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Published on: by Jason Gilmore

Free Email Validation API with EmailReputationAPI

Free Email Validation API with EmailReputationAPI

Organizations with an web presence often need to communicate with leads and customers via email. Unfortunately, many emails are not delivered because they are sent to invalid email addresses. These invalid email addresses can be the result of typos, they can be due to individuals who intentionally submit invalid email addresses or use anonymous email services to avoid future communications, or they can be input by bots that are attempting to exploit the organization's email validation system. Regardless of the reason, attempting to engage with invalid email addresses can result in lost revenue, lost opportunities, and lost productivity. To avoid these issues, organizations should validate email addresses before attempting to engage with them. In this post I'll explain how email addresses can be properly validated, and offer a brief introduction to the EmailReputationAPI free email validation API.

How to Validate Email Addresses

Email validation is the process of verifying that an email address is not only syntactically valid but also deliverable. Thorough email validation is a complex process that involves multiple steps:

  1. Validate the email address syntax: Does the email address adhere to the standard as defined in RFC 5322? This is more difficult than it may seem once you realize email addresses like this.”is\”strange@example.com, hello@taxes.accountants, and _______hello@example.com are all valid.
  2. Verify the email address top-level domain: An email such as jason@example.mcblimpiemcblimp would pass the typical syntactical validator, however mcblimpiemcblimp is not a valid top-level domain (TLD) (also often referred to as a domain extension), therefore email can't be delivered to this non-existent address. Believe it or not there are 1,466 supported TLDs, including .audio, .academy, and .africa, among others.
  3. Determine whether the domain is registered: An email may be syntactically valid, and it may use a supported TLD such as .com, however if the domain is non-existent then any mail sent to that address will naturally be undeliverable.
  4. Determine whether domain MX records exist: Email service providers rely on a special type of DNS record known as an MX record to figure out the server to which email should be routed for a given email address. If MX records don't exist then any email sent to that domain will be undeliverable.
  5. Review the domain reputation: An email address may satisfy all of the above requirements, however if the associated domain corresponds to a known anonymous email provider or remailer, then all of your attempts to contact or market to the individual associated with that address will almost certainly fall on deaf ears.

It's fair to say most organizations shouldn't be allocating precious staff time to figuring out all of the nuances associated with these validation tasks. Fortunately, there are a number of email validation APIs that can be used to automate the process. In the next section I'll introduce the EmailReputationAPI free email validation API.

Validating Email with the Free EmailReputationAPI API

The EmailReputationAPI API will validate a provided email address, and provide a detailed response that includes critical information about the validation. For instance, if the provided email address is syntactically valid, but the top-level domain doesn't exist, then the API will return a response similar to the following:

{
    "email": "joe@nebraska.corn",
    "syntax": "valid",
    "tld": "false",
    "personal": "false",
    "disposable": "false",
    "business": "false",
    "government": "false",
    "unknown": "true"
}

You can validate up to 100 emails per month for free just by signing up here.