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An Omnibus Guide to Verification Emails (Plus Examples And Bonus Content)

Did you know that increasing the number of bad emails by just 1% can result in a drop in deliverability by 10%

Suppose 5% of PetPeeves’ (a fictional online pet supplies store) contact list consists of bad email addresses. Increasing it by 1% would lead to a drop in deliverability by 60%. Now, if PetPeeves sent out an important list-wide legal update, a significant portion of their email list will not have received the message. Besides decreased engagement and loss of revenue, PetPeevs’ sender reputation has now officially gone to the dogs.😮

The increase in the number of bad emails may be due to various reasons, such as typographical errors, disposable addresses, inactive/abandoned accounts, role-based addresses, and so forth. 

Let’s dissect each of these right off the bat. Following which, we will take a detailed look at the benefits of verification emails, how they work, when to send one, how to create a verification email, email verification examples, along with some bonus content in every section. 

Table of Contents

Email Verification I: How do Email Addresses Go Bad?

Email Verification II: Benefits of Verification

Email Verification III: How does Verification Work?

Email Verification IV: When to Send Verification Emails?

Email Verification V: How to Create A Verification Email?

Verification Email: Content

Verification Email: Design

Verification Email: Functionality

Email Verification VI: Examples of Verification Emails And Why They Work

Wrap Up

Email Verification I: How do Email Addresses Go Bad?

Maintaining a clean email list is essential not just for effective communication but to ensure compliance with federal regulations. Neglecting the quality of email addresses in your list has legal ramifications, which can cause reputational damage to your brand. 

To prevent that, it is important to understand how bad addresses can infiltrate PetPeeves’ contact list. For that, let’s see some of the ways email addresses tend to be, or can go, bad:

In a survey conducted by Allies Computing, 73% of respondents identified evading marketing communications as the main reason behind their providing fake/invalid email addresses. Another 63% are worried that brands might share their email addresses with third parties.  

BONUS: Here are two additional situations that often cause email addresses to go bad.

It should be abundantly clear at this point that email verification is non negotiable. Let us then explore the benefits it offers, following which we will consider email verification best practices.

Email Verification II: Benefits of Verification

The immediate benefit of email verification is that it ensures a clean list and quality data. But here are 20 direct and indirect benefits of email verification. It:

1. Reduces bounce rates, increasing the chances of emails reaching the recipients’ inboxes.

2. Eliminates the cost of sending emails to invalid/non-existent addresses. (Many email service providers charge on the basis of the number of emails you send per day. They may also charge extra for handling bounced emails.)

3. Enhances sender reputation by decreasing the probability of your emails being flagged as spam. 

4. Increases open rates. 

5. Delivers better click-through rates (CTR). 

6. Minimizes spam complaint rates. 

7. Leads to better campaign results by ensuring data accuracy. 

8. Enhances brand credibility. 

9. Ensures proper regulatory compliance.

10. Extends the scope of personalization thanks to accurate email data. 

11. Improves customer engagement.

12. Allows the creation of more targeted email lists using verified data, opening the doors for more relevant campaigns. 

13. Improves customer retention.

14. Gathers additional data about subscribers, leading to more detailed, updated customer profiles. 

15. Minimizes the risk of blacklisting. 

16. Prevents email frauds. (Phishing emails set off a majority of cyber attacks, accounting for 91% of initial attack vectors.) 

17. Leads to better ROI. 

18. Allocates resources more effectively.

19. Minimizes customer support cost.

20. Provides more meaningful marketing metrics to work with. 

BONUS: The benefits notwithstanding, bear in mind that you might face challenges while dealing with Internationalized Domain Names (IDN). These are domain names that contain non-ASCII characters which enable the use of different scripts and languages. 

IDNs allow users to use domain names in their native languages, rendering the Web more accessible and user-friendly globally. But it’s a major obstacle to email verification. On top of that, few email verification tools can handle IDNs. 

But this need not be a cause for concern just yet. IDNs represent less than 1% of the international domain name market (which stands at about 360 million domains.) 

Email Verification III: How does Verification Work?

The goal of email verification is to check whether an email address entered into a system is valid and operational. PetPeeves’ system administrators will now follow these seven critical steps: 

1. Syntax Check: The first step involves verifying the formatting of the email address. The basic email formatting rules include the presence of the “@” symbol, valid characters both before and after the “@” symbol, and top-level domains i.e. “.com,” “.org,” “.in,” etc.

2. Domain Verification: A DNS (Domain Name System) query is made to check whether or not the domain name exists and has valid DNS and MX (Mail Exchange) records. The latter check is used to verify if the email address is capable of receiving emails. 

3. SMTP Verification: The system uses the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to establish a connection with the email address under verification by sending a test email to the address. If the SMTP server accepts the sent email for delivery, the address is likely to be valid and operational. 

