Does anyone have any experience with either of these email validation services?
I've narrowed down my search to those three services, and would appreciate some feedback from Marketo users who have had experience with either of those. A few things i'm looking for:
- Simple set up / integrates well with Marketo
- Accuracy of real time validation
- Email address validation in SFDC
- Robust reporting including reasons provides
"Best" is pretty fungible—depends on what you're looking for. I'll also just briefly note that as far as SFDC integration goes, your best bet is simply to populate your deliverability fields with SFDC-synced fields, and obviously you can do that with all three services. I've used all three in the past, so:
Informatica: I actually quite like Informatica's set up with Marketo for real-time validation, though in terms of price point I'm not sure it's the best value. Moreover, I'm a little distrustful of its flagging of honeypots—I've seen a couple of false positives in very large datasets, but it's accurate for most marketers' needs. It's very "set it and forget it" if you're not the type to geek out about making delivery lists, which is a big perk to some. Now, when you ask about robust reporting, I do wonder how deep you want to go down the deliverability rabbit hole, but Informatica is pretty middle-of-the-road there. They mostly just want to group by labels rather than provide more sophisticated scores.
Kickbox: Normally, I don't use Kickbox's integration with Marketo (I prefer to use Kickbox for bulk projects along with some proprietary methods for real-time validation) but I've seen similar success to Informatica with their connector. The return data is more detailed (Sendex etc.) but it can be harder to make discernible calls on what to do with that data if you're not as versed in the differences of "accept all with a Sendex of 0.65" vs. "accept all but role email." Also one of the more reasonably priced/accurate ratio services right now.
Mailgun: I've never used Mailgun specifically for email validation (normally it's just bolted on for transactional email and thus out of the Marketo ecosystem) but Flanker is open-source if you want to go down that route. Honestly, it's more similar to mailcheck.js than the first two services (as it's looking at formatting and rules rather than actually pinging the address), but I'm always an advocate of using Mailcheck with something like Informatica/Kickbox, so if that's the route you want to go down, there's no harm there.
We're about to kick off the implementation of Informatica into our environment. Appreciate the great insight, Courtney!
I like Informatica/StrikeIron. Good range of codes. As with any dataset, there will be issues overtime. It also depends how you use the data - if you only send to 200, 210, that's very restrictive.
Courtney Grimes Thank you so much for your detailed feedback-super helpful! We're going to move forward with Informatica's free trial and take it form there.
When using either of these services, does the recipient's email server know that we are attempting to validate an email address during the SMTP ping? In otherwords, can using a service like Informatica have any negative effects from a deliverability perspective (e.g., sending a real-time ping prior to sending the actual email)?
Your domain doesn't appear in the connection made from the validation service to the recipient's domain.
Can the recipient file a complaint - primarily in strict countries like Canada and Germany - that Informatica, for example, doesn't have permission to send over these pings? Not sure how these align to the normal spam laws.
The recipient never knows that their address was verified, though the mailserver admin could know by checking SMTP logs. If the spam law addresses SMTP connections and not messages then it might apply. You'd have to check with a lawyer.
A note in CASL states:
"an electronic message is considered to have been sent once its transmission has been initiated"
so part of the question is whether sending the SMTP RCPT command, without any intent to send data afterward, is "initiating a transmission" of a hypothethical message. In contrast, the now-obsolete SMTP VRFY command was used only to verify addresses and was not a preamble to sending a message.