Marketers

Email Verification Tools for Pardot (Account Engagement)

By Lucy Mazalon

Email addresses are the lifeblood of marketing automation. Invalid, old, or dummy email addresses cause high email bounce rates, which eventually will lead to poor deliverability (sender reputation) and skewed email reporting. Avoid this email marketing nightmare by regularly (or even better, automatically) cleaning your Pardot marketing database, to identify and remove invalid email addresses before they become a problem.

Although there is no built-in email verification functionality in Pardot, there are third-party services that can do the job. The good news is that using these services is neither time-consuming, nor costly. We’ll cover nine tools to use alongside Pardot – but, before we take a tour around, let’s start with the factors to consider when selecting an email verification service.

Email Verification Tools – Factors to Consider

There are a wide variety of services available on the market. Which you choose depends on the following factors:

  • Budget: Do you want to opt for a subscription-based provider (with a predictable, recurring cost), or a pay-as-you-go model (where cost is based on your usage)?
  • Volume: How many email addresses will you need to verify? If this is your first clean-up, you can calculate the number of prospects with a mailability status of “Mailable” and “Transactional Emails Only”, and then assess the number of new prospects you capture on a weekly/monthly basis.
  • Integration: Do you want to plug directly into Pardot, or are you happy to import/export the data periodically?
  • Storage: Where do you want to store the verification status data (i.e. do you want to avoid putting it into Salesforce)?
  • What level of verification?
    • List verification: Data processed in bulk, periodically.
    • Real-time verification (in Salesforce CRM): Verify email addresses directly within Salesforce when they are being entered.
    • Real-time verification: Verify email addresses on lead capture forms when they are being entered.

With these thoughts in mind, let’s take a look at some providers.

Email Validator for Pardot (Account Engagement)

Salesforce Labs is an incredible program inside Salesforce for employees to create apps and share them on the AppExchange for everyone to take advantage of – for free!

This app, in particular, is a no-brainer to test out. Four email verification providers have been integrated (with more potentially to follow):

  • Abstract (can set a ‘quality score threshold % right from within the Account Engagement app)
  • EmailRep
  • Sendgrid
  • ZeroBounce

Whenever a prospect comes to a point of entry, i.e. in a form on a landing page or your website, their email address is validated on-the-fly in Account Engagement. The app leverages a Marketing App Extension to connect with the specialist provider, who returns a result back to Account Engagement, almost instantly.

When a prospect with a fake email address has been detected, they are automatically flagged, and as a result of being marked ‘do not email’, their mailability status is changed to ‘Transactional emails only’. This also prevents the need for a double opt-in process, which is mostly to weed out invalid email addresses (Note that there are some countries where double opt-in is a legal requirement, so do you research!)

The setup involves that you:

1. Enter the API key from your chosen provider.

2. Activate the action and activity type in the Marketing App Extension.

3. Create an Engagement Studio program. You’ll find the External Activity is available as a Check Email action. Decide what to do with prospects with fake email addresses in the steps that follow in the program, e.g. add to list, add tags, decay score, mark as “do not email“.

READ MORE: Pardot (Account Engagement) External Actions: What’s The Big Deal?

External activities listed on the prospect record confirms it was processed, and by which service.

Install Email Validator for MCAE from the AppExchange.

View more free apps for Pardot from the Salesforce Labs offering in the guide below:

READ MORE: Free Add-ons for Pardot and Salesforce Campaign Management

NeverBounce

NeverBounce is the service that I’ve personally used. Formerly a digital marketing agency, the app was born from their team’s own frustrations. From a tool developed for internal use, NeverBounce has now ballooned to have a 125,000+ customer base.

Real-time email verification analyzes your data file, and returns an overall % of dirty data – for free. I ran a couple of poor quality lists through the tool after a high-bounce email had been sent – NeverBounce was spot-on!

The email cleaning is a paid-for service that gives each email address a status category (valid, invalid, catch-all, unknown).

NeverBounce has an integration with Pardot, where you can:

  • Import Pardot lists in the NeverBounce interface, requiring only your Salesforce/Pardot login details (once you have done the initial setup).
  • A custom prospect field named “neverBounceValidationResult” will be created to store the NeverBounce validation result.
  • The javascript widget for Pardot forms gives real-time verification at the point of email address entry.

