the Bento growth platform

We've Added Free Email Validation To All Accounts

Thoughts by Jesse Hanley • Founder Bento

If you've been in the email marketing game long enough you would have inevitably run into issues with fake sign-ups, list bombing, and spam traps.

These events occur when a nefarious third party leverages your forms, often automatically using code, to send emails and overload users to trick them from attacks going on in their accounts.

90% of the time these are attacks on your website's forms, sign-up pages, and password reset forms.

If this goes on long enough in your account you will face massive issues with delivery and spam complaints leading to less delivery and potentially landing in the spam folder.


So, how can you protect yourself from this happening?

The old way: traditionally, marketers would set a regular monthly schedule on their calendar to export their list, run it through an email validation provider like Zerobounce or Neverbounce, and then reimport the high quality email addresses they found back into their email marketing provider.

At a rate of $0.008 per contact this number can really add up. On a yearly basis, a list of 50,000 could be costing you $4,800/pa.

Crazy expensive and so much work!

After hearing this story from one customer we took a look at all this busy work and started to work out if we could offer this to our customers for free.

This made sense to us as it would enable us to protect our own networks reputation from issues and keep our customers happy. We also didn't really think it was that hard to pull off technically.

So after a weekend of hacking we pulled it off.

The new way: starting today all Bento customers will have access to our new Email Validation API both natively in their accounts through public API endpoints they can leverage.

The API is automatically run whenever a contact in your Bento account identifies themselves or updates their email address.

Preliminary rounds of using this new API found that we blocked 99% of spam detected in accounts. This has been huge for our beta customers who tried it before the release.

Whilst we won't run you through all the magic sauce happening under the belt we can let you know some of the basics checks we run:

  • MX checks: this looks at the MX records for a particular domain. If no records exist the subscriber can't get email so we unsubscribe them.
  • Syntax checks: this looks at if an email has been designed in a way that can even be received by the big email providers like Gmail or Yahoo.
  • Regex checks: this checks if emails match unique spam patterns we've seen in the wild. This one change alone wiped 35% of bad emails from one customers account. It's very powerful and a little bit opinionated.
  • IP scanning: this checks if the subscriber submitted it's address from a region or IP block we've detected submits a higher rate of spam.
  • User-Agent checks: detects if the device the subscriber submitted on was a robot. Some smart logic to bypass this if it's submitted via backend events or the API so don't worry about the events you're sending from your server.
  • AI: we run the subscriber through our machine learning API to see if it matches patterns we've seen inside the entire Bento network. If it matches, we let our users know and they can unsubscribe them themselves.

Plus there are plenty more checks we run but often it's not worth spilling the beans.

Just know that it works and if you have a Bento account it's now live on your account and keeping your lists sparkling clean.

If notice any false positives let us know over on Discord.