If your website is hosted on WordPress, you may be using one of a handful of common form plugins to power your contact forms. But are they any good at keeping bad data out of your system and protecting your email marketing campaigns?
In this article, we'll compare the most popular plugins based on their out-of-the-box email verification capability and ability to integrate with other email verification services.
What are the most popular contact form plugins, and how do they work?
Here are some of the most popular contact form plugins within WordPress:
If you’re one of the many WordPress users who powers their forms with the Gravity Forms plugin, you may be aware that every submission on your website is automatically checked using an external service called StopForumSpam.
StopForumSpam is basically a blacklist of known spammers. Every time you receive a form submission, it checks whether the email address, username and IP address of the user match records in its own database of reported spammers.
However, while StopForumSpam provides a valuable service for WordPress users running online communities, it’s important to understand that it isn’t a fully-fledged system and won’t keep your contact database completely free from junk records. Spammers account for only a fraction of all the possible sources of bad email data, and StopForumSpam won’t protect you from fake or temporary emails, misspelt email addresses or emails used by committed fraudsters.
The good news is that Gravity Forms also allows for integration with additional third-party email verification services via API.
This plugin also uses StopForumSpam to verify email addresses. However, WPForms does not offer any integration options with other email verification services.
If you use WPForms to capture the email addresses of sales and marketing leads, we recommend manually running the data through an email list cleaning solution to weed out possible bad emails before running an email marketing campaign or handing them over to your sales team to follow up. Most email verification solutions will allow you to check emails manually by uploading them as a spreadsheet or CSV file.
Formidable Forms verifies email addresses using the DNS method. This means that it checks to see if the domain name of the email address exists and is registered. If the DNS check fails, the user will receive an error message.
While this is effective as a partial check, it’s not a thorough one, and we recommend using a dedicated email verification alongside it to ensure you capture all sources of bad email data.
Jetpack Contact Form
Jetpack Contact Form does not have any verification methods enabled by default but does offer an integration with reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA is a service that helps protect websites from spam and abuse. It uses advanced risk analysis techniques to tell humans and bots apart.
It’s important to note that reCAPTCHA isn’t a replacement for proper email verification - it only tells you whether the user is a bot or a human, not whether they are a human using a fake email address, a fraudster or a user with malicious intent.
Contact Form 7
As with Jetpack Contact Form, Contact Form 7 does not have any verification methods enabled by default but offers a reCAPTCHA integration.
Why choose Email Hippo?
Email Hippo's verification process is simple and straightforward. First, we check the syntax of the email address to make sure it's valid. We then use a variety of techniques to understand the validity of the email address, including a conversation with the email server behind the email address.
Our email verification tool has the highest accuracy rate in the industry, and we offer a free trial so that you can try before you buy.
Sign up for a free trial to get started today!