The Impact of Email Validation on Sender Reputation

Ensuring emails are delivered to valid addresses is vital in any email marketing campaign. Whether you have built up an organic email list through years of marketing or invested in a cold marketing email list, email validation is essential.

Email validation helps you ensure that the emails you address in your email marketing are genuine, active, and less likely to bounce. This impacts email deliverability, which can result in reduced domain reputations. Lower domain reputations will hurt your business in the long term, sending more emails into the spam folder.

Email validation matters because it helps to ensure that the email addresses you contact are accurate and deliverable. The more precise and deliverable your targeted email addresses are, the less likely your sender’s reputation will be harmed.

Your sender reputation is a vital part of your email marketing; without a high sender reputation, you risk your emails automatically being rejected or sent to spam folders. In worst-case scenarios, a low sender reputation could see your account(s) shut down by your email service provider (ESP).

Why Does Email Validation Matter? What Are The Benefits Of Email Validation?

Taking the time to verify emails in your email list – whether a ‘warm’ list generated in-house or a ‘cold’ list bought from reputable sources like ZeroBounce, Neverbounce, and Apollo – is worth the investment of time.

Not only can this prevent you from appearing on email blacklists, but it can minimize email deliverability issues. Thus, you maintain a better reputation in the long term. Future emails are more likely to be positively received by the right reader.

Some of the main benefits of validating emails within your email campaign list include:

1. Improve Audience Engagement

One of the most telling benefits of email validation is that it can improve engagement. By helping you better analyze the engagement level of recipients, you can make your email marketing more effective. You can even start segmenting users based on their engagement with your campaigns, offering them more specific, bespoke messages to improve engagement and buy-in.

A higher level of email engagement will improve your IP reputation. Having a high-reputation IP address reduces the risk of emails being bounced and will help reduce spam complaint rates. Greater engagement comes from not being seen as spammy, which will improve email performance considerably.

2. Protect Against Fraud

By validating emails, you can remove those likely to be used in phishing campaigns and other forms of email fraud. This can prevent your business from interacting with potentially dangerous email addresses, reducing the risk of security attacks, identity fraud, and staff being caught interacting with criminals.

3. Reach The Right Audience

Email validation also ensures that you contact people likely to be interested in your offer. It must be validated if you have invested in a cold marketing email list from one of the above providers. Validation helps eliminate invalid email addresses and can make it easier to ensure that the audience you are cold marketing toward will be interested in your offer. This ensures that your email messages are received by people who want them.

This reduces the risk of those emails unsubscribing because what you have to offer fits their interests. For cold email marketers, validating a bought email list will help improve your chances of reaching people interested in what you offer. Whether you are sending a transactional email or a discount offer to an interested party, validating emails helps ensure that your emails land in the right inboxes more regularly.

4. Reduce Bounce Rates

High bounce rates are never a good thing. A surefire way to hurt your sender’s reputation and potentially lose access to your email account is through high bounce rates. Removing invalid emails can reduce bounce rates by a considerable margin. Reducing bounce rates is vital for your email sender’s reputation and for ensuring your IP address is viewed as reputable. 

High bounce rates caused by sending emails to invalid emails greatly damage your sender’s reputation. Email validation tools are essential if you want to reduce bounce rates. Validating emails helps you to remove invalid and incorrect emails, reducing emails that would automatically bounce and thus create a needlessly high bounce rate.

5. Strengthen List Accuracy

A significant part of your sender reputation is your email list’s accuracy. If your email marketing list is filled with invalid emails, many of your messages will be rejected from day one. Validating your email list makes it easier to remove outdated, invalid addresses that provide you with no benefit from being on your list.

This makes your email list more likely to see high levels of deliverability. This will improve your sender reputation as more emails are delivered and, hopefully, read. A more accurate list will likely deliver high deliverability scores, making engaging your audience easier and maintaining that positive sender reputation.

6. Minimize Spam Complaints

Another important benefit of email validation services is the ability to reduce complaints. Complaints greatly hurt your sender’s reputation, so you want to make minimal complaints. You could quickly have a negative reputation if you send emails to invalid email addresses or recipients who never asked for your emails (common with unvalidated cold email lists).

Validation eliminates emails that might be more likely to see your message as spam. Thus, you reduce the risk of increased spam complaints, ensuring your emails have a higher chance of being received by those who are a valid target for your email marketing campaign(s). The fewer SPAM reports about your email account(s), the better.

7. Improve Campaign Accuracy

You want your email marketing campaign to be as effective as possible throughout its lifespan. By validating the email list you will be marketing to, you ensure that campaigns are more accurate. You also target more relevant readers, ensuring your campaigns provide greater value.

More accurate campaigns mean reduced unsubscribe rates, email content that applies to the recipient, and the removal of potential reputation issues.

