Email validators are tools used to clean email lists. However, subjecting lists to these tools doesn't guarantee 100% immunity against Hard Bounces.
Validate email format
What they can do:
- Check if the email address contains invalid characters. For example: rodolf*()@gmail.com. * and () are invalid characters. Therefore, the email doesn't exist;
- Check if the displayed domain is valid or not. For example: email@example.com. An email validator can check if the domain @nonexistent exists by searching on the DNS server for specific records that correspond to it on the Internet (the latter is not done by all validator options).
What they cannot do:
These tools fail to validate, for example, if an email such as firstname.lastname@example.org exists or not, because when checking the email, it has no invalid characters and the domain @rdstation.com does exist. Even if that email never existed on our server, it would pass as a valid email.
Validate emails using other tools
Some more robust validator options have partnerships with other tools to access email data. This way, they can check if an email is invalid based on whether it has already been classified as invalid by another tool.
Validate if a name exists on a server
Some tools, when validating the domain, ask the recipient server if the name before the @ symbol exists on that domain. However, this return data is not always reliable, because almost all private and/or business domains respond to that query with yes, no matter what the name is.
This is a security protocol designed to protect the names and contacts of employees and is a common practice in almost all companies. However, some servers, such as @terra, @gmail, @yahoo or @hotmail don't follow this practice and can in fact answer the query with a reliable yes or no. In the case of a negative response, the tool removes the email automatically.
How to discover a Hard Bounce?
A validator can only identify a Hard Bounce (email address that doesn't exist) if you send an email to it.
Whenever you launch a campaign, RD Station Marketing selects a random sample from the list (variable percentage) and first sends the campaign to those contacts to evaluate the result. If this first partial delivery exceeds the reasonable limit of Hard Bounces (3% of your Lead base), your campaign is suspended to preserve your domain's reputation. Find out more here.
Validators don't launch this campaign, because if there are many Leads classified as Hard Bounce, it is a risk for the validator site's domain, which would have its reputation affected and may not be able to send more emails over time.
For these reasons, even after using list validators, it is best to work with recent and reliable Lead bases and to use segmentations; thus facilitating the identification of Hard Bounces without too much impact on the reputation of your domain.