What is the Best Email List Cleaning Tool?

A user on Reddit asked an interesting question about email list cleaning (verification) tools.

I have 250,000 email addresses I need cleansed, and we want to be as thorough as possible. All I care about is the quality of the cleanse.

We already use Apollo.io, but I don’t trust it to be thorough enough.

My gut is to just go with Neverbounce (self-claim 125k users, owned by ZoomInfo) or Zerobounce (self-claim 300k users), which would be $750 or $875 respectively. They’re both probably the most well known but also two of the most expensive platforms. My path of least resistance is to go with the former, as the ZoomInfo data will probably be better.

Other research has some up nil. Listicles posing as reviews are useless, I can’t find any site doing an independent data-based comparative test and review (which makes sense, it would be expensive), G2 and Capterra are just user reviews, and Gartner PeerInsighs doesn’t serve this category.

Does anyone have a data-based (or informed opinion) justification for using or not using a particular service?

Reddit user thesecretmarketer

This is a really good question. Most email verification tools perform more or less the same checks.

At the end of the day there are only so many checks they can perform besides actually sending an email to an email addresses and seeing if it bounces.

In my opinion, and I’m using pure logic here, are those companies that have enough data collected where they can accurately identify email addresses that are currently spam traps, disposable, catch-all or been previously reported to have hard bounced (probably only Apollo or ZoomInfo would have this data).

Because these can change over time.

Most verification tools assign a certain risk score to each email address because they themselves are not 100% sure.

Example email list cleaning report from Kickbox
Example email list cleaning report from Kickbox

I can’t speak for all list verification tools because there are A LOT and as you accurately mentioned it would be very time consuming and expensive to test them all, BUT here are a few I’ve used which you’ve probably already heard of at this point.

  1. KickBox.com (expensive)
  2. EmailListVerify.com
  3. Hunter.io
  4. ZeroBounce.net
  5. Apollo.io (used their Verified Leads option)

One suggestion is to contact their support team and ask if they offer a guarantee of accuracy, and if for some reason, your results fall below that guarantee, you can always ask for a refund.

If you do that, I think you’ll quickly find out which companies are confident about their results.

I guess this would be my more-or-less informed opinion and not data-based unfortunately.

Hope that helps.

Hans Desjarlais
Hans Desjarlais

Hans Desjarlais is a seasoned tech entrepreneur with over a decade of industry experience. Faced with low open rates in his previous lifestyle software business, he dived into the complexities of email deliverability, performed rigorous testing and learned to achieve remarkable results. Now, he specializes in helping companies fix their email deliverability, avoid the spam folder and boost their email ROI.

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