4. Catch-all Check: Catch-all domains accept emails sent to any address at those domains. Hence their name. Not all verification services do a catch-all check. Whether or not you need to perform one depends on your specific goals. 

5. Greylisting: When an email server runs into an unknown sender i.e. an email address it has not seen before, it temporarily rejects the email. This is known as greylisting. In the context of email verification, this means that the process has been delayed, necessitating a retry after some time.  

6. Timeout Handling: Sometimes email servers are very slow to respond, or might not respond at all. Therefore, it is crucial to implement a ‘timeout mechanism’ within the verification process. In other words, set a maximum allowable time for receiving a response. If the server does not respond within the specified time, consider it as an unsuccessful attempt. 

Now attempt is just the word here. Don’t assume that an unresponsive server means that the email address is invalid. 

We’d recommend retrying verification using the exponential backoff strategy. Start off the process with shorter intervals between each retry and only gradually increase the time. This is because you don’t want to overload unresponsive servers.

7. Reporting: The final step involves analyzing the system-generated report and taking action on the basis of it. There are three types of results, namely Valid, Invalid, and Disposable. 

But we’re still not done. Once the verification process is complete, remember to log the results for future reference. This is useful data; it can be used for fraud prevention in the future. 

BONUS: Beware of over-verification. You don’t want to utilize additional resources simply to annoy users into opting out of your list. Keep the following in mind to prevent over-verification:

Email Verification IV: When to Send Verification Emails?

There is no blanket answer to the question. It is context-dependent, and different scenarios call for different responses. Generally, verification is meant to authenticate the identity of an email address. So, here are some typical scenarios that necessitate verification. 

BONUS: Those were some of the common scenarios necessitating verification. But here are two additional scenarios that may require verification by email:

Email Verification V: How to Create A Verification Email?

Like any email, a verification email has three components, namely content, design, and functionality. Let us consider each of these components in detail. In our final section, we will also look at some email verification examples. 

Verification Email: Content 

So those were the essentials of a verification email in terms of content. Of course, a verification email may contain more information than just the bare minimum. So, as bonus content, here are three such scenarios that qualify for additional information.


In such cases, feel free to include attention-grabbing information highlights in the email. This could be sharing relevant pull quotes from trending blog posts, juicy snippets from expert interviews and research articles, etc. with a view to generate additional traffic from email. 

Verification Email: Design

As far as designing a verification email is concerned, minimalism should be the overarching objective. Now note that minimalism does NOT mean not including images, brand logo, and animated GIFs. Minimalism is to be understood in the context of email accessibility, scan-ability, and navigability. 

The email verification templates we share toward the end should make it crystal-clear. 

To that end, make sure that the email uses ample negative space, short text, and a prominent call to action (preferably in the form of a largish button for maximum visibility.) If you wish to use animated GIFs, do not include a GIF more than once. Ensure that the GIF is not too lurid and distractive. Balance humor and context. 

Use minimal images. Preferably, nothing apart from the hero image. This is because some email clients tend to block images by default. Also, a verification email is not image-dependent anyway. The hero image gives a structural/aesthetic balance to the template. 

When it comes to design, the critical point is that it should be consistent with your brand. No, it’s not just about the logo. Make full use of your brand/corporate palette. 

But bear in mind that the aim is not to vaunt your brand. Brand consistency is equally for the customer’s benefit in that it helps to deliver a unified experience, leading to greater trust.

Let’s look into the basic design requirements for a user-friendly verification email. 

Apart from these basic considerations, here are two bonus recommendations for designing an email verification template — with the caveat that these are relatively rare and not cost-friendly, and that implementation requires thorough consideration both as regards budget allocation and the scope of creative enterprising. 

Note also that these features are suitable exclusively for differently-abled users who may prefer as well as require a more interactive experience. 


This means that whenever a user hovers over the verification button or link, the device will vibrate to confirm the interaction at that point. This again is very helpful for users with visual impairments who stand to benefit from engaging physically with the digital realm. 

Verification Email: Functionality

How do you ensure that the verification email you have created is functionally glitch-free? Here are some important points to keep in mind.

BONUS: Here are three additional email verification best practices:

Email Verification VI: Examples of Verification Emails And Why They Work

In our last section, we look at some nice verification email examples and try to understand why these work. 

1. Discord

2. Udemy

3. Stampsy

4. Refind

5. Lyft

6. HiyaCar

7. Stacks

Wrap Up!

The importance of verification emails is non negotiable. They bolster trust, ensure compliance, and enhance security. 

In our omnibus guide, we tried to explore every nook and cranny of verification emails. If we missed anything, feel free to enlighten us in the comments section below. 

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