Why In-Form Email Validation Is Important

The truth is, you don’t really know if the users signing up on your website aren’t threat actors. You can’t be sure if their email addresses are valid or aren’t disposable, at least not without proper and careful validation.

Another sad but unfortunate truth? The presence of invalid email addresses on distribution lists can be detrimental to your sender reputation. The more messages you send to invalid addresses, the more likely they are to bounce, increasing your bounce rate. Even worse, the higher your bounce rate gets, the more likely your email domain will end up on the blocklists that Internet (ISPs) and email service providers (ESPs) maintain. Should that happen, no matter how well-crafted and safe to open your emails are, they’re bound to remain unread since they’re automatically sent to recipients’ spam or junk mail folders.

The facts stated above are just the primary reasons why in-form email validation is important for all businesses. But what is in-form email validation? Why is it critical? How do you tell if an email address is valid or not? This post answers those questions.

What Is In-Form Email Validation? Why Is It Important?

In-form email validation simply means verifying if an email address is valid as soon as it gets typed into signup forms. That way, you won’t have to waste a single minute crafting the most engaging content and sending a message to what would turn out to be an unreachable email address.

In-form validation happens within minutes and would-be subscribers don’t see what goes on. During the process, the email address that gets typed into the form is checked by various tools, such as an email validation API, for example, that are integrated into the signup page. Only if the address passes the checks will the would-be subscriber be able to continue registering for a newsletter, downloading a gated asset, or subscribe to a service, to name a few.

Getting rid of invalid email addresses even before they get into your distribution list can significantly reduce your bounce rate. And that protects your email sending reputation and prevents your email domain from ending up on anyone’s blocklist. The only remaining question is: How can you tell if an email address is valid?

3 Ways to Perform In-Form Email Validation 

There are various ways to verify the validity of an email address. Some are more time-consuming (done manually) than others (automated). Let’s take a look.

Option #1: Use JavaScript

For this option, you will need the help of a programmer, specifically one who knows JavaScript. The programmer creates a code on the signup page that prevents invalid email addresses from getting accepted as soon as the would-be subscriber hits the Submit button. Instead of getting notified of successful registration, the subscriber would instead get an error message pertaining to the invalidity of his/her email address.

Option #2: Use PHP

Another option is using PHP. As with JavaScript, you’ll need the help of a programmer for this approach. The programmer creates a code on the signup page to disallow the use of invalid email addresses on signup pages. That way, very few if any invalid email addresses get included in your distribution list.

Option #3: Use an Email Validation Tool 

It would be hard to perform the two checks above on your own if you don’t have programming know-how and skills. And companies that don’t employ programmers would have to hire a contractor to do the job. Making sure the scripts are compatible with your website’s coding could also pose complications.

Another option would be to integrate an email verification API that’s compatible with most programming languages into signup forms. This tool would also be able to perform additional checks that JavaScript or PHP codes can’t. The scripts mentioned earlier only check email address formats while an email verification API would do more.

An email verification API can immediately tell you if an address is valid or not. A valid email address in digital marketing’s case means it:

  • Follows the syntax prescribed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), meaning it adheres to the format “recipientname@domainname[.]tld”
  • Can receive messages sent over the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
  • Has a corresponding mail server evidenced by passing a Domain Name System (DNS) check, meaning it has corresponding mail exchanger (MX) records
  • Is a corporate email address (for companies that require company contact details)
  • Isn’t disposable
  • Has a catch-all email account (as a failsafe in case the recipient’s name is misspelled or the recipient has left the organization)

Automated email validation from the get-go via an API—as soon as the email address gets inputted into a registration form—reduces your chances of ending up with invalid and unreachable addresses on your email distribution lists.

We hope you now know why in-form validation is critical and how it’s done. You need to subject every email address to numerous tests if you want to ensure good deliverability and maintain a healthy email sending reputation.