4 first-rate Email Verification Tools for Pardot Users

Email addresses are the lifeblood of email marketing. Bad data – incorrect, old or dummy addresses – can cause havoc with your Pardot account, the source of high hard bounce rates (leading directly to poor deliverability) and skewed email reporting. Database quality and marketing integrity are front of mind, especially in a GDPR hangover period; however, clean email address data should be naturally adopted best practice.

Pardot customers I work with often ask for the best way to verify email address data. This includes both:

  • Incoming email addresses before they touch Pardot (eg. lead capture forms)
  • Existing contact and lead databases (I now recommend to any client as a routine practice, certainly if doing a data migration from an old tool)

Although there is no built-in tool in Pardot, there are luckily 3rd party tools that can do the job. Utilising external vendors neither has to be time-consuming, stressful or costly.

A combination of undeniable benefits for clients and my fixation with email deliverability, I set out to evaluate the market. This post aims to point you in the right direction when seeking out an email verification tool, covering 4 tools for different businesses.

First, some considerations.

Email Verification – Some Considerations

There are factors that you should take into consideration from the start, such as:

  • Budget: subscription-based or pay-as-you-go?
  • Volume you need to process
  • Whether you want to plug directly in to Pardot
  • Where you want to keep your data (ie. do you want to avoid putting it into SFDC)

1. Neverbounce

Neverbounce is one service that I use and trust whole-heartedly.

Neverbounce claim to offer the ‘most accurate verification on the market’. It’s an interesting story – they were originally a digital marketing agency but were displeased with what was available on the market. What started as an internal tool for their agency has now ballooned into a 75k+ customer-base.

The first part of Neverbounce is real-time email verification. This analyses your data file, and returns an overall % of dirty data – for free. To test this out, I retroactively ran a couple of bad lists through after a high-bounce email had been sent – it was spot-on! The second part is the email cleaning service, which gives each email address a category  (valid, invalid, catch-all, unknown) – details are included at the end of this section.

Hot off the press! Neverbounce have released their Pardot integration. Import Pardot Lists from the Neverbounce interface, requiring only Salesforce/Pardot login Credentials and your API User Key. Feeding the results back into Pardot is just as simple; when exporting, a custom field named “neverBounceValidationResult” will be created to store the NeverBounce validation result. Full details can be found here. Also check out their javascript widget for Pardot forms too.

Concerns about data transfer and storage security? They’ve got this covered in their Privacy Shield documentation.

In my opinion, a defining factor of Neverbounce is their sharp and attentive support team. One of the team is Rachel Kostura, whose enthusiasm is unrivalled – she says: “Our mission is to ensure our customers are successful in achieving their deliverability goals. At NeverBounce, we earn the trust of our clients by delivering on our four core values: accuracy, speed, price and support.

Commercials

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

Email cleaning service: $50 (includes a bulk discount). Purchase via credit card.

Data file analysis is free.

Find out more.

2. BriteVerify

BriteVerify began in 2009, and pride themselves in being the market pioneers. Since then, they have grown their customer base rapidly, from 500-40,000 clients in one particularly busy 3 year period. Product and headcount growth has been fueled by tactical acquisitions, yet they have remained proudly independent (BriteVerify was acquired by Validity on June 20th).

The two offerings are BriteVerify (list verification) and the BriteVerify REST API (built in validation on web forms). The list verification service will analyse your data file, and return email errors by cause, eg: Invalid Address, Invalid Domain, Invalid Account. You are able to these download errors and import them into a Pardot custom field, to carry out segmentation from there. This process can be described as “export-import-export-import”. There are talks of a Pardot/Salesforce plugin, so watch this space!

Mike Means, the proclaimed in-house Pardot expert, told me: “BriteVerify is also a Pardot user and we have to clean our own data from time to time!” – surely a vote of confidence! A call with Mike will also give you a chance to learn about the technicalities of email verification – he’s very passionate!

Commercials

When it comes to pricing, one of their taglines is: “starts at under a Penny Per Email”. Based on a typical Pardot database of 10,000 prospects:

Email cleaning service: $100 = ($0.001/email). Purchase via credit card.

Find out more.

3. Experian

Experian are perhaps most well-known in the personal finance realm, for services such as the credit score checker, but their services have a much wider reach – one of which is their email validation service. You can generate a free validation summary, like the one pictured below:

You will find their app for Salesforce listed on the Salesforce AppExchange, which will verify and standardise email, address ad phone data at the point of entry (ie. edit and detail Salesforce record pages). 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 Salesforce validation!).

This vendor is perhaps more attractive for enterprise-level organisations, being such an established name.

Commercials

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

Email cleaning service: $330 ($0.033/email)

(NB: there is a minimum cost of around $65).

Salesforce AppExchange Listing

4. Snov.io

Snovio is a simple, lightweight service, similar to Neverbounce and BriteVerify. This provider claims to guarantee competitive email verification speed, which is one of a few differentiators.  

A marketing email from Snovio landed in my inbox the other day, advertising their new Chrome extension – very effective for ‘web-scraping’, seen below:

Something else that stood out to me is that they aggregate data from other services to produce less Catch-all email statuses. Catch-all results are often frustrating for users: ‘Will it bounce? Will it not bounce?!’ – you don’t know whether to keep or cut from your email send lists.

Snovio 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, Snovio will get the company profile). Of course, it’s up to you to use these features sensibly in line with Permission-based marketing with GDPR now in effect.

The interface is below:

Commercials

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

$49/month

The free plan is limited to 200 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, the most basic of which starts at $19/month.