6 Best Email Verification Services Compared

6-Best-Email-Verification-Services

Introduction to email verification

Email verification is the process of checking the validity of an email address without sending an email. 

The various email verification services compared in this article carry out multiple validation checks. However, the three primary goals of email validation are:

  • To check whether the email address has the correct syntax,
  • To find out whether the email inbox exists, and
  • To assess the quality of the email address

Whether you have just a few email addresses on your email list or whether you have hundreds of thousands of them, verifying email addresses will hugely improve your email marketing results, save you from penalties and help you in a number of ways.

Comparison of six top email verification services

Below, we have made a detailed comparison of the six leading email verification services. Each service has been discussed in detail, along with their features, pricing, strengths and limitations.

1. ZeroBounce

ZeroBounce

Overview:

Accuracy 98%
Pricing $ 325 for 50,000 credits
Free trial One-time trial with 100 free credits
Customer Support Available Yes
Data Security GDPR compliant
Integrations Their site mentions 9 official integrations
Real-time verification API Available

ZeroBounce-accuracy

Analysis

ZeroBounce is certainly an important service you should consider. To begin with, they offer great security for your email data. They are GDPR-compliant and automatically delete Next, their accuracy of 98% is great too. 

There’s a unique feature that ZeroBounce offers: data appends of first name and last name. Every email address is run past older databases to see if the first names and last name are available. If they are, you can use this information when you send out emails. The success of this feature is unknown but nevertheless, it’s an interesting feature. 

Their customer support is quite reliable and prompt, so that should be the last of your worries.

However, there are two factors that could go against ZeroBounce. The first is pricing. At $325 for 50,000 credits, ZeroBounce is certainly a very expensive service – anywhere between 1.5 to 4 times as expensive as the other services here. 

If you are going to use their service regularly or have a huge mailing list to clean, it’s going to affect you in a substantial manner. That way, ZeroBounce pricing certainly gives you second thoughts.

The second factor is the very small free trial. While 100 credits isn’t very small, many services here give you more generous free trials. With a bigger free trial, you would have been able to test the speed and results more reliably.

 

zerobounce-free-trialZeroBounce Features

Just like other top email verification companies, ZeroBounce too has a large number of features. We’ll analyze its five features here.

Spam Trap Checker: ZeroBounce will check if there are any spam trap addresses on your list, mostly by comparing them with the spam trap list they have in their database. That’s an important feature. However, you need to understand two important things about spam traps to fully grasp the effectiveness and limitations of this feature.

Firstly, spam traps fiercely guard their existence, so out of the many spam traps, only a few can be known. Secondly, new spam traps are created almost daily, so there’s no way any system knows all the spam traps. Therefore, don’t rely exclusively on this feature and instead follow email marketing best practices.

feature and instead follow email marketing best practices.

Email Gender Append: This feature seeks to identify the gender of the person behind the email address. If ZeroBounce can ascertain the gender, they will append it to the email address. 

While it’s an interesting add-on feature, its importance in the overall email verification outcome is rather limited.

Catch-All Email Checker: ZeroBounce checks and reports if the email address is a catch-all address. This is an important feature for your verification results. 

Fortunately, most major email verification services offer this feature. 

A.I. Email Scoring: ZeroBounce uses AI to attach scores between 1 and 10 for each email address. A score above 5 means the email address is safe to send. 

In any case the verification results will show which addresses are deliverable and which aren’t. Hence this feature doesn’t bring any additional insight.

Selectable Download Options: Another useful feature. After the verification, ZeroBounce will let you decide what emails you’d like to keep. For instance, you might want to download the role-addresses separately and send them a fresh opt-in email.

Our view: 

ZeroBounce definitely is a service to check out. Their security and accuracy is quite good.

The flip side is the pricing factor. If your requirements are very small, their pricing will make a small difference. But if your requirements are large, the pricing difference could be enormous. 

