There are two types of email list cleaning: Validation & Verification. Validation removes threats while verification removes bounces. This article will break down the difference and tach you the importance of which you should use before you spend funds on something that you didn’t want or need. There is a huge difference between the two and our industry doesn’t really break it down like it should. Most likely because if you purchased validation to remove bounces, you will be quite disappointed.

An easy tool to think about is this email address example: validation@verification

Validation mostly concentrates on all of the issues dealing with everything before the @ sign. Roles, for example, are emails that pertain to a trade. Webmaster@ or secretary@ are validation rules set to be removed. Same with departmental email addresses where one email is sent to several people like support@ or contact@. Seeds as well as strings are validation removal requirements too. Seeds are emails generated to match with a campaign while strings are emails that are associated with bots or a live person. These emails can sometimes look like campaign45@ (seed) or 1bf6y8u9i0o@ (bot).

Validation removes syntax errors. These emails look something like this: j^mes@ or unicode latin characters that do not belong in emails like jÀmes@ or j©mes@ etc. It also removes leading and trailing spaces and fixes the gap. Sometimes people enter the wrong email address or add an extra period or @ sign in which validation fixes and/or corrects those types of mistakes as well. Validation usually checks the mx record too. If the mail exchange is not setup properly, the the email is flagged. Although this crosses the border of verification because the domain needs to be checked.

Verification focuses mainly on bounces and if the email address is good or not. If it is not good, it can fall into an accept all, smtp error, relay error, unknown or disabled. This is where the domain is asked many questions. An accept all email address is a server setting where the email is accepted whether it is misspelled or not real as long as the domain is intact. Yes, this again borderlines validation and some validation companies offer this as a removal feature, but it’s rare. An smtp error are usually bounce codes from error 500 through 554. A relay error, like an smtp error, involves the server rejecting the recipient. Unknown or disabled are self-explanatory.

Validation and verification do share static list removal in common. Static lists are a list of email addresses, strings and/or domains that are matched and removed against traps, litigators, roles, departments, informants, protestors and the like are usually removed by validation and verification companies. The one thing that makes unique from all other companies is that we do both (all of the above) in one simple to use process. has the largest list of traps, bots, protestors and litigators worldwide and are trusted by hundreds of email marketers.