How To Interpret Our Confidence Scores To Get Lower Bounce Rates

An explanation of our email confidence scores

Updated on November 4, 2019

Ever wonder why emails bounce? I did too and it's one of the reasons that I built FindEmails. Every sales rep and recruiter and digital marketer faces the some problem. Emails bounce and you don't know why.

I've identified several factors that lead to bounces and incorporated them into the algorithm that runs FindEmail's email scoring. If you want to know how to lower your bounce rates, run your emails through FindEmail's verification system and you'll see it laid out neatly for you.

Every email address in FindEmails is scored with a multi-point system that is unique in this admittedly saturated industry. There seems to be another email finding app launched every week but FindEmails remains at the top of this category because it does the most thorough job of scoring emails. I have yet to find a better tool, and if I ever did find one, I'd probably incorporate whatever it was I liked into FindEmails and then improve it.

So here's a breakdown of the scores that make up the email confidence score.

  • Mailserver score: The mailserver test performs a sort of virtual handshake with a mailserver to determine if an email address on that server exists. It's the best indicator that your email won't bounce so it gets the greatest weight in the algorithm. Max score: 40
  • Pattern score: The next highest weight is the pattern score. If we've seen 100% of the email addresses on a given domain of the form {first}, then we can with a very high degree of certainty suggest that same email address will work again. This is contingent, of course, on that person still being at the company. A mailserver test in conjunction with the pattern score gives the best result, but a high pattern match is still a good sign. Max score: 30
  • MX records score: Related to the mailserver test, this score can be negative if there are no public mailserver records. Max score: 10
  • Catchall score: Also related to the mailserver test, this score is high if the email server doesn't respond positively to every request. That means we can give a higher degree of certainty that the mailserver test worked. Max score: 10
  • Uniqueness score: The score makes sure that the domain is a company domain and not a generic Gmail or Hotmail account. Max score: 2
  • List score: This score checks to see if the email handle is an email list, like contact@ or info@. Max score: 2
  • Disposable score: This score checks that the domain isn't a temporary or disposable email service. Max score: 2
  • Name score: This score tries to find a person's first name inside the email handle. Max score: 2
  • Gibberish score: This score checks that the email handle doesn't have nonsensical characters. It's useful for testing the last name. Max score: 2

So what's a good score? Right now, the score tiers are like this:

  • High: High email address confidence scores are over 70. This means mailserver testing was positive and there was strong pattern skew in favor of this email address. High scores should have a less than 5% bounce rate.
  • Medium: Medium scores are between 40 and 70. These indicate that there was no mailserver response but still a strong pattern skew in favor of this email address. Medium scores will have ~15% bounce rate.
  • Low: Low scores are less than 40. These scores don't have a strong pattern skew and there was no signal from the mailserver test. These emails will have a greater than 15% bounce rate.
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