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Our new free email verification service [with API]

Email verification tool

Aug 24, 2020 — we’ve had to temporarily take down our verification service due to an issue with Spamhaus. You can still use this service to extract your email list from text data, but for now we no longer offer the option to verify the email addresses.

We are now offering a free email verification service. You can verify your email addresses while sending, or separately from sending. If you verify your email addresses while sending, you can substantially minimize the bounces you get back to your Inbox since only email addresses that pass verification will receive your email campaign. We also provide a web-based email verifier to verify your addresses, and we can also update your Google Sheet with a “VERIFIED” column showing a PASS or FAIL status for each address. Finally, you can use our API to integrate our email validator into your own software.

So, if you’re used to using a third-party email verification service like NeverBounce or ZeroBounce, you can stop doing that because our tool is free, accurate, and much easier to use.

What is email verification?

Email verification tests whether an email address is a valid email address or not. We do that by running two algorithms on it:

  1. A syntax checking algorithm to make sure the email appears valid. For example, ajay@gmail would not pass this step, but ajay@gmail.com would pass this step.
  2. A mail server check to ensure that the receiving server for the address will accept email for that particular address. This is done by creating an SMTP session to the remote server and issuing a series of SMTP commands, specifically the RCPT TO command, to “ask” the server if the address is valid.

Who should verify before sending emails?

Not everyone needs to be concerned with email verification. If you’re sending an email newsletter to members of your tennis club, and you know each of them personally, you likely don’t need to verify. If, however, you’re a salesperson scraping LinkedIn for leads and building a cold email list, then verifying addresses will benefit you.

How do you use the free email verification service?

There are three ways to use the email verification service: the web-based email verifier and inside GMass.

If you’re not a GMass user or you just want to use the standalone email verification service, head over to the web-based email verifier. If you want to have GMass verify all of your email addresses before sending a campaign, then just check the Verify box in your settings. Finally, you can use our API to provide email verification services inside your own app.

Option 1: While using GMass

To verify your addresses at the time you send your campaign, all you have to do is check the Verify box:

Just check the “Verify” box and all of your email addresses will be verified before sending.

Checking this box will verify each address before a message is sent to that address. The address must NOT FAIL verification for GMass to send your email to it. This is different than requiring an address to PASS verification. By sending to all addresses that don’t fail verification, the verifier is erring on the side of caution to ensure that as many of your emails get sent. Otherwise, if the verifier required verification to PASS, there’s the risk of reducing the reach of your campaign because of false negatives.

If the address fails verification, GMass will skip sending to it, add it to your account’s Bounce list and will log it for your reports. Having verification ON substantially reduces the bounce-backs you get after your mailing since GMass is sending only to valid addresses. What counts as a verification fail? One of the conditions must be true for an address to fail verification:

  1. The address is malformed. For example, ajay@gmail is not a valid email address.
  2. There is no registered MX server for the domain, meaning the domain can’t receive email.
  3. The response from the mail server definitely indicates that the email address is invalid. For example, “User not found” is a definitive message from the mail server indicating that the address is bad.

Therefore, one of the above conditions must be met for GMass to skip sending to that address and add it to your bounce list.

If the mail server responds with a message indicating the mailbox is full, GMass will skip sending to it, but will not add the address to your Bounce list, since the address is still valid and the user might empty the mailbox at some point, therefore making it able to receive your future messages.

If any other condition is met, then GMass considers it a verification PASS and will send your message to that address.

Option 2: Web-based email verifier

You can also verify your addresses separately, outside of the sending process, using our free web-based email extractor and verifier. Just paste your addresses in any format and hit the Extract button, and then after the addresses are extracted, you can hit the next button to VERIFY them.

This tool currently has a limit of verifying 10,000 addresses.

The verifier tests each address and lists the verification status as one of the following:

  • Valid
  • Invalid
  • Blocked
  • Mailbox Full
  • Unknown
  • NoMxRecord
  • ConnectionFail

After the verifier is finished processing your email list, you can click one of the gray “Copy list” buttons to copy the email list either into a Gmail Compose window, a spreadsheet, a text file, or anywhere you like. If you check the “Include only addresses I should send to” box, then only the addresses that are eligible to receive mail will be copied to your clipboard.

