How to verify email address?

How do you verify validity of an email address without sending an actual email if VRFY command is disabled? As sending emails to honeypots or invalid addresses will ding IP reputation.


First of all, there is no method that is a 100% reliable!

…but maybe this is of any help…

And, of course, there are commercial email verification services, but they can’t do magic either, although they may have additional data sources that they can combine with various testing methods to increase the accuracy of their results.

In the end, however, the only way you can know for sure if an email has been delivered is if the recipient, respectively the receiving email client, responds to your email in some way. By replying to you, clicking on a link, downloading content from a server, etc.

What are these email verifications ervices chaging $50-100 for then? They charge so much just to verify MX records?

I read your stackoverflow link, it pretty much says “meh, no sure way unless the user opens the mail and clicks a link”.

I don’t know, never used one. I guess they also get their info from data brokers, social media etc…

Well, a bit more sophisticated, but yes, in the end you can’t force a mail server to give you this information. And even if the email addresses exist and the mails are delivered, the recipients can still manually report you for spam: DNSBL Information - How to Report Spam

Email marketing is a s****** business, I’m sorry, but that’s my opinion, and if you don’t want to end up on blacklists, then do it properly, and for me that means not sending cold emails to random addresses you found on some list, but only to official addresses that potential clients published themselves for the purpose of contacting them, or to people and organisations that have contacted you and subscribed to a newsletter.


One reason to check it is to stop the spam on the contact us page. So if 80% is stopped that is 80% less can’t be delivered email.