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Marketo Champion Series: Part 3

How to Validate an Email Address to Avoid Spam Traps

When you send an email to an invalid address, the bounced email will negatively affect your sender reputation which can cause major issues with your email marketing campaigns in the future. Or even worse, an email address may be a spam trap, causing future communications to be flagged as spam before reaching the target inbox.

What are spam traps? Spam Traps are set up by internet service providers and email hosts to identify and blacklist spam senders.

3x Marketo Champion Elliott Lowe teaches you how to use an email validation solution to identfiy records with an invalid email address and prevent them from harming your email marketing campaigns.

View the Transcript

When you send an email to an invalid address, the email will bounce and that can negatively affect your sender reputation. Even worse depending on how you acquired the record, an email address may be a spam trap. Both of these can cause your emails to be blocked as spam. To prevent this, you can use an email verification solution for pennies or less per record. As with records that have no email address or have bounced and flagged as invalid, records with a negative email verification are of little value. This video shows you how to identify those records, so they can be blocked from being sent email and removed from Marketo once you no longer need them for historical performance reporting.

Marketo forms natively validate email fields for correct format and then don’t produce a validation error if the top level domain (TLD) at the end of the email address is missing or invalid. One of the most common errors occurs when typing ‘.com’ such as .con – not a valid TLD, .co – Colombia, .cm – Cameroon, .om – Oman and so on.

You can implement real-time email verification on your forms to ensure that only valid email addresses are entered, but that can introduce undesired delays in the form performance. A good alternative is to create a triggered a smart campaign that calls a webhook that verifies new record email addresses. The smart list has a Person is Created trigger and the flow has a Call Webhook step.

Once you begin verifying emails you can create a smart campaign that sets the Email Invalid field to true if there’s a negative email verification result. The smart list would have a trigger for data value changes on the Email Verification field and it would also have field filters for the Email Verification Detail field.

That filters should include the values indicating a negative verification result. The flow section should have a change data value flow action which changes Email Invalid field value to ‘true’ and the Email Invalid Cause field to an appropriate value. You would treat these records in a fashion like records described in step 2 that have an invalid email address.

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