This includes addresses where the status is Valid, Blocked, or Unknown. It might seem counterintuitive that we include in your final send list an address that is BLOCKING email from us, but an address that is BLOCKING email from us is an indication that the address is good. Also, the address might be blocking email from our email verification server, which is hosted at Amazon Web Services (AWS), but that doesn’t mean that it will block email sent from your Gmail account or a third party system like SendGrid. That is why if the verifier detects a block, GMass will still attempt to send your email to that address.

Finally, an email address of “unknown” verification status is one that can’t be confirmed as good or bad, so we recommend sending to it to maximize your outreach potential through whatever email sending service you’re using, whether that’s GMass or something else.

Option 3: API

To use the API just make an HTTP POST or GET to https://verify.gmass.co/check and add the email parameter, as shown below.

Here’s an example using a good email address.

https://verify.gmass.co/check?email=ajay@wordzen.com

JSON result:

{"Email":"ajay@wordzen.com","Valid":true,"Status":"Valid","StatusCode":250,"Transaction":"Connected to smtp://aspmx.l.google.com.:25/\r\nS: 220 mx.google.com ESMTP d12si3199843plr.335 - gsmtp\r\nC: EHLO ec2-34-221-150-107.us-west-2.compute.amazonaws.com\r\nS: 250-mx.google.com at your service, [34.221.150.107]\r\nS: 250-SIZE 157286400\r\nS: 250-8BITMIME\r\nS: 250-STARTTLS\r\nS: 250-ENHANCEDSTATUSCODES\r\nS: 250-PIPELINING\r\nS: 250-CHUNKING\r\nS: 250 SMTPUTF8\r\nC: MAIL FROM: \u003cbouncetest@bounce.gmass.co\u003e\r\nS: 250 2.1.0 OK d12si3199843plr.335 - gsmtp\r\nC: RCPT TO: \u003cajay@wordzen.com\u003e\r\nS: 250 2.1.5 OK d12si3199843plr.335 - gsmtp\r\nC: QUIT\r\nS: 221 2.0.0 closing connection d12si3199843plr.335 - gsmtp\r\n"}

Here’s an example using a bad email address.

https://verify.gmass.co/check?email=badaddress@wordzen.com

JSON result:

{"Email":"badaddress@wordzen.com","Valid":false,"Status":"Invalid","StatusCode":550,"Transaction":"Connected to smtp://aspmx.l.google.com.:25/\r\nS: 220 mx.google.com ESMTP 2si3423625pgf.459 - gsmtp\r\nC: EHLO ec2-34-221-150-107.us-west-2.compute.amazonaws.com\r\nS: 250-mx.google.com at your service, [34.221.150.107]\r\nS: 250-SIZE 157286400\r\nS: 250-8BITMIME\r\nS: 250-STARTTLS\r\nS: 250-ENHANCEDSTATUSCODES\r\nS: 250-PIPELINING\r\nS: 250-CHUNKING\r\nS: 250 SMTPUTF8\r\nC: MAIL FROM: \u003cbouncetest@bounce.gmass.co\u003e\r\nS: 250 2.1.0 OK 2si3423625pgf.459 - gsmtp\r\nC: RCPT TO: \u003cbadaddress@wordzen.com\u003e\r\nS: 550-5.1.1 The email account that you tried to reach does not exist. Please try\r\nS: 550-5.1.1 double-checking the recipient\u0027s email address for typos or\r\nS: 550-5.1.1 unnecessary spaces. Learn more at\r\nS: 550 5.1.1 https://support.google.com/mail/?p=NoSuchUser 2si3423625pgf.459 - gsmtp\r\nC: QUIT\r\nS: 221 2.0.0 closing connection 2si3423625pgf.459 - gsmtp\r\n"}

How to interpret the JSON result:
Valid is a boolean true or false and that tells you whether we can confirm for sure that the email is good or bad. However, there are some cases where “Valid” will be false but you should still send an email to the address. A more detailed version of “Valid” is “Status”.

The possible values for Status are:

  • Unknown
  • Malformed
  • NoMxRecord
  • Invalid
  • Valid
  • ConnectionFail
  • Blocked
  • OverQuota

So “Valid” is ONLY true IF “Status” is also “Valid”.

If you’re validating addresses to decide which ones to send your campaign to and which ones to skip, you should consider still sending to email addresses where the “Status” is “Unknown” or “Blocked”. “Unknown” means we just couldn’t be sure based on the SMTP response, and “Blocked” means that our verification service was blocked, but that doesn’t mean that YOU will be blocked when you send an email.

