We know that Email Validation is a vital practice for B2C email marketers to ensure they reach their customers and avoid bad data. For one, email lists decay by about 22.5% per year on average.
But in the B2B space, the rate of decay is likely even higher. That’s because the average person spends about four years at a job. When they leave, they don’t only leave their position — they leave behind their email address.
If that holds true, we estimate that the average B2B list decays by about 3% per month, or up to 36% per year.
How Does B2B Email Verification Work?
B2B Email Verification works the same way as B2C Email Verification. However, many B2B email servers are set up differently, which alters the results.
The reason why? Catch-all email servers.
Catch-all servers are setup to receive, or “catch,” all the emails sent to a domain. Imagine you own a business, SuperStore. SuperStore wants to make sure that everyone who emails the company can reach it, even if a user emails email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org (oops!). Never fear: your catch-all server will receive the email, even if the misspelled address is not registered with your domain.
Plus, businesses also use catch-all servers as a security feature to lessen the stress on an email server and to prevent unsolicited emails.
About 40% of B2B servers are catch-all. These are very useful for businesses, but tough when it comes to B2B email marketing. It’s difficult to know whether an email is being delivered to its final destination.
When an email hits a non-existent email at a catch all server, it does one of two things. First, it might be routed to a bulk or junk folder that an admin manages from time to time. Or, it bounces, either right away (synchronously) or at a later time (asynchronously).
That means just because your email didn’t bounce, doesn’t mean it was delivered. Bounce rate is a poor measure of B2B email deliverability.
B2B Email Validation helps to identify most of the poor data on your list, giving you a better measure of whether or not your B2B emails are making it to the inbox.
How Effective Is B2B Email Validation?
We’ll admit it: B2B Email Validation isn’t as straightforward as B2C validation. However, it is still a vital tool in B2B data hygiene.
First, for the 60% of B2B email servers that are not catch-all domains, your results will definitively show whether an email address is deliverable or undeliverable. Simple.
For the remaining 40% of B2B emails, the results are trickier. When Email Validation communicates with a catch-all server, the server will respond with a “250ok,” telling us that it is receiving emails. However, these results aren’t definitive because catch-all servers will receive all emails, even if the address does not exist. These will be identified as “catch-all” in email verification results.
Why Should I Use B2B Email Validation?
So if results aren’t complete, is B2B Email Verification even worth it? As the saying goes, don’t let perfection be the enemy of good — email validation is vital for all marketers.
Signs you need B2B Email Validation:
- High bounce rate
- Low open rate
- Poor engagement and click-throughs
- Mailing to an old list for the first time
About 60% of your results will be definitive. The other 40% will be marked as catch-all domains. Now that you know which of your emails are at catch-all domains, you can use other hygiene mechanisms, such as suppressing unengaged recipients.
Plus, if you know an email was collected within the last two months, it is likely it is an active account, even if it is at a catch-all domain. Mailing email you collected more than four years ago at a catch-all domain is much less certain.