Email Verification

Updated 6 months ago ​by Kalo Yankulov

As of February 2017, all emails returned in HeadReach get verified against a complex server verification process. What this means is that we're able to let you know if an email is valid or not and we never charge you for invalid emails.

Why Verifying Emails?

Email verification via an email server is the most certain way to know that an email won't bounce. Other email finding tools give you confidence score based on whether an email is found on the web (a crawled email) or a common pattern-match, but this information is rarely sufficient to make a conclusion if you should use the email address or not. That's why you still have to use a separate email verification software to be sure that the email won't bounce. 

At HeadReach we've integrated the email verification process in our email finding technology so that all emails get verified on the go. You don't have to take any extra steps or use a separate verification software. Removing invalid and unusable emails from your list adds tons of benefits to your outreach campaigns and thereby increase bottom-line in the long run.

For every email address, we return a thorough report about the validation process.

How Does Server Email Verification Work?

Email verification via the server or SMTP email verification works in a simple way. It's basically the matter of checking whether an email address exists or not without emailing the person. 

We simulate email sending SMTP commands to ping the email server without actually sending a message. These commands would tell if the email inbox exists or not. 

Some email servers accept anything you give them. Email inboxes using these servers are called accept-all or catch-all emails. We mark these emails are Risky because while the email server exists, it's impossible to validate if an email address is 100% valid or not without actually sending a real email message. The validation for accept-all emails happens just after you send the real message.

For example, the email server would accept both emails to kalo@headreach.com and fake-email@headreach.com, but only kalo@headreach.com is a real email.

Understanding the Different Types of Emails in HeadReach

In the table below we've examined the 3 different types of emails in HeadReach.

Type

 

Valid email

 

Risky

Invalid

Average deliverability
(Emails that won't bounce )
97%70%5-10%
Cost
1 credit1 creditFree
Valid formatYesYesYes
Generic (role) emailNoNoNo
Free emailNoNoNo
Disposable emailNoNoNo
Mail server accepted the emailYesYesNo
MX records exist on the domainYesYesYes
Catch-all (accept all)NoYesNo


Valid emails

Valid emails are the best email addresses you can send messages to. They have less than 3% bounce rate, which means that your outreachs efforts will be successful as long as the person opens their email.

Risky emails

We mark Catch-all emails as Risky. They have a smaller chance of being delivered than Valid emails. We recommend that you make a calculated risk when sending to Risky emails by sending messages in smaller batches of email addresses (less than 100 at a time). 

When executing cold email campaigns to recipients with Risky emails, you might also want to use a different domain name for your sender's email. For example, if your official domain is headreach.com you may create an email address at getheadreach.com or headreach.net instead and use that domain name exclusively for cold emailing.

Invalid emails

When the verification is unsuccessful and the mail server doesn't accept the email commands we send, we mark email addresses as invalid. We don't charge you for Invalid emails and we don't recommend sending campaigns to invalid emails. However, there's a small chance that we show up an actual Valid email as Invalid. For this reason, we still return Invalid emails instead of hiding them from you. They will appear in fade gray color.

Understanding the Email Report

With each email, you receive a thorough email verification report consisting of 7 factors against we check the email. In this section we're going to examine which of the paramaters and what does it mean for your email.

Valid format

When requesting the verification of an email address, HeadReach will first and foremost perform a standard email syntax check. In other words, we check if the email address matches the standard email format: email@domain.com. We never return emails with a wrong format (for example, email?_@domain.com).

Generic (role) email

Generic emails are company or role emails like info@headreach.com, support@headreach.com or hi@headreach. We do provide generic emails in the Company tab, but we never charge you for them!

Free

We check if an email address is using a free email provider i.e. gmail.com, yahoo.com, etc. At this moment, we don't return free emails.

Disposable email

Disposable email addresses like Mailinator and Guerilla Mail are temporary emails usually used by people who prefer to keep their email identity hidden. You don't want to send messages to disposable email addresses. Hence we never return them.

Mail server accepted the email

One of the most important factors in the verification process. This line indicates whether our sending commands were accepted successfully or not. Basically, it's the primary indicator if an email is real or not. If the mail server accepted the email, then an email is Valid or at least Risky.

MX records exist on the domain

This line indicates if the domain name used for the email exists or not. If MX records don't exist on the domain name, we'll return the email as Invalid.

Catch-all (accept all)

We use this verification factor to distinguish between Valid emails and Risky emails. Risky emails are Catch-all and vice verse, emails that are not catch-all are Valid For more information on Catch-all emails read "How server email verification works?" above.


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