Considering that other services here can offer a similar service at better rates and comparable security features, ZeroBounce may not be suitable for the budget of many businesses today.

2. BriteVerify / Validity

BriteVerify

Overview:

Accuracy 97%
Pricing $ 500 for 50,000 credits
Free trial Possibly available on request
Customer Support Available Yes
Data Security GDPR compliant
Integrations Their integrations page mentions 12 integrations
Real-time verification API Available

Briteverify-accuracyAnalysis

BriteVerify is an old player in the email verification industry. Some time back it was taken over by Validity. Apart from BriteVerify, Validity also owns ReturnPath, a service that can help you with sender reputation.

So what makes BriteVerify a great choice? BriteVerify has a smooth interface and you’ll find it easy to verify your email list. You can verify individual emails or entire lists. What’s more, you can also use its real-time email verification API.

Their system puts email addresses through three tests: syntax checking, MX record checking and authenticating with the email server of the address. These stages verify the email addresses, each email validation taking about 0.5 seconds, which is pretty fast.

However, as we have always maintained, there’s no one single email verification platform that’s right for all businesses. 

Again, just like ZerboBounce, pricing is an issue BriteVerify. In fact, BriteVerify is the costliest service on our list, and probably the costliest email checker tool. Businesses with a tight budget or with huge requirements (or both) will certainly want to keep this in mind while making their decision.

There’s no clear way of simply registering and getting a demo or free trial – you’ve got to submit a request and they’ll look into it. Businesses looking to immediately test the service may find this a tad inconvenient.

briteverify-free-trial

 

BriteVerify Features

Here are the top features of the email validator BriteVerify

Upload / download options: While this certainly isn’t a major feature, we’re a little puzzled why BriteVerify isn’t offering more flexibility in file upload and download formats. It allows only CSV and TXT files in uploads and downloads and nothing else. Though it’s easy to convert CSV files into similar files, we believe BriteVerify could have saved us that trouble and offered us more file formats.

No clear free trial: Surprisingly for a company whose pricing is on the higher side, BriteVerify offers no free trial – at least none that we could spot on their website. To be fair, it could possibly mean that BriteVerify believes its brand is so strong they don’t need a free trial. Of course, for someone who’s new to the email verification space, that wouldn’t help. There’s a ‘Schedule A Demo’ option, though.

Selectable Download Options: BriteVerify allows you different download options. At the end of the email verification process, you may download any of the four types of email lists: Valid emails, Invalid emails, Risky emails and All emails. If you’re using an ESP, it’s best to download the Valid emails list.

Interface: Honestly, we are not impressed with the interface and layout of the site. While it’s neat and all that, the overall design looks a little dated. Also, resources like blogs aren’t highlighted enough to catch your eye quickly.

Pricing: We’re not very happy with the price – they are around 5 times as expensive as the best priced service here. Now that email verification has a large number of companies, many of which come with comparable features and security, the price differential is increasingly difficult to justify.

 

BriteVerify-pricingOur view

As an email validation platform, BriteVerify has its distinct advantages. Firstly, it’s a part of Validity that has other software solutions under its fold. If you have a wide range of email problems to solve and don’t mind shelling out more money, BriteVerify is a service you’d want to check out.

However, BriteVerify keeps its features rather out of sight. Browse through their site but you won’t find too many features listed. That makes it slightly difficult for new visitors to understand why BriteVerify charges a premium over other email checker tools.

3. Kickbox

Kickbox

Overview

Accuracy 95%
Pricing $ 400 for 50,000 credits
Free trial Total 100 credits
Customer Support Available Yes
Data Security GDPR compliant
Integrations With many major ESPs and services
Real-time verification API Available

kickbox-accuracy

Analysis

Kickbox is another platform whose name you’ll see in almost every list of top email verification services. 

Let’s start with how Kickbox classifies its own verification results. Any email on your list will be classified by Kickbox one of the following: “Deliverable,” “Undeliverable,” “Risky,” or “Unknown.” 

