In digital marketing, collecting email addresses is a routine part of the job but teams often underestimate just how important such a simple task can be to the business. Performance is usually measured on how many new quotes, sales or subscribers you get but, in reality, that is only the first step in your relationship with every customer.

So, what if the email address provided isn’t real or there is a typo? How will you speak to that customer again? How will you ensure a relationship and lifetime value? This is where the importance of email verification lies.

Email verification is a bit like a layer of added security for your digital marketing goals. It involves ensuring that as you collect email addresses, checks are in place to ensure they are correct, not fictitious and have the capability to provide you with future value as a business. Email verification allows you to reach out to your customers whenever you need to.

We have probably all seen email verification in practice. Think about when you last purchased a product online from a provider you hadn’t used before. Chances are they sent you an email to verify your account before confirming the order or asked you to type your address twice as a sense check. Other companies might send you important information to your email address, without which you cannot continue business with them. All of these are email verification practices and companies will use the best method for their target customer.

The risks

Beyond customer relationships, the risk of poor email verification lies in deliverability. Every sender has what is known as a Sender Score. This is a little bit like a credit score and measures the health of your email campaign program. It is a score between 0 and 100 that shows how mailbox providers view your IP Address.

If you have emails that continually get marked as spam or rejected by the sender, your score will get worse and you run the risk of being blacklisted and getting through to nobody. Therefore, if you are not verifying email addresses or keeping them clean, it can cause a huge amount of damage to your whole business and not just the relationship of a single customer as many believe.

What can I do?

Lots of companies now use Email Validation Providers to carry out their email verification processes. This is a sophisticated system that integrates with your platforms and uses artificial intelligence to detect what could be troublesome email addresses in real-time. For example, they can predict whether an email address provided will likely result in a hard bounce and either autocorrect it or send it to the marketing team for review.

This goes a step beyond sending a validation email to the address and removes the need for a customer to go to a lot of effort when they are in fact genuine. The last thing you want to do is punish genuine customers when suspect emails are only a minority.

To summarize, effective email verification allows you to maintain a good customer experience, improve efficiencies in your marketing processes and ultimately increase revenue. You should still have a data governance strategy in place for regular hygiene checks but email verification is a fundamental part of any digital marketing system.

Looking for email validation providers? Try StrategicDB, a data cleansing company.