Validate Emails In Your List To Increase Delivery Rates

Tired of poor email delivery rates? Here's a tried and tested solution to maximize email deliverability efficiency by extracting valid emails from your list.

check valid emails to keep your messages out of spam folders

When Simple Goes Bad

The email system has been around for more than 30 years. It is fundamentally very simple. Compose (write) a message, hit the send button and hey-presto it gets delivered right? Well, a simple delivery is what should happen but things are not so simple in the modern world of email delivery. These days, emails can sometimes go missing - either not delivered, rejected or simply appearing to just vanish in the virtual digital world.

Have you ever found yourself asking someone:

Did you get my email..... ?

possibly millions of email users around the world every day

The email system is incredibly simple. Indeed it's so simple that the technical description of the Internet's email system is SMTP. Notice the predominance of the word "simple"?

But wait, if email is so simple then why is it so difficult to get an email delivered these days?

Why Emails Don't Arrive

Let's talk about sending emails to valid email addresses addresses that you know 100% are valid, such as your own email address or that of a close family member.

Sometimes, emails mysteriously go "missing" and don't arrive. So where did these emails go? There are many possible explanations. Here are just a few:

Table 1 - Possible Reasons Why Emails Are Not Delivered
(High / Medium / Low)
(It takes ages for email to be delivered)
High Always caused by email systems turned up to "paranoid" setting by well intentioned mail administrators trying to use "clever" spam protection techniques such as grey listing / tarpitting etc. (Ed: Hey, mail server admin - chill and drink a chamomile tea).
Delivered to spam folder
(Recipient not read your message)
High Spam software turned up too high or possibly your email looks like spam?
Rejected by ISP
(you get a NDR)
Medium The ISP of the person you're sending to rejected your message for "policy" reasons. Maybe the ISPs (sending and receiving) don't like each other . Seriously though, perhaps your ISP just has a bad reputation for sending spam and your emails just got dropped simply because you have some bad digital neighbours.
Just plain goes missing
(no info, just a mystery)
Low Sometimes, email systems just drop and delete email messages. Rare, and against the SMTP RFC (i.e. the rules), but it happens.

So it appears that, SMTP and email delivery is not so "simple" after all! It seems that many third parties (e.g. ISPs) can mess up the delivery process with over zealous anti-spam measures. However well intentioned the motives, it is the case that ISPs are responsible for much of the worlds missing emails. It's a fact that this is not likely to change any-time soon. If anything, delivery is likely to become even harder in the future as spam and anti-spam systems go head-to-head in an eternal battle of email good (wanted email) versus evil (unsolicited email or spam). As spam and anti-spam systems get ever more sophisticated, getting wanted emails delivered will perhaps get progressively more difficult over time.

How to Increase the Chances of Successful Email Delivery

Let's discuss getting email delivered if you are a business. Email is an essential tool for businesses. Reaching out to customers, suppliers, employees are just a few of the ways that businesses can use email effectively. For many, email is the lifeblood of their business.

As a business, you may have a need from time-to-time to send emails in large quantities. For example, perhaps getting in touch with your existing customers to promote a new product launch.

Getting an email delivered is in reality not easy (see above). How can you maximize your chances of getting emails delivered? There has to be an easy way right?

The good news is that, yes there is a very simple way of increasing email delivery chances if you understand a little of how email many systems anti-spam systems work. It's outside of the scope of this article to go into every fine detail of anti-spam. However, there is one key ingredient that can be used to your advantage and it's in knowing that many anti-spam systems use something known as "reputation scoring" to decide if a message gets delivered or not.

Reputation Scoring Explained

In the digital, email world reputations are won and lost based on behaviour and activity when looking at email sending.

Centralised systems track most of the worlds emails and build up a picture of what's "good" and "bad" according to a predefined set of rules (called heuristics). Certain email send activity will trigger "bad" signals thus reducing the reputation score of emails being sent.

Maintaining a Good Reputation Score Easily

One of the key reputation scoring flags used is that of bounced emails. Reducing bounced emails is one way of maintaining a good reputation score.

To reduce bounced emails, simply remove invalid email addresses from the email list.

On-line Tool To Check Valid Emails

To create a list of valid email addresses to use in your mailing campaign, run your list through a filter to check for valid email.

Improved Delivery Rates With a Cleaned Email List

Use the cleaned list of email addresses from the previous step to create your businesses email campaign. Having eliminated the majority of invalid emails, the number of bounced emails will be reduced. This in turn reduces the "bad" signals affecting the reputation score of your email campaign. By actively maintaining good reputation score by using email list cleansing, your businesses email campaigns will enjoy higher delivery efficiency. Better delivery efficiency means better open rates and higher conversion.

Next Steps

Check for valid emails in your list with our industry leading email address checking service.

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Rowland O'Connor
Author Profile:
Rowland has previously had careers as an electical engineer, project manager, IT consultant, affiliate marketer, software and infrastructure architect and SCUBA diving instructor. Currenty roles are: dad, husband. Works as CEO at Email Hippo Ltd.