List Validation 101 with Lauren Meyer

Deliverability Podcasts

In episode 10 of the Deliverability Defined podcast, Melissa and I are joined by deliverability expert Lauren Meyer to discuss list validation and deliverability best practices:

Meet Lauren Meyer

Lauren is an email deliverability expert with 14 years of experience in email marketing. Her wealth of experience has led her to her current role at Kickbox, where she is the VP of Industry Relations and Compliance.

Kickbox has been traditionally known as a reputable list verification company. However, they’ve recently launched a whole suite of deliverability tools designed to help their customers become better email senders and have a better understanding of deliverability.

What is list validation?

Email validation is a way to identify invalid and non-deliverable email addresses and verify legitimate addresses, giving marketers the ability to improve their delivery and engagement. Kickbox is an email verification company, helping legitimate email senders protect their reputation and increase open rates by separating the low-quality email addresses from high-value contacts.

Part of that process involves identifying invalid addresses in real-time- at the point of capture. It’s fairly common for subscribers to make a typo every now and then when signing up to a form. Normally that kind of mistake leads to a hard bounce or potentially the address could be a typo spam trap. Both of those have a negative impact on deliverability.

The other part of list validation is geared toward marketers who have an existing list. It can be helpful in scenarios such as re-engagement campaigns, or if your company has recently gone through a merger or acquisition and you have no idea how their email list was built or managed.

How list validation can help with deliverability

  1. If it's been a while since you've emailed your list, validating the subscribers can help ensure you don't email addresses that have become invalid.
  2. List validation can help filter out typo'd addresses, which can highlight an issue with your list collection method. If typos are coming through an online form, you can implement real-time validation.
  3. List validation can improve your bounce rates by proactively removing undeliverable or risky addresses (this will be a good time to explain what makes an address risky).
  4. List validation can highlight issues with list collection and help you make changes to improve your deliverability.

Email verification has a rightful place within every marketer’s deliverability tech stack because it can help improve data quality, troubleshoot issues with list collection, and ensure addresses are valid in real-time–helping marketers avoid missed connections with potential new customers.

Things list validation can't do for your deliverability

  1. List validation can't make up for a lack of permission. Just because a list has been validated, doesn't mean the subscribers want to receive your emails. Permission should always come first.
  2. List validation can't make up for a lack of engaging content. A permission-based, validated list can still see poor results if the content of the emails aren't relevant and providing value to subscribers.
  3. List validation can't clean your list of spam traps. Validating your list might coincidentally remove some traps from your list, like typo traps, but by design, spam traps are kept confidential and are meant to look like a regular email address. List validation services won't be able to isolate and remove all spam traps.

Summary

List validation can be a helpful tool in your deliverability tool belt! However, validating your list doesn’t guarantee inbox placement. Be sure you use list validation alongside the other important best practices for successful deliverability.

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Alyssa Dulin

Alyssa is a Deliverability Lead located in Nashville, TN. She loves helping senders reach the inbox of their subscribers. Outside of work, Alyssa enjoys traveling, indoor cycling, and spending time with family.

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