I am pleased to announce Red Pill Email’s first Validation & Hygiene Vendor Guide, a handy, detailed reference aimed at helping email marketers determine which validation-and-hygiene vendor is right for them.

When a marketer experiences email deliverability troubles, they often can be traced back to email address-acquisition practices. Email validation and hygiene vendors are one important way to head off those deliverability troubles.

The trick for marketers is choosing the vendor that is a fit for them. Email-address acquisition practices vary widely from organization to organization, so some companies need email validation and hygiene services that others do not.

For example, organizations that collect email addresses through associates at point of sale or through an affiliate network are going to need preventive validation services that other organizations won’t need—spam-trap-detection services, for example.

The ad-supported Red Pill Email Validation & Hygiene Vendor Guide includes seven vendors: Experian Data Quality, FreshAddress, Impressionwise, Kickbox, TowerData, Webbula and XVerify. They are all gold-standard data-service providers.

They answered dozens of yes/no questions in multiple categories, including business model and pricing, security-and-encryption features, verification-and-hygiene services, training services, data-recovery capabilities, and platform details. They also provided lengthy and informative explanations of their business models and unique capabilities in a Q&A section at the end.

Not only does the guide provide email validation-and-hygiene buyers with a solid perspective on how widely available their particular wants and needs are, it also serves as a checklist they can use when assessing and meeting with validation-and-hygiene vendors.

Vendors are scored based on the number of features and services they offer, not the quality. As a result, a higher score does not equal “better.” It simply means that vendor offers more.

So organizations that want or need a lot of different features in a particular area will naturally gravitate to the high scorers in that area. Companies that don’t need so many services and features can feel comfortable considering vendors that score lower.

Vendors were not required to pay to participate. In the survey process, they were taken at their word on their answers.

The guide is currently available for dissemination by participating vendors, and will be available for free download here for anyone interested on Oct. 1.

The unique aspect of Red Pill Email’s Validation & Hygiene Guide is it is the only one compiled by a professional who has actually managed email-marketing programs. Rather than assessing vendors based on trivial product demos, we look at them with the eye of someone who has actually used their services or services like theirs.

The Red Pill Email Validation & Hygiene Vendor Guide will be updated annually. Any validation-and-hygiene vendors who are not in the inaugural version of the guide are welcome to apply to participate in the guides to follow.

You can get your copy of Red Pill Email’s Validation & Hygiene Guide from any of the participants or  here.