Does your business use email to keep in touch with your customers?
If the answer is yes, you have probably already experienced the problems that arise from customers who do not have valid or current email boxes. Does the following sound familiar?
- Bounced emails or Non Delivery Receipts (NDR's)
- Having to manually update your customer newsletter list with every NDR from every newsletter or campaign
Desktop email validation
You might have considered using one of the many desktop products available for bulk email validation.
Perhaps you are thinking of purchasing one of these desktop products. If so, stop!
We have found these products simply can not provide accurate results.
The big problem with desktop software
Why are there issues? It's not any problem to do with the software itself but rather where it is being run from.
Checking email addresses for validation requires a 2 way "conversation" between the mail box that you are checking and the software you are using to do the checking.
The problem comes when the server hosting the email box that you are checking. Due to the problems of spam, many email boxes use various methods to check for spam-like SMTP "conversations".
Your desktop email validation software will simply NOT work if:
- You are running it on a desktop with a dynamic IP assigned by your internet provider
- You do not have a reverse DNS entry for your IP
- You do not have valid DNS / SPF records for the IP running your desktop validation software.
We have found that the following large email providers do not support email validation from desktop software:
- Microsoft Live
There are many others that we could cite but just these results alone should raise questions as to whether desktop email validation software is worth the money.
Server to server checking
We believe that the only way of validating email addresses with acceptable accuracy is using a server (service) based solution. Servers can be configured to talk to remote email boxes correctly. With desktop software, this configuration is simply not possible.
Worth the money?
Are desktop email address software products worth the money? Perhaps some are, but it's important to know what to expect when you buy a license. If you are expecting 100% accuracy, this can never be achieved with email address validation software. However, if you are looking for the best possible accuracy, you need to be aware that desktop software simply can not deliver good results. This might be OK for you if you simply want to reduce the amount of management of returned emails from your campaigns. If, however, you need the best possible validation results, server based software is the only way to go.