Pricing

Based on a Pardot database of 10,000 prospects:

  • Email cleaning service: $50 (includes a bulk discount). Purchase via credit card.
  • Data file analysis: Free.

Kickbox

Kickbox is another popular option. Not only will you find email list verification, Kickbox also has an email deliverability suite that includes blocklist monitoring, inbox placement, email testing, and DMARC monitoring (plus a deliverability consulting service).

Pricing

Based on a Pardot database of 10,000 prospects:

  • Email cleaning service: $80. Purchase via credit card.
  • First 100 verifications are free.

DataRyte by SaaScend

Developed by their experienced team of Account Engagement (Pardot)/RevOps specialists, SaaScend provide 500 email validations with their DataRyte solution. DataRyte actually verifies your data by sending an email to check for a hard bounce within 48 hours as this is the most accurate method for confirming validity as compared to other providers.

This tool can also be integrated with Account Engagement (Pardot), so email verification happens automatically or continuously in the background versus one off data checks.

Pricing

Based on a Pardot database of 10,000 prospects:

  • Email cleaning service: $250 at $0.025 per record, purchase via credit card.
  • First 500 verifications are free.

BriteVerify

BriteVerify prides itself on being a market pioneer. Product and headcount growth was fuelled by tactical acquisitions, and in June 2018, BriteVerify itself was acquired by Validity, the brand that ties together multiple Salesforce related apps, such as DemandTools and GridBuddy Connect.

BriteVerify offers list verification and built-in email address validation on web forms (BriteVerify REST API).

The list verification service will analyze your data file, and return email errors by cause, eg: Invalid Address, Invalid Domain, Invalid Account. You are able to download errors from BriteVerify and import them into a Pardot custom field, as an export-import-export-import sequence.

Pricing

Based on a typical Pardot database of 10,000 prospects:

Experian

Experian is perhaps most well-known for their credit score checker – however, their services have a much wider reach, including email verification.

Listed on the Salesforce AppExchange, Experian verifies and standardizes email addresses, postal addresses, and phone numbers at the point of entry, i.e. Salesforce records are creating or editing Lead and Contact data. Verification can be done both in real-time and in bulk mode. If email address data is being validated in Salesforce, this will, in turn, be reflected in Pardot too (so long as users are not importing directly into Pardot and by-passing the Salesforce validation)!

This vendor is likely to be more attractive for enterprise-level organizations, according to the price point and established brand name.

Pricing

Based on a typical Pardot database of 10,000 prospects:

  • Email cleaning service pricing not publicly available (was $330 in 2017, with a minimum cost of around $65).
  • Full suite of services starts at $2,500 USD/company/year.

Snov.io

Snov.io is a bulk email verification provider that also offers a lightweight tool that allows you to find and verify email addresses straight from any website using their Chrome extension – more a use case for sales reps, but a differentiator nonetheless.

Something notable is that they aggregate data from other services to produce fewer catch-all email statuses. Catch-all results are often frustrating for users, being unsure whether you should keep or cut these addresses from your send lists… “Will it bounce? Will it not bounce?”

Snov.io also has a whole host of other services, including domain search (enter a domain name to find email addresses), LinkedIn email search, prospect search (explore their database to find more prospects), company search (if you know the city, industry, and country, Snov.io will get the company profile). Of course, it’s up to you to use these features sensibly in line with permission-based marketing.

Pricing

Based on a typical Pardot database of 10,000 prospects, you would need to opt for their ‘Pro 20k’ tier, which as the name suggests, gives you 20,000 email verification credits. This is a subscription service ($142/month) that offers more than email verification in the bundle.

The free plan is limited to 150 email address checks (/account/month) but excludes CSV export (which you would need to use in conjunction with Pardot). CSV export is included in all paid plans.

Summary

Email addresses are the lifeblood marketing automation. Invalid, old, or dummy email addresses cause high email bounce rates, which eventually will lead to poor deliverability (sender reputation) and skewed email reporting.

Although there is no built-in email verification functionality in Pardot, there are third-party services that can do the job. We’ve covered tools to use alongside Pardot that are neither time-consuming, nor costly – now, it’s up for you to decide which suits your organization best.

The Author

Lucy Mazalon

Lucy is the Operations Director at Salesforce Ben. She is a 10x certified Marketing Champion and founder of The DRIP.

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