Updating a Google Sheet with email verification data

This option is only available if you’re using the email verification service as part of a GMass campaign.

If you have your email addresses in a Google Sheet, GMass can update your Sheet by adding a VERIFIED column and marking each address with a PASS or FAIL based on whether the address passes verification.

To run a Google Sheet of email addresses through verification:

  1. Set up your Google Sheet so that it is formatted properly, with column headings across the top.
  2. Use GMass to connect to the Sheet by clicking the Sheets icon, choosing the Sheet, and letting the Gmail Compose window launch. More information here.
  3. If you want to send an actual campaign to your list, then you can proceed just like you’re sending, but make sure to mark two boxes: a) The Update Sheet with reporting data box and b) the Verify box. The “Update Sheet with reporting data” checkbox is an option in the popup that launches where you specify your spreadsheet and worksheet. More information here.
  4. If you don’t want to send an actual campaign but just want GMass to update your Sheet with verification results, then type any Subject/Message and set “Just create DRAFTS” in the Settings box. This will allow GMass to process your Sheet and verify all of your email addresses without sending any actual emails. When you’re ready, hit the main GMass button. A bunch of DRAFTs will get created, but you can delete them later with the link that GMass sends you. More information here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it really free?

Anyone can use our web-based email extractor and verifier for free. You can verify up to 10,000 addresses at a time using this tool.

If you want to verify email more than 50 addresses inside Gmail using our Chrome extension, you’ll need a GMass subscription to do so. Since GMass only lets you process 50 emails per 24 hours on the free plan, if you want to verify more than 50 addresses in a Google Sheet, then sign up for any subscription plan, even the Minimal one, so that you can process more than 50 emails or DRAFTs per day.

Is there an API for the email verification service?

Yes, see above!

Will verifying email addresses improve my deliverability?

It’s generally accepted that the lower the bounce rate you have, the better your email deliverability will be. Why? Because if an email provider is seeing that you’re sending to a lot of invalid addresses on its server, it’s more likely to think you’re doing something sinister than if you’re sending only to valid addresses. By having your addresses verified prior to sending, you’re minimizing the number of invalid-address emails you even attempt to send.

What are the downsides to using verification while sending with GMass?

There are two downsides to using verification:

1) It slows down your sending, because each email address is verified immediately before sending. If you’re sending a cold email campaign to 100 people, each address is verified, and then if it doesn’t fail verification, the email is sent. In many cases this will be acceptable since cold emailers often like to space apart their individual emails anyway.

2)There’s a chance that our verifier might determine the address is invalid even when it’s actually valid, and that could reduce the number of people to whom your message is sent. This will be rare, but as explained in the question below about the difficulty in building a verification service, our service is not 100% accurate because of the variation in SMTP response codes.

Was it hard to build a service to verify emails?

It wasn’t easy. Compared to all the email tools we’ve built, this had a medium level of difficulty. That part that makes it difficult is analyzing all the possible SMTP bounce codes to determine what definitely means that an email address is invalid versus only possibly invalid. For example, a standard SMTP response code of 550 usually indicates that the email account doesn’t exist on the server. But some mail servers also respond with a 550 when they’re blocking your transaction because of a Spamhaus listing, for example.

We’ve also seen some cases where a mail server, in this case the server for rediffmail.com, a popular Indian email service, responds with:

550 A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its recipients. This is a permanent error.

Only to respond with this a few hours later:

250 ok

In another case, we saw Mimecast respond with:

550 Invalid Recipient - https://community.mimecast.com/docs/DOC-1369#550 [krAti5jIOQW6F_z5KnAVbw.us456]

and then a few hours later, for the same address, it responded with:

250 Recipient OK [sLEl3_fPPVKzaLLYGZ-DyQ.us472]

These varying responses and the non-standardized use of numerical SMTP response codes is what makes this a somewhat difficult problem to solve. It’s also the reason why email verification is a whole industry on its own, separate from email sending tools. We, however, like to take on the challenge of building tools better than what the industry already offers. 🙂

37 Comments
  1. This is great, but this part remains a mystery to me….

    “Subject/Message and set “Just create DRAFTS” in the Settings box. T……”

    Could not locate the area to place the message.

      1. You’re The Mother Fucking Man. Who’s the Man “Ajay Mother Fucking Goel” Yeah I Said it…Yall were thinking it 2!!!!

  2. Hi Ajay,

    Love the idea! Just FYI I’ve tried it with a Google Sheet list and nothing populated in the sheet. I can provide the support team access to the account if you’d like to investigate.

