How to fix an invalid email address: complete guide
When your subscriber lists are full of invalid email addresses, your whole marketing campaign suffers because emails are not being properly delivered (they bounce or land in junk folders), triggering spam filters.
Learning how to deal with it is necessary to protect your deliverability and your sender score.
The lack of cleaning on your lists, as well as not filtering off invalid email addresses, increases the risk of failure in your email marketing campaigns . This happens because you lose credibility in relation to ISPs and spam filters, adding more obstacles between you and recipients.
This makes your messages harder to deliver, even when you send messages to valid addresses. It means a lot of time and effort was wasted, and your campaigns will present weak results.
To help you solve this problem, we prepared a complete guide on how to identify and fix an invalid email address. We hope to share valuable information about message sending, as well as to explain why email validation is important to email senders.
- What is an invalid email address?
- Reasons why an email address is invalid
- Invalid Email Addresses: how to stay away from them
- How to fix an invalid email address
What is an invalid email address?
When an email doesn’t have the proper structure for electronic addresses, you are probably facing an invalid email address.
An email must have the:
- local: it’s the identity of a user, so it must be unique, and never repeated;
- domain: it determines the email serves to which the address belongs;
- domain identifier: it determines the domain is hosting the recipient’s server.
But the structure is not the only occurrence of invalid email addresses. Sometimes, emails become obsolete or have a temporary nature, so they expire after some time. The following situations can result in invalid email addresses:
- people can switch email services, so accounts go invalid due to lack of use;
- people get promoted or are sent to other departments in companies, which demands a change of emails;
- people change jobs to other companies, so the email will no longer be used;
- a domain isn’t working anymore, and this happens when a company no longer exists;
- servers or email services go out of service;
- misspelled words can be the cause of an invalid email address.
Many things impact the validity of an invalid email address. Sometimes, the issue is permanent, other times, it is temporary. Keep reading to know how to act in both cases.
Reasons why an email address is invalid
Several reasons can hurt the validity of emails. For example, someone, who is in a hurry, finds your landing page and submits an invalid email address, because there is a typo in it.
This is the most common reason, and sometimes, you can spot the typo just by looking at the address, and fixing it by yourself. Other times, the situation is more serious, making you lose good leads and potential customers.
So, let’s analyze carefully what might be the cause of invalid email addresses.
Typos in the address
Typos in the address can make it invalid. Just a character out of place is enough to make such emails be unfit to use.
Typos in the domain part can be identified and corrected, but it is impossible to do when the mistake is in the username part.
Disposable email addresses
People often use disposable email addresses to avoid unwanted messages to land in their active mailboxes. They are usually trying to escape from commercial emails, but these addresses are also used for unethical purposes.
As these addresses are active for a short period, and they provide a low rate of engagement, you should detect disposable email addresses and block them. They won’t be generating many conversions or sales anyways.
Change of position
People can be promoted to a higher position or sent to other departments in the same company, which means their emails change as well.
That’s why we should pay close attention to the importance of validating corporate emails, as they become invalid pretty fast.
In addition, people can leave their current companies and work somewhere else, which means this email will no longer exist soon. Be aware when dealing with corporate emails, once they are very sensible.
Problems with the email provider or domain
When domains or email providers have problems, all the accounts connected to them experience the same. These problems can have temporary or permanent nature.
In the case of identifying a domain that is out of business, tracking all the addresses with this domain to remove them is a great idea. This way, you won’t have any more email bounces because of a dead domain.
The same applies to email providers.
Invalid Email Addresses: how to stay away from them
Having too many invalid email addresses is bad for your online reputation, making your messages either bounce or land directly in the spam folder.
Saying this should be enough to convince you about adopting strategies to avoid these email accounts. Following you can check what you should (or shouldn’t) do to stay away from invalid email addresses:
- never consider buying email lists because they are filled with useless emails or even fake ones. Even if they bring some real addresses, they won’t interact with your message anyways. You will be better off without purchased email lists;
- always ask people to confirm their emails, calling their attention when some typo or inconsistency is found;
- when people visit your homepage, avoid annoying them with unexpected pop-ups or paywalls. You will probably be getting an invalid or fake address. Even worse, you can end up empty-handed. Timing is fundamental when you work with pop-ups;
- have the habit of regularly cleaning your email lists, in order to spot invalid addresses and remove them from your mailing lists. This is an efficient and simple path to take toward better deliverability.
These actions are not hard to put into practice, and they are going to help you with finding your way to your target audience, as well as improving your engagement rates.
With better engagement, more successful deliverability follows. They are connected, you can’t have one without the other.
So, if you are unhappy with your current results (concerning conversions and sales), consider cleaning your lists to remove invalid addresses from them.
How to fix an invalid email address
You already know all the reasons why emails turn invalid. It’s time to think about possible solutions to these matters, so you won’t lose promising leads anymore.
That’s why removing invalid email addresses from your mailing lists can help you boost your ROI. You simply get more promising leads, while you also get into subscribers mailboxes more easily, once the bounces are reduced.
The best way to reduce the entries of invalid email addresses in your contact list is by checking email validity. Let’s go over some strategies to do so.
Make a simple critique of the email addresses
It is possible to go over your email addresses, in order to look for the most usual typos, so you can fix them, and reach the person who gave you the email.
Other times, your examination can study the structure, syntax, and patterns, with the same goal in mind.
This simple critique proves that it is possible to verify email addresses without sending an email. It can work, especially when you don’t have a lot of emails to check.
Of course, you can analyze your email lists, checking one email each time, but it might demand extra working hours. Besides that, the analysis is not accurate as it should be.
Counting on technology can be faster and more accurate.
Ask users to repeat their email
Asking users to repeat their email twice will reduce the number of typos because this method makes sure the given electronic address is correct.
The users type their addresses in two different stages of the registration process. In case the emails are different, they will be requested to correct the incongruences.
You can include this registration method on your landing pages. With its help, you won’t be losing leads anymore, nor sending emails to invalid email addresses.
Prefer to double opt-in lists
Another good strategy to keep a distance from invalid email addresses is adopting a double opt-in system for your contact lists.
First, the users will fill out the registration forms. After they are done, you will ask them to check their inboxes, including the spam and junk folders, to find a confirmation email, and whitelist your address.
When you have the opt-in method on your landing pages, it’s easier to attract valid addresses to your lists, which is very interesting to your business, once they can generate engagement, using the data you got from users to implement an email list management program.
It’s possible to go even further, by using the double opt-in to get consent from users to send them commercial emails, which is legally required.
Check the domain
The domains are widely known, generally speaking. It is possible to check the domain, looking for possible misspellings.
You can also verify if the domain is down or under maintenance, for example. When the issue is temporary, there is not much to be done, but wait.
In this case, you can fix this issue by yourself. However, you should keep in mind that human analysis is not accurate.
Email validation service
An email validation service is the best way to solve once and for all any issues that your company has with invalid email addresses.
They allow you to check emails individually or in bulk, providing accurate and fast results. These tools are simple to use and will make you have fewer bounces due to invalid addresses.
SafetyMails is one email validation service that will help you manage your email lists, filtering out all the invalid email addresses.
You can run it to verify and validate addresses, as in an email verifier service for mailing lists, or you can equip your landing pages with a real-time verification API, checking the validity of addresses even before they get to your database.
If all the services that SafetyMails offers to avoid invalid email address do not convince you, we have some few reasons why you can rely on SafetyMails analysis. Check it out and contact us!