Sending bulk marketing emails is costly. You want to avoid sending emails to invalid accounts because this costs you the same. By validating the list, you ensure campaigns provide a better long-term return on investment by ensuring that most messages are valid and suitable.

8. Maximize Marketing Time

Having to look through every bounced email manually is damaging in two ways. First, it is time-consuming, as you need to go through the email list manually. Second, it is damaging because your manual validation comes after those bounce rates have already hurt your sender’s reputation. By validating before beginning your marketing campaign, you become more efficient.

9. Avoid Spam Traps

When your email list has not been validated, you risk falling foul of spam traps. These are email accounts set up specifically to impact your sender score negatively. As such, validating emails helps to remove spam trap email addresses, avoiding the need for your bounce rate and email deliverability rate to be needlessly impacted.

This also can stop your email marketing campaign from falling afoul of spam filters.

10. Regulatory Compliance

Another key benefit of email validation is that you can ensure you meet standards like the European Union’s GDPR. Validation helps ensure that the emails you target will likely fall within GDPR. This can stop you from violating compliance regulations, especially when cold marketing.

Why Protecting Your Sender Reputation Is A Priority

If your emails are being sent from an email account with a lower sender reputation, you start from a negative place. Mailbox providers are less likely to allow low-reputation email accounts to have their emails delivered to someone’s inbox. At best, you might land in their spam folder. As noted by ZeroBounce, 75% of users in their survey checked their email, but over one-third of that number check their spam folder a few times per year.

Landing in someone’s spam folder is a pretty easy way to ensure you do not get noticed. The same survey found that 54% of those asked would report a message as spam if no permission were given, and 49% would submit a spam complaint if the email provided no method to unsubscribe. Therefore, it is a priority to ensure that your emails are both wanted by the recipient and appear in their box.

With a low sender reputation, you risk developing a toxic mixture of low email delivery rates and a low IP reputation score. This will result in your email marketing being automatically relegated to the spam folder. This reduces the visibility of your emails and increases the chance of being reported for spam. This creates a vicious cycle where your reputation is continually harmed.

Why Is My Sender Reputation So Low?

This is, in the main, caused by a lack of validation in your email marketing. Validating your email list is more likely to help your account maintain good standing, ensuring email providers see you as trustworthy.

By contrast, failing to validate emails means sending out many emails, creating a poor sender reputation. A low email reputation will create high bounce rates, and your emails will likely appear on email program platforms’ spam filters.

Validating your email list should be a priority if you want to reach as many people as possible. Especially if your email marketing revolves around cold email sending, validation helps ensure that your emails are more likely to be positively received.

People who receive emails they did not subscribe to are naturally suspicious of why they are being targeted. Validation can make it easier to find people who want to be targeted by companies offering what you provide. That improves open rates and engagement reduces spam complaints and keeps bounce rates in check by ensuring only valid emails are targeted in the majority.

However, when we think of email validation, we think of the most basic verification form: ensuring that the emails are real. So long as the email exists and does not contain typos in the email address, many will keep every email address that they can validate.

Catch-All Emails: Why Validation Is Vital For Your Sender Reputation

If you have invested in an email marketing list for cold marketing, even the most organized list will likely contain catch-all emails. In a marketing list like this, you receive three kinds of emails: valid emails, invalid emails, and catch-all emails.

Catch-all emails are accounts businesses use to catch any emails sent to a company. For example, a catch-all email could be something like ‘info@company’ – it is set up to capture any emails sent to that domain that do not land in a valid inbox.

Catch-all emails are useful for companies because they prevent emails from slipping through the net. For example, a company might promote the email address of their customer support expert, Alan, as ‘alan@company’—but what if someone contacting Alan spells his name as Allan by accident?

Without a catch-all email, that email would bounce and never be seen. That individual would never receive the support they desire, thus hurting their experience with that company. With a catch-all email, companies ensure that ALL messages are caught.

However, while catch-all emails are useful, many companies do not check these email accounts regularly.

If your email list contains catch-all emails, you could impact your sender’s reputation by interacting with them.

Should You Throw Away Catch-All Email Addresses In An Email List?

For many who find catch-all emails in their list, the initial decision is to delete them and remove them from the list.

These email lists that you purchase typically include a large number of catch-all emails. Without validation, you can expect an average bounce rate of around 9% with an unvalidated catch-all email address list. However, as many as 23%, on average, of those emails could lead to a hard bounce, which could be catastrophic for your sender’s reputation.

As you can imagine, many people think of eliminating all catch-all email addresses. Why take the risk? If sending could damage your sender’s reputation, why not stick to valid email addresses instead of risky catch-all ones?

