Source: Technopedia

But let’s get back to our main topic. How can you check if an email address is valid?

Usually, when you send an email to someone, it goes to an SMTP server which then tries to find the MX records for the email recipient’s domain. If those records exist, the SMTP server checks if that email address’ username exists or not.

If you have enough IT knowledge, you can use this logic to write a script and verify email addresses directly from your own computer. However, most of us, regular folks, aren’t capable of writing code, so we need a better solution.

How to verify an email address without sending an email?

You can validate email addresses without sending an actual email by using an email verification tool. Which one, you ask? Well, although you can find plenty of email checkers and paid services online, we do practice what we preach and would use only Oxyleads Email Verifier.

With Email Verifier, you can determine whether an email address is real or not before you actually send it. Moreover, thanks to Email Verifier’s multi-layer email verification, you’ll always know exactly how accurate an email address is. The accuracy will be indicated this way:

Before we go further, a quick reminder of what email bounces are.

Soft vs. hard bounces

Depending on how serious the problem is, your emails can get either a hard or soft bounce.

Soft bounces are easy. Usually, your message is only temporarily stopped and will reach the recipient’s inbox with a slight delay. The most common reasons for a soft bounce are that the receiving mailbox is full, the receiving server is temporarily unavailable, or the recipient has activated an auto-reply. Soft bounces make up to 10% of all cases.

Hard bounces make up to 80% of all cases and they typically occur when the recipient’s email address is invalid. If you keep sending messages to email addresses that generate hard bounces, it will have a negative impact on the deliverability of all your emails. The solution is to use email verification tools and actively work on keeping your bounce rate low.

How do email validation services work?

Email verification tools usually make an actual SMTP connection to the remote host/domain you’re about to send an email to and check if the email address is rejected or not. If it’s not rejected, it means that the server will be able to receive the email. However, this doesn’t mean that the email address in question actually exists and will reach its recipient. There is a chance that the email will be routed to a catch-all email or trash folder depending on the setup of the remote SMTP server.

Of course, this is only the most basic form of email verification. The best email verification tools, including such as Oxyleads Email Verifier, use a much more complex validation system where they implement intricate algorithms and even use artificial intelligence.

How to check if an email address is real with Email Verifier?

  1. If you want to verify an email address, just go to the top of the Prospector and click on Email Verifier logo:

2. You’ll see an empty search field where you need to type in the email address you want to check and simply click verify:

Verify an email

3. You’ll see your results in about a minute.

How to verify email addresses in bulk?

  1. Go to Email Verifier and upload a properly formatted CSV file with up to 1000 contacts.
Verify emails in bulk

2. You can upload CSV files with your own data, but the files should be formatted in a certain way. It should look like this:

Oxyleads Email Verifier CSV Upload

So, to sum up, email hygiene is one of the most effective email marketing practices. If it’s something you’d like to start doing right away, then you’ll find email verification tools extremely useful. By using them, you can verify your contact lists and keep your bounce rate low. This will help you keep your sender reputation intact and reduce the costs of email campaigns.

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