As an email marketer, you know great campaign performance is only guaranteed if real people are receiving your messages. That’s why it’s important to clean your email lists on a regular basis, especially if you aren’t building them yourself.
Marketers should definitely use email verification services as part of their list hygiene practices, as they certainly improve email deliverability and reduce hard bounces. However, they do have a few limitations.
Many verification services determine an email’s legitimacy based solely on static data taken from the address, like syntax or domain connectivity. However, the actual user behind the email may be fluid, even though the data remains the same. In other words, an email address may seem “valid”, but that doesn’t mean your email messages will reach a genuine person.
For an added layer of protection, consider also using an ad fraud solution that verifies the user opening the email, not the address.
Sure, using an ad fraud solution for email verification sounds a bit strange. But like any other marketing method, email marketing campaigns are plagued by fraud, whether it’s perpetrated by bots or bad human users. A flexible ad fraud solution designed to flag bad behavior in real-time gives you more power to verify your list at any stage, no matter how you’re building it.
Let’s say you collect email subscribers with a sign-up form on your website. You can embed a trackable code provided by a fraud solution into the web element. The code records basic visitor information, such as IP address, geographic location, and browser type. Many solutions take that data and analyze it in real-time to determine if the user is valid or not (i.e. a bot), based on any suspicious activity or red flags triggered during the data analysis.
If the user doesn’t pass the test, you can put checks in place to prevent them from submitting the form, in turn blocking a bad email from entering your database. Likewise, if the user is genuine, then they can submit their information as needed.
Tracking Email Recipients
Now pretend you already have a mailing list. Here, you’ll verify emails by examining who actually interacts with your messages. Several fraud solutions offer multiple ways to do this, the most popular method being a trackable code as mentioned in the previous example.
For instance, if you’re sending an HTML email, some solutions allow you to embed a code within its contents. When someone opens your message, the code records the recipient’s basic data and passes it back to the fraud solution for analysis. Any bad users will be flagged, letting you know that particular address probably shouldn’t stay in your list.
In case you aren’t sending out your own emails, you could also integrate a fraud solution onto any landing pages associated with your campaigns. That way, when users click through links in your emails, the solution’s code can identify them as valid or not once they’re on the page. Based on the findings, you can isolate bad users, determine where they originate, and cut out the source.
Boosting Performance With Anura
Verifying email addresses isn’t enough to maintain top-notch campaign performance. After all, valid email addresses are compromised every day by bad actors who only want to do harm. The best way to ensure you’re reaching real people with genuine intent is to validate the actual user interacting with your message.
Regularly screening your mailing lists with an ad fraud solution like Anura provides better campaign protection than regular email verification services can provide. By taking a data-focused look at the users on your list, you can make more informed decisions about your campaign operations and maintain your reputation as a sender.
This post originally appeared at Ongage.