A Deliverable address is one that exists and that it’s safe to send an email to that address. An Undeliverable email address is one that is invalid or doesn’t exist. A Risky email is one whose deliverability cannot be guaranteed or whose engagement is likely to remain poor (e.g. an Accept-all address). Finally, an Unknown address is one whose information isn’t available 

Compared to ZeroBounce and BriteVerify, the free trial for new customers appears to be a great deal easier. 

If you are an agency managing multiple accounts, Kickbox has a separate portal for you. With that you can serve each client separately, improve their email data quality, and help them solve deliverability issues.

kickbox-free-trial

Kickbox Features

Sendex score: Kickbox has developed a feature they call the Sendex Score. It is a numerical value between 0 and 1 (both inclusive) that Kickbox assigns to an email address to show the quality of the email address. Higher the score, better the quality of the address. Hence, an email address with a Sendex score of 0.85 is of better quality than one with a Sendex score of 0.25.

Kickbox uses its verification results to regularly learn about what constitutes a high-quality email address. For instance, an address like mary.poppins @ domain .com is rated to be higher quality than an address like qwerqwer @ domain . com. Along with the scores, Kickbox also suggests a range of scores that it considers Good, Fair or Poor for transactional and marketing emails. . 

95% Deliverability guarantee: Kickbox offers a clear 95% deliverability guarantee. Under the terms, no more than 5% of the emails sent to addresses classified Deliverable will bounce back undelivered. In case the bounces exceed this 5% limit, paying customers are eligible for refund on a pro-rata basis.

Kickbox has set up certain reasonable conditions under which this guarantee is applicable. For example, only hard bounces due to invalid email addresses are eligible. Bounces due to poor sender reputation or server misconfiguration are not eligible for a refund. Also, the email addresses from purchased lists are not eligible for refund under this guarantee.  

Team accounts: Let’s say your company has more than one person engaged in email deployment. Normally, only one person would have been authorised to use the email verification service through your company’s account with Kickbox. That would have unnecessarily slowed down the email validation process.

Kickbox offers large enterprises the convenience of team accounts. That means multiple users can access the same account and manage the email verification. As a result, one person from department X doesn’t have to wait for another person from department Y to finish verifying email addresses – each of them can carry out email verification simultaneously through their company’s Team account on Kickbox.

Data Protection: Kickbox is evidently committed to protect the data of their customers. They have taken adequate care to make sure they comply with major data protection regulations. 

The European Union (EU) brought into effect the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in 2018. Kickbox is GDPR compliant, making things easier for businesses operating in the EU or handling data of EU residents. Besides that, Kickbox claims to be the first email verification company that was approved under the new EU-US Privacy Shield data transfer program.

kickbox-pricing

Our view

Kickbox is slightly expensive. Their pricing isn’t low – they fall between BriteVerify and ZeroBounce. Against this, their features are not very different from the ones that many other email checker companies give you at a lower price. Finally, their accuracy rate is quite good. 

Considering all this, we think Kickbox Kickbox should certainly feature in your list of companies to consider if you have the budget.

4. Neverbounce (A part of DiscoverOrg)

NeverBounce

Overview

Accuracy 97%
Pricing $ 250 for 50,000 credits
Free trial Total 1,000 credits
Customer Support Available Yes
Data Security GDPR compliant
Integrations With many major ESPs and services
Real-time verification API Available

neverbounce-accuracy

Analysis

To begin with, Neverbounce mentions 99.9% deliverability guarantee (although the refund guarantee is pegged at 97%) which is quite attractive. 

The next feature is pricing. As compared to some of the other competitors here, Neverbounce offers great prices. For instance, for 50,000 credits Neverbounce charges exactly half of Briteverify.

Another point to notice is the convenience of using the free trial. All you need to do is sign up and that’s it – you get the 1,000 credits with which to check their email verification service. Moreover, they promise a fast turnaround – approximately 3 minutes for about 10,000 email verification. 

