The software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry has seen quite an expansion over the last years, with experts predicting that it will account for as much as 75% of all cloud workloads by 2021. The top reason for that is cost-effectiveness since cloud-based SaaS applications generally require less upfront investment and maintenance than on-premise software.
Other reasons behind the shift to SaaS include:
- Scalability: SaaS businesses with well-established user bases usually have enough bandwidth to support steady operational growth. This is practical in the sense that their users do not have to worry about purchasing extra servers or setting up the necessary infrastructure themselves to handle the additional queries they may need.
- Flexibility: Traditionally, employees need to go to their company’s office to access applications relevant to their jobs. With cloud-based SaaS, however, they can access the same resources from home or virtually any other location. For companies that allow employees to work remotely, this could even translate to office rental cost savings.
- Accessibility: Using on-premise software requires companies to have backup storage for their data. That way, they can retrieve information if systems freeze or if the files in use get corrupted. Cloud-based SaaS removes the urgent need for backup storage since providers store all data on accessible devices as long as users have Internet access.
All these aspects have contributed to the increasing adoption of SaaS. SaaS business managers, therefore, have quite a lot in their hands and need all the help they can get. Tools such as Email Validation API can assist them in performing more vital functions that range from supporting the sales team in their lead generation activities to helping the marketing team with their campaign efforts to ensuring that their SaaS offerings are well-protected.
But what is email validation? Do SaaS business managers need it? This post takes a closer look at these questions.
What Is Email Validation?
Loosely defined, email validation is the process of verifying if a given email address exists. But it is also more than that. An excellent email validation tool can check the validity and quality of an email address. Such checks are essential, especially amid the proliferation of disposable or temporary email addresses.
Keep in mind that anyone can create a disposable email address within less than five minutes. How they use these addresses vary, but they are nearly always low-quality users at best and cybercriminals at worst. Email validation is, therefore, a crucial process for SaaS companies since an email address is often their first requirement when users sign up for their services.
Email Validation API, in particular, checks if an email address:
- adheres to the syntax standards set by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
- is disposable or not
- has an existing corresponding mailbox
- has an existing corresponding mail server
- is a catch-all email address
- is likely to contain typos
Email Validation API can be integrated into existing systems and solutions using PHP, Node.js, Python, Flask, and Express.js.
Top 3 Reasons Why SaaS Business Managers Need Email Validation API
SaaS business managers can help keep their user bases free from malicious entities with the help of Email Validation API, among other tools. We listed down three ways in which email validation can ease their jobs below.
1. Preventing potential phishing attempts or attacks by screening email communications
Perhaps due to the growth of SaaS adoption, threat actors have also developed ways to attack SaaS businesses. At the beginning of 2019, SaaS and webmail services became the top phishing target, overtaking online payment services. Over a third (36%) of phishing attacks targeted SaaS and webmail service providers, while only 27% and 16%, respectively, targeted organizations in payment services and financial sectors.
SaaS providers can reduce this number from their end by validating every email address that communicates with their network. By filtering potentially dangerous email addresses, they can avoid becoming the victim of a phishing attack.
2. Avoiding freemium feature abuse by disallowing the use of disposable email addresses
To increase sales, SaaS providers often offer freemium packages or free trials in hope that subscribers will love using their products and services so much that they’ll turn into paying customers.
Salesforce, for instance, offers a free trial of its customer relationship management (CRM) SaaS offering. But to what extent is the company protected from abusers who register accounts over and over not to pay? To find out, we tried signing up for the service using a temporary email address:
Once the address was created, all we had to do was to fill out the signup form shown below:
Not long after, we received a welcome email on our temporary mailbox:
We did not delve in any further as this just serves as a way to demonstrate how easy it would be for anyone with a temporary email address to sign up for Salesforce’s freemium services. Once the 30-day free trial is over, what’s there to stop the same user from signing up again using another disposable email address? Failing to verify email addresses from the onset makes SaaS providers prone to abuse.
A good example of a company that verifies email addresses is HubSpot. It also offers free trials for its CRM, Marketing Hub, Service Hub, and Sales Hub offerings. But when we tried to create a free account using the same disposable email address, it rejected our registration.
Other SaaS providers can follow HubSpot’s example with the help of Email Validation API.
3. Improving marketing campaign results by maintaining a clean email database
SaaS business managers work closely with their marketing teams to generate leads. For most providers, email marketing remains a preferred lead-generation channel because it has proven to have high returns on investment (ROIs).
But while email marketing remains king, it is not without issues. Organizations are finding it difficult to boost their open rates, reduce bounce rates, and improve their overall metrics. A possible way to improve email marketing campaign results is to keep a clean list of email addresses.
By clean, we mean that the list should not contain disposable or fake email addresses as this may impede email security. In addition, all email addresses should have corresponding valid inboxes and mail servers. A good email validation process aided by a tool like Email Validation API is crucial for such purposes. Marketers can run every email address in their database through the API to weed out those that may cause their bounce rates to further balloon.
SaaS business managers have a lot to look forward to since the model is set to continue its expansion. But as with any growing industry, there will be challenges. Fortunately, these are addressable with the right tools.
Email Validation API, for one, can help them not only to reinforce their marketing efforts but also to protect their network from abusive freeloaders and criminals executing phishing and other attacks.