There is little use having big data if it’s bad data. When it comes to coordinating outreach efforts for your business, you need the right details in your hands to successfully engage your target. Nothing is worse than undelivered emails. Not only does it ruin your chances of communicating with your prospects now, but it can even harm future efforts as you damage your company's sender reputation and cause your emails to be flagged as spam, something you really don’t want!
There are many options available on the market, so choosing the right solution for your business can be tricky and take some time. Not every tool is made equally, and to reach a firm decision you need to find out what the difference is between them. In some cases, a solution might focus only on physical address validation, while another focuses on email validation, so making an apples-to-apples comparison isn't always possible. With that in mind, to help you in making comparisons for your needs, we’ve compiled some of the top solutions out there in 2023.
A word on terminology
When looking into various solutions, you will come across the term's validation, verification and formatting / standardization. Often, they are used interchangeably, and it might cause some confusion as to what a solution is offering. Although all these terms refer to important steps in the path towards data quality, they refer to different aspects of data quality control.
To help you understand this easier, let’s imagine you were baking a cake.
Data verification is the process of checking whether data matches the original source of the data. This involves cross-checking data with the original source, such as a paper document or another database, to ensure that there are no discrepancies or errors. So, in the example of baking a cake, it would be like checking that you have all the right ingredients. You'd look at the recipe and make sure you have the flour, sugar, eggs, and so on. If you're missing an ingredient, you'd go get it before you start baking.
Now that we have all our ingredients, we would need to validate the recipe. Data validation is the process of checking whether data is accurate, complete, and meets certain quality standards, usually defined by your organization. This involves checking that the data is in the correct format, within an acceptable range, and meets any business rules or constraints that have been defined for the data. Validating would be like testing the cake once it's done baking. You'd take a bite and see if it tastes good. If it does, then you know you followed the recipe correctly and the cake turned out the way it was supposed to. If it doesn't taste good, then you might need to make some changes for next time.
Lastly, there is standardization or formatting. Once data is captured, you might want to format or standardize it. These terms refer to the visual appearance of data, such as font size, type, number spacing, etc. Correct formatting makes data easier to read. For example, formatting can be used to put spaces in a phone number, so that the number is easier to read. To take our cake example again, this might be the shape of the baking tin you use, or the way you slice a cake to make it easier to eat. When I imagine a cake, it’s usually round, but hey, you might prefer something else!
With that said, let’s get into our comparison!
Top Record Validation tools for 2023
• Plauti Record Validation (website)
• ZeroBounce (website)
• Validity BriteVerify (website)
• Melissa (website)
• ProvenWorks AddressTools (website)
• Google Address validation API (website)
1. Record Validation (RV)
Record Validation (RV) is a fantastic tool for verifying, validating & formatting the records in your system. Like all Plauti solutions, RV is 100% native to Salesforce, making implementation a breeze. Plauti has you covered for email addresses, phone number and postal addresses. Besides that, there are some other great features that set this tool apart from the rest.
Features & benefits
- Batch Validation — Run a record validation job and batch validate all existing records from within Salesforce.
- Validate & verify all record types — Plauti RV validates your phone numbers, and for email addresses and postal addresses, RV will validate, verify and format them as needed, even at the point of entry.
- Accurate delivery — Email delivery rates of 99%
- Automatic validation — Automate the validation of all incoming records directly so bad records never enter your database
- International Address Validation, Verification & formatting — RV can validate, verify and standardize addresses for over 240 countries.
- Salesforce Native — Like all Plauti solutions, RV is 100% Salesforce native. This means less security risk as all data is processed internally.
- Flexible & Extensible — Plauti’s integration options are top of the line, with a vast array of API’s and Flow Actions at your disposal.
- Segment email addresses — Validate existing email addresses and check newly entered email addresses for hard bounces, disposable domains, catch-all, role-based and spam-trap email addresses.
- Validate on the fly — Live Validation will check and validate the data you’re working on in real-time.
- Quick Entry — Plauti RV can format and validate data upon inserting or updating a record. Enter new information faster, without errors, and improve your efficiency.
- Direct Validate — Get data right at the point of entry with the Direct Validate feature. It automatically validates records that enter your Salesforce Org through API insert or bulk upload.
- No downtime — You won't be stressing about downtime, the Plauti RV server boasts 100% uptime.
PRO TIP — Plauti Record Validation is a match in heaven when used with Plauti Duplicate Check.
Try Record Validation for free today!
ZeroBounce is a well-regarded and trusted player in the record validation game. They have some interesting features, such as Activity Data to assess email interactions. Although this solution is not native to Salesforce, and focuses on email addresses, there are some strong points worth examining.
Features & benefits
- High Speed Validation — Validate up to 100, 000 contacts within 45 minutes.
- High Accuracy — ZeroBounce guarantees a 99% accurate result of email validation.
- Activity Data — With this feature you can get information about your subscribers’ email activity so you can check for the most active prospects and target them.
- Excellent customer support —ZeroBounce offer 24/7 customer support. That’s a level of care that can really make a difference.
- Validate emails instantly — Prevent poor data from entering your list by validating emails on the fly.
- Toxic Domain Verification — With the Toxic Domain API you can identify domains known for abuse, spam, and bot-created emails.
