Email marketing is a powerful, but its effectiveness hinges on ensuring that emails reach their intended recipients. You may not know it, but there are two critical factors that play a significant role in email deliverability. They are domain verification and email verification. Although they might sound similar, these processes serve different purposes and are both essential for optimizing email deliverability. 

Let’s explore domain verification and email verification are, their differences, and why they matter for email deliverability.

Free Resource

Maximizing Deliverability: A Tactical List Management Guide for Google & Yahoo’s Email Policy Update


What is Domain Verification?

Domain verification confirms that you own the domain you use to send emails. It involves proving to your email service provider (ESP) and receiving mail servers that you have legitimate control over the domain. This process is crucial for establishing your domain’s credibility and reputation.

How Domain Verification Works:

  1. DNS Records: When you verify your domain, you will typically be asked to add specific DNS (Domain Name System) records to your domain’s DNS settings. These records might include TXT, CNAME, or MX records, which are used to validate your ownership.
  2. SPF, DKIM, and DMARC: Domain verification often includes setting up SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) records. These protocols help authenticate your emails and prevent spoofing.
  3. Verification by ESP: Once the DNS records are added, your ESP will check these records to verify that you own the domain. Successful verification enables you to send emails from your domain with enhanced credibility.

What is Email Verification?

Email verification, on the other hand, is the process of verifying the validity and accuracy of individual email addresses on your mailing list. Email verification is important because it makes sure the email addresses you are sending to are active and able to receive emails.

How Email Verification Works:

  1. Syntax Check: The first step in email verification is checking the syntax of each email address to ensure it follows standard email formatting rules (e.g.,
  2. Domain Check: The verification process then checks the domain of the email address to confirm that it exists and has valid MX (Mail Exchange) records configured to receive emails.
  3. Mailbox Check: The final step involves checking whether the specific mailbox for the email address exists and is active. This can be done through SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) checks or other methods that verify the mailbox without sending an actual email.

Differences Between Domain Verification and Email Verification

While both domain verification and email verification are essential for email marketing, they serve different purposes and involve distinct processes:

  1. Purpose:
    • Domain Verification: Ensures that you are the legitimate owner of the domain from which you are sending emails.
    • Email Verification: This ensures that the email addresses on your mailing list are valid and capable of receiving emails.
  2. Scope:
    • Domain Verification: This applies to your entire domain and affects all emails sent from that domain.
    • Email Verification: This applies to individual email addresses on your mailing list.
  3. Process:
    • Domain Verification: Involves adding DNS records and configuring SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
    • Email Verification: This involves checking the syntax, domain, and mailbox of each email address.
Free Resource

Email Deliverability 101: Understanding the Basics of Making it to the Inbox


Why Domain Verification Matters for Email Deliverability

Domain verification is crucial for maintaining a good email sender reputation, which directly impacts your email deliverability. Here’s why it matters:

  1. Establishes Trust: By verifying your domain, you signal to email service providers and receiving mail servers that you are a legitimate sender. This assists with establishing trust and reduces the chances of your emails being marked as spam.
  2. Prevents Spoofing: Domain verification protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC help prevent email spoofing. Email spoofing is when scammers send emails that appear to come from your domain. Preventing spoofing protects your brand’s reputation and reduces the risk of phishing attacks on your recipients.
  3. Improves Deliverability: Emails from verified domains are more likely to make it to the inbox than the spam folder. This is because ISPs (Internet Service Providers) perceive verified domains as more credible and trustworthy.
  4. Ensures Compliance: Many email service providers require domain verification as a compliance measure when using their services. This ensures that only legitimate senders can send bulk emails, reducing the overall volume of spam.

Why Email Verification Matters for Email Deliverability

Email verification is equally important for maintaining high deliverability rates and ensuring that your email marketing campaigns are effective. Here’s why it matters:

  1. Reduces Bounce Rates: Verifying email addresses is the act of identifying and removing invalid addresses from your mailing list. This reduces bounce rates and improves your sender reputation, which is a critical factor for deliverability.
  2. Enhances Engagement: Sending emails to verified, active email addresses means that your messages reach real people who are more likely to engage with your content. Higher engagement rates signal to ISPs that your emails are valuable, further boosting deliverability.
  3. Prevents Spam Traps: Email verification helps identify and remove potential spam traps from your list. Spam traps are email addresses used by ISPs to catch spammers, and sending emails to these addresses can severely damage your sender reputation.
  4. Optimizes Campaign Performance: Maintaining a clean and verified email list can achieve more accurate metrics for your email campaigns. This allows you to make data-driven decisions to optimize your marketing strategies.

Both domain verification and email verification are essential components of a successful email marketing strategy. Domain verification ensures that you are a legitimate sender, building trust and credibility with ISPs and your recipients. Email verification ensures that your emails reach valid and active addresses, reducing bounce rates and enhancing engagement. Together, these processes play a crucial role in promising email deliverability and ensuring the success of your email marketing campaigns. By prioritizing both domain and email verification, you can create a strong foundation for reliable email communication.

Sign up for Benchmark Email and use our list-cleaning features to help keep your email list clean.


Sign up for a free Benchmark Email account today!

Author Bio:

by Jessica Lunk

Digital Marketing Manager