The main reason is that catch-all email addresses are still useful marketing tools. Using tools that allow you to validate catch-all email addresses that others are not using, you can make your email marketing more effective, complete, and likely to connect you with potential partners and clients.

90% of users who invest in cold marketing lists do not validate their catch-all emails. This leads to two choices, both of which can be damaging to your sender’s reputation:

  1. Sending the emails regardless, leading to hard bounce rates from just under a quarter of all catch-all emails on your list (on average)
  2. Removing the catch-all emails entirely, meaning that many potentially useful emails have been scrubbed and not contacted, reducing the potential impact of your marketing campaign

Validating Catch-All Email Addresses: Is This Possible?

Yes, with third-party tools like Scrubby. Scrubby is a unique tool that provides easy access to catch-all email validation. By being able to validate those emails using Scrubby, you reduce the need to get rid of all of your catch-all emails. Instead, you will receive an improved list of catch-all emails validated to be safe to contact. You can include them in your submissions without worrying about high bounce rates.

You also are more likely to see engagement with your target audience when validating catch-all email addresses. This lets you know that these emails can be included because they lack the potential hard bounce risk that unvalidated catch-all emails come with. This gives your email marketing a leg-up over those who throw away emails or include all catch-all emails with the risk of bouncing.

What Does Scrubby Do To Validate Catch-All Emails?

Scrubby is hugely useful for those who want to use catch-all emails in their cold marketing campaigns. Failure to validate your emails could hugely impact your sender’s reputation due to the likelihood of high bounce rates. Having the catch-all emails validated first allows you to include them in your cold marketing without worrying about the consequences of a high, hard bounce rate per email.

Once emails have been validated with Scrubby, you can feel more confident that your target audience will receive them. This gives you all of the benefits of email validation listed above without risking using catch-all emails that are invalid or risky.

The majority of email marketing campaigns are managed incorrectly. They either purge all catch-all emails, leaving valuable contacts out of the loop, or they contact invalid, high-bounce-rate catch-all emails. You hurt your sender’s reputation by contacting invalid email addresses or miss out on potential partnerships by never contacting the company via their validated catch-all email address.

Benefit From The Full Email Validation Ecosystem

Catch-all emails will be included when you invest in a cold email marketing list. These have not been validated. They must be validated to be as effective as possible in your campaign. Failure to validate will lead to high bounce rates, negative sender reputation impact, and the potential for your email accounts to be suspended.

Catch-all emails can produce some of the highest and most damaging bounce rates. That is why validation via Scrubby is essential. This leaves you with a list of active and engageable catch-all email addresses. Valid catch-all email addresses verified through Scrubby can produce an engagement rate boost of around 67%. Why? Because they are often targeted on a much less regular basis due to email marketers not wishing to risk contacting risky, unvalidated catch-all email addresses.

With Scrubby, users can ensure that their catch-all email lists are scrubbed and verified. Thanks to a 98% accuracy rating, you can feel confident that your catch-all email marketing will be more beneficial and accurate than ever before.

With tools like ZeroBounce and Apollo, marketers can build a highly competent and credible email marketing list. This list can then bring in more engagement, maintain a higher sender reputation, and ensure that email marketing continues to deliver the best ROI.

Conclusion: Can Scrubby Save Your Catch-All Email List?

They are throwing away catch-all email addresses that used to be the ‘better safe than sorry’ approach due to the risks of consistently hard bounce rates. With Scrubby, though, these emails can be verified to ensure they are risk-free, likely to engage, and less likely to report you for spam due to being less inundated with targeted emails.

This allows you to get the full benefits of email validation without getting rid of those valuable and vital catch-all emails. Therefore, using Scrubby with email list providers like Neverbounce is an excellent solution. This reduces hard bounce rates, maintains your sender reputation, makes your email marketing list more effective, and can give you an edge over companies using catch-all emails, which might not receive as much marketing material as other email addresses.

Catch-all email addresses were deemed too high-risk for your sender’s reputation to consider marketing to. With Scrubby, you can ensure that your list contains only catch-all email addresses that you can safely market to. This means you can fully benefit from all of the aspects of email validation without having to leave a significant portion of the bought emails you received on the cutting room floor.

Avoid being one of the 90% of email marketers who throw away catch-all emails or contact risky or invalid catch-all emails. Use Scrubby, clean up your list, and ensure that your sender’s reputation—and marketing accuracy—benefit in kind.

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Kristel Kongas

Kristel Kongas is a lead generation and fintech growth strategist, serving as the Chief Marketing Officer for Vendisys, Scrubby, Golden Leads, Inboxy, and other Vendisys entities. She is also the Founder and CEO of The New Cup Agency, a boutique marketing firm, and an active member of the Estonian Business Angels. Alongside her professional roles, Kristel is a dedicated life and fitness coach, blending her business acumen with a commitment to personal well-being.