Most companies consider email as their main platform for communications.
Why not? It’s easy, convenient, and works all the time.
What’s more – 72% of consumers prefer to use email when contacting a business.
Despite the presence of more modern communication platforms like chatbots, Messenger, and instant messaging apps, email remains to be effective, reliable, and powerful.
Businesses and marketers employ different means to ensure that they are able to communicate properly with their customers.
One popular strategy is the use of a catch-all email service.
What is a catch-all email server?
A catch-all server is one that is designed to accept all messages sent to a specific domain, regardless of whether the specific email address is valid or not.
For example. Say the domain name is @abcdefg.com.
If this domain is set up as a catch-all, it will receive all messages sent to it whatever the username.
This means, even if the official email address of a company is firstname.lastname@example.org, they will still receive emails from people who will incorrect or invalid addresses. Examples: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
With a catch-all email, you’re less likely to miss important messages, may it be that email from a potential partner, investor, or from your loyal customers.
This is why about 30% of business email servers are set up this way. A catch-all server is designed to ensure that companies aren’t missing any leads by keeping their inboxes reachable all the time.
Well, in a nutshell, yes.
But with the ever-growing complexity of email marketing, a catch-all email server tends to be less helpful now than it was years ago.
Can a catch-all email address be verified?
You must be wondering, can a catch-all email address be verified?
Yes, it can be verified. Thankfully, there are tools and platforms that can help you identify catch-all addresses.
Can an email validation service “catch” a catch-all email?
Traditionally, no. Before, email verification services can only tell whether a certain email account is active or not. However, new platforms are able to perform catch-all email verification.
What are the risks associated with catch-all emails?
High bounce rates
While a catch-all server is a great way for companies to communicate with their clients, it often poses a challenge to digital marketers trying to reach out to these businesses. In particular, it increases their bounce rates, which leads to a low sender reputation score.
A hard bounce is an email message that has been returned to the sender’s email address because the receiving address is either invalid or doesn’t exist. But isn’t a catch-all email server suppose to accept all? Well, technically, yes. However, it can actually reject an email and have it sent back to the sender. The only difference is that a catch-all server will initially accept the email and reject it at a later time.
Low open rates
Companies that use a catch-all server don’t usually have their email accounts properly monitored. Unless configured, most email platforms will automatically delete emails to non-existent or invalid mailboxes.
Higher spam rates
As mentioned, a catch-all email server is designed to ensure that no message is rejected. It’s meant to accept all emails, regardless of who sent them, where they come from, and whether the email address is invalid. Senders only need to know the domain name and they’re free to send whatever emails they want. This makes a catch-all email account highly susceptible to spam.
As your emails get rejected over again by a company using a catch-all email account, your hard bounces increase and your open rate goes down. What happens next is that your recipient’s ESP (which does everything to protect their client’s inbox), will consider you as a potential threat. When this happens, your emails will be marked as “spam”. As a consequence, you will be blocked from sending any message to that address in the future.
Assessing the Risk for Your Campaigns
As an email marketer, your main worry is not simply getting your emails rejected but also getting marked as a spammer and hurting your reputation score. It can be hard to tell whether you are communicating with a catch-all email address. An email verification service, however, can help you determine which addresses are valid and which are not. By assessing the quality of your mailing list, you can create a better strategy for your campaigns.
When assessing the risk for your campaigns, see if they are your customers or leads. You also need to consider your marketing goals and the mailing platform you’re using. Lastly, check whether your list is opt-in, double opt-in, or purchased. For example, if your list is double-opt-in it’s more likely that such a mailbox is in use.