    1. Yes, in order to troubleshoot, please send details to gmass.co/g/support.

      Two things to remember though. You had to have marked the box to update your Sheet with reporting data when you first connected to the Sheet, and obviously, the Verify box had to be marked before you hit the main GMass button.

  3. Buenas noches

    No solo me parece genial, sino un aporte significativo de GMass, porque la verificación de correos electrónicos en muchas plataformas es un servicio muy caro.

    Había visto GMass desde lejos para enviar mis correos electrónicos en frio, pero con esta herramienta que han puesto a disposición de todos; voy a utilizar el servicio de GMass.

    Muchas gracias nuevamente por este aporte tan significativo

    Saludos Cordiales

    Manuel Gonzalez
    Ecuador

  4. Awesome addition! Does it count “catch-all” as verified?

    Also while I have you here, can you add some Outlook accounts to the spam solver email addresses? 🙂

  5. the problem I have is that after I clean the email list, your software returns the emails in a work document. when I import it back to an excel sheet, excel puts all the emails in on row one collumn.
    how do I get excel to seperate each email back into one per row?

    1. I don’t know what you mean by “in a work document”. The two copy/paste buttons allow for the addresses to be copied with or without first names. If the list is without first names, then you get a column of just email addresses, like this:

      Email
      email1@domain.com
      email2@domain.com

      That should be pastable into any spreadsheet system.

  6. An amazing tool. The free email verification service is a a very welcome development. Thanks a lot

    The only reservation I feel will make it better is to include the option below for users

    (ONLY VALID)
     and
    (VALID/Unknown/Blocked) already available

    1. There’s a reason for including those 3. If you click on that link that shows up, you’ll see the explanation, but Unknown/Blocked are usually valid addresses that can receive your mail. With Blocked in particular, just because our verifier was blocked doesn’t mean that your email will be blocked, especially if you’re sending through Gmail.

  7. Thanks for this great tool. Appreciate it.

    Please, what does the “connectionFail” that some of the addresses show really mean? I noticed that they are not included in the valid list when you copy. Although it seems like some of these email addresses that show the “connection Fail” status are actually valid.

    Kindly let me know.

    Regards

  8. Thanks for this. When you verify a spreadsheet through making drafts does it verify as if it is sending through the GMAIL SMTP? Or will it verify as if it is sending through the SendGrid SMTP if you are using and select that option? There’s a domain that when I send to I am getting zero opens and I have a personal email on that domain and it does not come through, but when I do the verification through the spreadsheet it says “Pass” for all of them. Thanks.

    1. And I should clarify. I don’t get emails at that domain when I click the red GMASS button to send but I DO when I use the blue gmail button, this is why I am wondering. Thanks again.

      1. Okay I am also noticing that when I use the web based tool I am getting very different results from the Sheet method, it seems the web based one is correct as I am getting very few non “Passes” from the Sheet method.

  9. Ajay,’
    Excellent , very useful and amazing and super magic!
    It would be useful to have the first name in the spreadsheet when we just use the Draft feature.
    Updating a Google Sheet with email verification data

    So I could verify the first name faster and correct before sending for real or importing in my CRM

    Antoine. A big fan!

  10. Hi, all the emails were verified and I can see ‘pass’ in the field, but the email addresses have disappeared from that field. How do I get them back please?

  11. Dear Sir,
    LIst of 8194 email address submitted at https://www.gmass.co/email-extractor-verifier for verification.
    Approximate 640 are showing status & rest/balance 7554 are showing as pending .That imply user is able get status for 8% submitted & balance 92% is pending.

    Query: Should we hit/resubmit to try again for better % result?
    Are we missing some important action?
    Pls. advice solution?

    1. Hi Saleam,

      We’re still working on the current issue we’re experiencing with our email verifier and have opted to keep this feature offline until we’ve resolved the issue we’ve encountered.

  12. Am so disappointed, I just found out about your email verifier web-base today but unfortunately you took it off, am a gmass user and I would be so glad if you have any alternative for bulk mails verifying

    1. Hi Nick,

      At this time, we’re still working on a workaround to appease Spamhaus and still provide an invaluable verifying service.

  13. Hey GMass team, is this feature still working? The last time I used it, it was extremely helpful. When I tried to use it again yesterday(checked the box), it no longer works and it resulted in a lot of bounced emails.

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