- Gender ID — ZeroBounce can identify the (assumed) gender of a contact by looking at the first name.
- Compliance — ZeroBounce is GDPR, SOC 2 and PCI compliant.
- Automation — With the bulk email verification API you can validate emails frequently and automate the process.
3. Validity BriteVerify
Another name that pops up a lot when searching for data cleansing tools is Validity BriteVerify. It’s got a good name for what it does – namely email verification & validation. Here are some of the features of BriteVerify.
Features & benefits
- Real-time validation — Information is verified at the source of capture, so no bad data enters your records.
- Bulk validation — Validate your stored data to identify email addresses that have changed, become disabled, or no longer exist, then remove them from your campaigns.
- Validate & verify email addresses — Validate and verify your email addresses so you know your emails are being delivered.
- Check phone numbers & mailing addresses — Although this product markets itself primarily as an email verification tool it also possesses the ability to validate phone numbers and mailing addresses.
- Integration options — BriteVerify comes with ready-to-go integrations with major marketing platforms as well as custom integrations with major email service providers.
Melissa is a quality product that is highly regarded in the data cleansing industry. They have many years of experience in data cleansing and are therefore worthy of mention when looking into solutions for data happiness. Melissa has solutions for email, address and phone number verification and more. However, these are all separate point products. With that in mind, here are some key features of Melissa.
Features & benefits
- International Address Verification — Melissa supports over 240 countries in address verification.
- Email Validation & Verification — Scan and verify email addresses. It will also check emails before sending to make sure the email is valid.
- Phone number validation— You can validate phone numbers with Melissa, whether in your system or at the point of entry.
- Advanced Parsing & Fuzzy Matching — Their product supports Advanced Parsing & Fuzzy Matching so you can catch those typos in data entry and easily convert data from different formats.
- Great support — You have access to unlimited technical support. How this works exactly is unclear, but it’s good to know.
- Propriety Address Engine — Melissa have developed their unique address validation engine over many years.
- Delivery Indicator — Find out if the physical mail you sent to your client / prospect was delivered with the Delivery Indicator.
- High Availability — Although not a feature per se, according to their official website they have an uptime of 99,99%, so you won’t be worrying about downtime issues.
5. ProvenWorks AddressTools
Another proven contender (no pun intended) that makes it onto the list of top solutions is ProvenWorks. They have a range of neat features that make it a good product to help you keep your data happy. Although this tool is a point solution for physical / mailing address, there are some neat features. Just bear in mind that this solution is not native to Salesforce so implementation will be a bit more work.
Features & benefits
- Global Address Validation — Although the exact number of countries supported is not clear, it stands to reason that most of your geographical needs are covered.
- Verification Flow Component — There is a customizable Premise-Level Address Verification component. You can apply custom CSS and configure field displays to fit your requirements without having to code.
- Advanced validation rules — Make sure address data is right at the point of entry with flexible validation rules using Country, State and US ZIP values.
- Interactive data entry — Enhance your workflow with time-saving and user-friendly interactive data entry features.
- Custom configuration options — Set up your own custom profiles and users. Customize settings for different profiles and users in your organization.
- Custom objects and text fields — AddressTools supports custom objects and text fields, however, you will need the premium version for this feature.
- Additional Language support — Besides ISO country values, AddressTools supports local language names and global German, French and Spanish country names.
6. Google Address Validation API
To round this list off, we will look at a free tool by Google, that is the Google Address Validation API. The Google Maps platform is a set of APIs and SDKs that enable developers to embed Google Maps into mobile apps and web pages, or to retrieve data from Google Maps. You can accomplish some of your address validation needs with Google API, but there are some limitations and downsides, such as ease of use. That said, let’s take a look at some of Google’s Address Validation API features.
Features & benefits
- Verify Addresses — Use the available kits to verify addresses in your database. It should be noted that these tools are not Salesforce native and will require some more advanced implementation.
- Unlimited requests — Google states there is no maximum daily limit on the number of requests you can make to Google Maps Platform, however, only 6000 queries per minute is possible. So, technically speaking, there is a limit.
- CASS Certified — The Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) is used to support and certify address validation providers and is maintained by the United States Postal Services. The Address Validation API is a CASS Certified service that you can optionally use as part of the address validation process. Of course, this is most useful for addresses in the United States.
Some tips for deciding on the right solution.
All the solutions mentioned above have their strengths and weaknesses. Some are focused on doing one thing and one thing only, the so called ‘one trick pony’. There’s nothing wrong with that, if you only need one very specific task accomplished. On the other hand, some solutions might offer more functionality and the ability to enhance other aspects of your business needs. For example, Plauti Record Validation is a great holistic solution that ties in well with Duplicate Check. Used separately, they can achieve great results. But when used in conjunction with each other, they complement each other and allow for even greater functionality.
When looking for the right solution for needs, you must weigh up several factors. It could be your physical location, it might be the CRM software deployed in your organisation, or it might be how easy (or tricky) implementing a particular solution is. This might be a consideration when looking at something like Google’s Address API as you will need the expertise available to configure it for your use. As mentioned earlier, some products are very good at doing one thing, while others offer a more comprehensive set of abilities. To wrap things up, here is a table with some pros and cons of each solution discussed in this article.