Another interesting fact about Neverbounce is that it was originally a digital marketing company and they had built the email verification platform ‘out of their own necessity’. Naturally, you may expect the platform to be both inexpensive and easy to use, in addition to being accurate.

neverbounce-free-trial

Neverbounce Features

Discounts for nonprofits: Neverbounce offers a flat 20% discount to all eligible nonprofits to help them achieve their email verification goals at a lowered price. In order to be eligible for a discount, the nonprofit should be a 501(c)(3)-designated charitable nonprofit organization. Also, the nonprofit should have internet presence or public reference on the internet.

A nonprofit can hope to reach out to present and potential donors, sponsors, and volunteers more effectively by using the discount feature.

97% Deliverability guarantee: Just like Kickbox, Neverbounce also offers a deliverability guarantee. Subject to certain terms, Neverbounce guarantees that no more than 3% of the emails sent to those addresses that Neverbounce has classified as Deliverable. 

The conditions to be met in order to be eligible for a guarantee are fair. One of them is the size of the list – the list you verified using Neverbounce should contain at least 500 unique addresses. Moreover, bounces from free email service providers (Gmail, Yahoo etc) are not eligible for refunds under this guarantee. 

Discounts for startups: Startups are eligible for a 30% discount when they purchase credits from Neverbounce. To avail themselves of the discount, the startup must satisfy certain criteria like age of the startup (no more than 2 years old), privately held and an internet presence. 

Startups that wish to request this discount need to apply to Neverbounce. Once the request is approved, the startup account continues enjoying the discount for the subsequent 2 years.

Team accounts: Neverbounce allows organizations to opt for team accounts. Under that, the admin or account owner can add team members.

The account owner or admin can decide which team member gets to use how many email credits. They can also keep track of the account usage. Moreover, the admin can also access and view the lists of any of the team members.

neverbounce-pricing

Our view

Aggressive pricing and a slightly better deliverability guarantee makes Neverbounce one of the best email verification services here. They have been in the business for six years now (est 2014) and their long standing experience is certainly in their favor.

Of course, they don’t have a unique feature of email quality scoring like some of the other email tester tools here. We believe that companies looking for a value for money email validation platform will definitely want to explore Neverbounce.

5. Verifalia

verifalia

Overview

Accuracy Unknown 
Pricing $239 to $729 for 50,000 verifications, depending upon result quality and features
Free trial 25 credits per day
Customer Support Available  
Data Security GDPR compliant
Integrations With many major ESPs and services
Real-time verification API Available

verifalia-accuracy

Analysis

A part of the Cobisi group, Verifalia offers a simple, quick and reliable email verification and validation service that businesses of all sizes can trust. Its email validation includes spam trap detection, catch-all server detection, MX and DNS check, disposable email detection and so on.

Their service meets the US shields standards and is also GDPR compliant, so users can be sure of data protection.

As for unique features, Verifalia can check temporary outages of mailboxes. In other words, they can detect if a mailbox is temporarily unavailable when it is down at the moment, it is full at the moment of checking and so on.

We could not find a direct claim of accuracy on their site. However, users have reported that Verifalia offers an accuracy rate of 95%, which is standard in the email verification industry (though there are many which offer higher accuracy). As a user, you’ll find Verifalia offers good flexibility: they accept XLS, XLSX, CSV and TSV files for uploads.

Verifalia Features

Multiple email validation passes: In the simplest of terms, every pass is a validation test that determines whether an email address meets the criteria of that particular level. For instance, checking the syntax of an email address (“Is the ‘@’ symbol missing?”) is a test of checking the validity of the address and would be a part of some pass.

Verifalia has set up three quality levels, based on how many passes it will subject the email address to: Standard Quality, High Quality and Extreme Quality. The Standard Quality, which is satisfactory for most requirements, has 1 pass while the Extreme Quality level has 9 passes. 

