There are few things more important in the business world than building and maintaining relationships with your customers. More and more, customers – both potential and existing – want to know that their feedback is being heard and that their needs are being met. The only way to do this is to provide them with consistent, up-to-date information.
The importance of customer relationship marketing, as it is commonly known, has only been made more obvious due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. With the normal channels of communication and interaction severed, this crisis has pushed customer relationship marketing to the forefront of most company’s promotional efforts. Moreover, it may be some months or years before the marketing world discovers which techniques were successful and which were not.
One of the biggest issues companies face when attempting to maintain relationships with their clients involves barriers to their communication efforts. In short – the people they want to reach simply aren’t getting the message. This is where email validation comes in. Not only are email validation practices a great way to ensure you aren’t wasting valuable marketing efforts, but it is essential to ensuring that you’re properly connecting with your target audience.
Email Validation: An Overview
For the most part, email validation is pretty simple. It is basically a process by which you can confirm that an e-mail address you have is real, valid, and able to accept the messages you send. As e-mail marketing maintains its importance as a large piece of the promotional pie, even dropshipping businesses are finding it more and more important to ensure the email addresses they receive (and sometimes pay for) are legitimate.
For instance, if someone submits an email address and it ends up on your master mailing list, you’d want to employ an email validation tool to make sure that the address information is registered with an existing email server or other platforms. By this, we mean companies like Yahoo!, Gmail, Outlook, or an address from a company email server, like @exponea.com. Validation cannot only identify e-mail addresses that are outright fraudulent but also catch typos and other user errors.
The Two Main Types of Email Validation
By now, it should be quite clear how ensuring your business’s messages are actually reaching your clients can be a huge benefit to your communication efforts. However, there is still a bit more to learn about when it comes to email validation, including some basic email marketing terms. For instance, there are two primary types of email validation: real-time and bulk list. In the following section, we’ll provide details on each one.
Real-Time Email Validation
This type of validation is used at the same time that a current or potential customer enters their e-mail address into a field for submission. If you’ve ever created an online account for a service or signed up for an email list, chances are you’ve come across this type of validation.
In most cases, real-time validation tools can immediately confirm whether an email address is accurate and registered with a legitimate server. If it cannot be verified for any reason, it will provide the user with an error message saying that their e-mail address is not satisfactory. This gives the user a chance to correct any errors or typos, or to use a different email address if they choose.
Many real-time validation tools also contain a secondary step to protect against mistakes. This comes in the form of two email fields. When the user is prompted to enter their information, they are asked to do so twice. Before doing any online validation or deep-digging, the tool can use a simple identification algorithm to see if the two email addresses match. This can drastically reduce mistakes, typos, and other user errors.
By choosing to validate email addresses at the time they are entered, you can help ensure that your relationship with your new customer gets off on the right foot. You also provide a barrier between you and any potential fraudsters who might have an incentive to sign up with falsified contact information.
Bulk List Email Verification
Where real-time validation is most useful when new users and potential customers are signing up for your service, email lists, etc., bulk e-mail verification is about curating and maintaining your existing list of contacts. Many business owners refer to this step as “refreshing” their contact list and recommend that it be done at regular intervals to ensure you have an accurate idea of the size of your customer base.
Bulk verification tools are designed to scan long lists of e-mail addresses and attempt to verify that they are still valid and in use. This makes it possible for business owners to remove any email addresses that might have been closed by the users or contain errors, typos, or other mistakes. In some cases, large numbers of email addresses can end up being tied to servers or domains that have long since been closed.
Performing bulk list verification on a regular basis is a great way to compliment your email collection efforts on the back end. The more checks and balances you have in place, the more you can rest assured that you’re only devoting your marketing efforts toward contacting relevant email recipients.
The Benefits of Email Validation
Of course, the most important reason to consider email validation is how it can impact deliverability. While it may seem simple compared to more sophisticated deliverability mechanisms, it is actually a very important part of a customer relationship team’s toolkit.
When you have an updated and well-curated list of individuals and organizations who are actually interested in your product or services, you are in a much better position to create strong, long-term relationships. Moreover, you will have a more realistic idea of how many (and what type) of users are following you, allowing you to hone in on your target audience.
Remember, it is always better to have a smaller list of people who are genuinely interested in building a relationship with your business than a giant list that’s chock full of spam e-mail addresses. Your goal with customer relationship marketing should always be to forge real relationships with real people – removing those addresses that don’t aid in that goal helps you focus your efforts.
It should also be noted that properly curating your email list can drastically contribute to your company’s reputation. You see, if you continue to send daily, weekly, or monthly emails to accidental, nonexistent, or disinterested recipients, you run a much higher risk of servers or individuals flagging your messages as spam. This can end up significantly impacting your email bounce rate while also casting a negative light on your business.
In the end, if you want the sort of engagement that you can leverage to grow your business, you want to be contacting users who will click on your links, reply to your messages, and follow through when you introduce new products or services. Only verified and invested users are likely to do this, which will help your overall credibility and assist you in getting new leads.
Email Validation: In Conclusion
As you can see, email validation is a quick and simple way to ensure that the email addresses your company communicates with are legitimate. Moreover, it helps you determine whether or not the people at the other end of those addresses are actually engaged and interested in the messages you’re sending them.
Though you have the option to validate each address when it is submitted or to use bulk verification to curate an existing list, a combination of the two techniques is the best way to ensure that you and your team are maximizing your efforts.
In the end, if you want to cultivate meaningful relationships with your audience, you need to ensure that you’re not making common email marketing mistakes. These mistakes include wasting your time and energy, reaching out to people who aren’t a member of that audience. Perhaps more importantly, curating your list will help you avoid being seen as a spammer, which can seriously hurt your business’s reputation.
By focusing only on those users who want to actively engage with you, your company’s customer relationship team will be able to keep all communication positive and beneficial for real growth.