Oct 7 Posted 3 years ago
Great overview of the deliverability problem, Doug, but verifying an email list is just a small component of an overal email hygiene solution. Of course, the first steps to ensuring a clean list are to require opt-in registrations and to carefully vet any co-registration or other third party registration partners as many of these companies are more interested in stuffing your files with questionable registrations so as to make the most money for themselves.
As you've detailed, however, doing the above is not sufficient to guarantee deliverability. Fraudulent entries, inadvertent hygiene errors, and older lists will often result in blocking and blacklisting issues that can bring down one's entire email program.
This is why the leading marketers utilize email hygiene, correction, and validation services to block problematic addresses, correct syntax/formatting/misspelling/top level domain errors, and validate the deliverability of each email address before letting these email addresses get into their marketing databases. In addition, cleaning and updating these marketing lists on a regular basis (quarterly or bi-annually) helps to further ensure against problems that can arise when good email addresses become inactive and get turned into spamtraps.
Most of the providers listed above simply perform an SMTP check (i.e. a "ping") to determine the validity of an email address. While this process is a useful data point, it's not a perfect process and it's critical for marketers to also block toxic-but-deliverable addresses as well correct hygiene errors if they want to avoid the wrath of the spam filtering organizations, ISPs, and ESPs.
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