Three price bands: Unlike other email validation platforms which offer uniform quality bands, Verifalia has three price bands. These bands are based on what level of quality you require and the prices are set accordingly.

Here, each email verification will use a certain number of credits. For instance, the highest quality level will use 0.04 credits, while the standard quality level will use 0.008 credits. Let’s say you buy 200 credits. With the standard quality, you can verify 25,000 email addresses while at the highest quality level, you can use these 200 credits to verify just 5,000 email addresses.

Temporary mailbox unavailability: Sometimes, the mail server of the recipient is down. It could be because of reasons like the server has exceeded its capacity or there is a technical issue that needs to be addressed. 

Verifalia can detect such downtimes and will retry accordingly.

Multiple Anti-tarpit times: Tarpit time is the waiting time mail servers use before delivering incoming emails in the recipient’s inbox. Tarpit time is done particularly with emails that have been sent out in bulk, to discourage spammers. Without anti-tarpit technology, a bulk email checker will see a delay in checking and probably yield incorrect results. 

Verifalia allows an anti-tarpit time between 5 seconds and 2 minutes, depending upon which of the three quality levels you’ve chosen in Verfalia’s pricing plans. Higher the anti-tarpit time, the more you pay for the service.

verifalia-pricing

Our view

As an email verification platform, Verifalia offers all the standard features, for mailbox existence checking to disposable email checking. Some of the other features like duplicate email detection are available with some services and not with others. (Of course, there is good wisdom in not removing duplicate emails too, but that’s another story.)

On the downside, the multiple pricing option that’s based on different quality levels may confuse or turn away some customers. Also, the upper price band is way more than most other comparable services. The email verification industry is seeing intense competition lately and unless there’s a very, very clear value proposition, customers see no reason to pay a heavy premium. On the whole, we feel Verifalia might be a good choice for some businesses, but how many of them would opt for the premium price band remains to be seen.

6. Xverify

xverify

Overview

Accuracy 98%
Pricing $ 230 for 50,000 credits
Free trial Unspecified
Customer Support Available Yes
Data Security GDPR compliant
Integrations With many major ESPs and services
Real-time verification API Available

Xverify-accuracy

Analysis

Xverify is pretty fast in cleaning your email list. A list of about 10,000 addresses should take no more than 20 minutes to verify and clean. While this is not the fastest ever, the accuracy they provide makes the speed better than the average.

There are two ways you can check their service without making a payment. You can either sign up for an account and their rep will call you up to verify before you can begin your free trial (volume unknown). Alternatively, you can verify 5 email addresses for free, using their free validator tool. Of course, the second way won’t give you any further insights about the address except whether the address is valid or not.

Finally, they are ‘mobile-ready’. According to them, their Javascript will protect you from incorrect results arising out of dumb thumbs.

XVerify-free-trial

Xverify Features

Send Shield technology: The multi-level checks they perform, branded Send Shield technology by Xverify, puts email addresses through different levels of verification.

The first level of check is the simple syntax checking. The next check is checking if the email address is toxic – this is done by comparing the email address with existing toxic email addresses in their database. Next, using the feedback loop across industries, they try to figure out if the user behind the email address is a ‘frequent complainer’. The email address must pass through the remaining levels in order to qualify for the Send Shield technology.

Real time validation without cache: Like most other services, Xverify too makes sure the email verification is carried out in real-time. That means the service will carry out a fresh check every time an email address is presented for verification.

Cached results can speed up the process faster, but they aren’t always updated. However, it must be borne in mind that tests like spam track checking have to generally rely on cached results. That’s because no real-time verification can ascertain if an address is a spam trap.

Javascript validation: Xverify offers Javascript validation. They have a ready-made script available that you simply need to paste in your HTML. This will help verify email in real-time.

