Code to drastically cut email confirmation bounces

Credit: flickr/planeta

Managing a subscription service means confirmation emails, and those often fail. Here's one way to increase delivery rates.

Tip thanks goes to Kicksend, a service that sends large files that choke email systems. Their confirmation emails for new subscribers were often bouncing, a common problem. They fixed this issue by writing a JavaScript utility that calls a plugin to verify domain names are spelled correctly. In their example, they show an address of user@hotNail.com, suggesting user@hotMail.com. By asking the user while they're filling in the form to check the domain name spelling, they saw bounces drop by half.

Even nicer, they have open sourced their program, Mailcheck.js, a jQuery plugin. You can find it at Github. They admit they got their idea from how Google now suggests alternative spellings, but writing the program and making it available to the community is a nice gesture.

Thanks, guys

Fantastic little tool. I will definitely use it. I immediately looked in our site's database and noticed a @gamil.com on the first page of results!

Austin Butler on kicksend.com

It's a cool idea, but I think they're doing it wrong.

asuth on news.ycombinator.com

awesome case study and thank you for making this project open source!

tom on kicksend.com

Mail details

We use the email address of the user signing up to guess and pre-fill his company name and address.

Mohamed Attahri on kicksend.com

Cool until I checked the source and realised that the developer has to hard-code a list of domains they want to check against (there are none included).

fookyong on news.ycombinator.com

I really like the idea. My only nitpick is that these days most projects seem to be ending up as jQuery plugins even when they don't really use much of its functionality.

meow on news.ycombinator.com

Programmer chat

Cool stuff. If I put on my product hat, I think this brings up a larger discussion around what types of services even need to send a confirmation email.

Sid Wiswanathan on kicksend.com

Did this in 2003. Another tip: report bounces immediately in UI.

yegg on laterstars.com

just correct TLDs separately, and i don't think it's a problem if you have false positives in there, after all a user will recognize an incorrect suggestion and move on, should it happen at all.

kami8845 on news.ycombinator.com

One day, maybe email systems will stop refusing attached files larger than 5MB, and we'll need fewer of these type services. However, while we still need one, better to get confirmed quickly and accurately.

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