Email verification services are on the rise. My last count was 50 companies who claim to clean email marketing lists. Out of those 50, probably half of them ‘white list’ from others. Still, 25 companies that do email list verification is/are a huge number compared to 10 years ago when it was just us 2. Back in 2007, when I started email list hygiene, the only company I knew of that was selling the service was Data Genie. Roger was the tech and Bret (whom passed away) was the sales person. I believe Roger is still scrubbing lists to this day. I remember back when I was managing The Viral Spiral advertising them in my newsletter.
For many years, validation was the only service available. As I have written in several blogs prior, validation removes traps, complainers, litigators and syntax errors. Little did it do verification or an SMTP handshake. The first company, that I was aware of back then, that started verification whom was sold to Experian a while back was called LeadSpend. After that sale, verification companies exploded because of the potential as one of the largest credit bureaus forked over millions for the technology.
Email list verification services have become popular with email service providers. Years ago, they frowned upon cleaning lists because it meant that the lists were being spammed, but now, every ESP refers their customers to hygiene companies because they want to keep the customers active and if they hit a certain complaint or bounce threshold, they lose the business. This means that the large ESP’s are confirmed to be indifferent to spamming. What this also means is list hygiene companies are doing their job and spam fighters are not.
Email list verification free is a term no longer useful in this industry. Because the large ESP’s are using hygiene companies, both entities can continue to charge higher rates because both are working. The day email list hygiene doesn’t pay off is the day email marketing dies. What once was thought to be a dying marketing trend, has only metamorphosed into a different direction and that fork in the road will keep email marketing popular, more expensive, but popular.