In addition to the basic syntax check, this check will perform additional checks. For instance, it will check if the format of the email address confirms to the format that the domain approves. If a domain doesn’t allow the digit ‘0’, Javascript validation will reject any address that has a ‘0’ in the email address. Of course, this is possible only when Xverify knows about the criteria a domain has laid down.

Data security: Xverify is GDPR compliant, which means they follow the European Union’s guidelines of handling personal data. Data Processing Addendums are made available to all clients upon request. Additionally, they are certified for EU-US Privacy Shield Framework and also for the Swiss-US Privacy Shield Framework. 

The EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Framework are mostly identical, though there are some differences. For example, the Swiss-US Privacy Shield takes a slightly different view on what constitutes sensitive data. 

Fraud protection: They have a fraud protection measure built into their email verification system. That means they can verify if the email address is associated with any fraudulent online activities including false chargebacks. Such fraudulent activities are more often carried out with temporary email accounts. 

It must be borne in mind that such checks have clear limitations. People involved in fraudulent activities try to keep themselves a step ahead of such checks. Hence, it is advisable to treat such checks as basic and not fool-proof.

xverify-pricing

Our view

Xverify is certainly a major email validation service with a long history so you can’t really complain about the major factors like accuracy or speed. Their pricing is fairly competitive too, if not the best.

Another good thing about them is they’re honest about spam traps. While some email verifications companies claim they remove spam traps, Xverify explains it’s not possible to check spam traps since they’re a moving target – the list is always expanding. And besides, if you use only opt-ins, you don’t have to worry much about spam traps.

On the flip side, not all users are impressed with their interface. While it’s clean, there’s certainly room for improvement. Also, they let you upload files only in CSV format only, which limits their flexibility. Finally, we’re not sure why they aren’t making the free trial simpler.  On the whole, a good service that you might want to check out at least once.

How we’ve rated the services

From our own experience as well as from our conversations with other email marketing experts, we’ve found that not all factors are equally important when you evaluate email validation services. Some factors, like email data security, are extremely important, while other factors, like whether the service offers team accounts, are only moderately important.

We have based our comparison of email verification services on two groups of factors:

  1. Critical Factors
  2. Additional Factors

We found that four factors are extremely important so they have been placed under the Critical Factors category. All other factors are placed under Additional Factors. 

(You’ll notice some services have a third category: Miscellaneous Features. As the name suggests, Miscellaneous Features carry factors that are more like bonus factors; they don’t add any real value to the service).

Critical Factors

As mentioned above, four factors are critical to the overall effectiveness of the email verification process. They are:

1. Email Data Security

If the email list you submit to the email bounce checker isn’t secure, other factors don’t matter. From the point of view of the competitive scenario as well as from that of current data protection regulations, email data security is absolutely a critical feature.

2. Accuracy of Results

Your email checker should give you accurate verification results. Only if the results are fully reliable can you expect results from your email marketing campaigns.

3. Customer Support Available

The best customer support is the support you never need! However, there are times when you can’t get an integration to work right or you have a question about your special requirements. 

At that point, you need customer support the most. A service that provides timely and dependable support adds lots of value to your email verification exercise.

4. Pricing of Service

When you have only a few thousand email addresses to verify, pricing may make a difference of only a few dollars. But when your email list runs into a few million, the pricing difference is certainly an important factor.

Remember, pricing is one of the four critical factors, but not the most important one.

Additional Factors

Here are some of the additional factors you need to consider when you wish to select out of the many email verification tools:

  • API availability
  • Auto-correction feature
  • Email data append
  • Email duplication removal
  • Free trial
  • File formats
  • Integrations
  • Scalability
  • Turnaround time

Summary

As we said earlier, which is the best email verification for you depends upon what you’re looking for. 

Here’s a quick snapshot of the three common factors marketers look for when choosing the best email validation service.

email-verification-services-accuracy

email-verification-services-free-trial

email-verification-services-pricingDon’t forget to let us know which list cleaning service you use, and what do you best like about it!

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