Every business wants to improve customer experience, but it’s impossible without effective communication. However, despite all the channels, email remains the most popular way for businesses to connect with customers.

Unfortunately, using the wrong email address can stop any effective communication in its tracks. That’s where catch-all emails come in!

Today, we’re looking at all things catch-all emails, from (dis)advantages to their impact on your email marketing!

What Are Catch-All Emails?

Catch-all emails, also known as accept-all emails or wildcard emails, can receive emails to any invalid email address on your domain. If customers send emails to invalid addresses, they won't bounce back.

Businesses typically use catch-all emails to ensure that any emails sent to an invalid or non-existent address still get delivered. This way, they ensure that they don't miss important emails like orders, customer queries, or support requests.

How Do Catch-All Emails Work?

Let’s assume a customer wants to place an order with a well-known electronics store - TheTechStore. To do this, they’ll need to send an email to [email protected].

If the customer then accidentally sends an email to [email protected], the email will bounce back. As a result, the email won’t reach the store’s sales department, and they won’t make a sale.

Even worse, the customer might take their business elsewhere.

Conversely, if that business has set up a catch-all email, the catch-all email server will accept emails from this address, and the business will receive the email. Actually, as mentioned earlier, they’ll receive any email sent to their domain, no matter what address a customer uses.

Catch-all Emails Explained

The Impact of Catch-All Emails on Email Marketing

Since about 30% of businesses use catch-all emails, they could be a potential problem for your email marketing.

One of the first things you’ll need to consider with catch-all emails is that you can’t tell which of them belong to actual persons and which don't. The email addresses might belong to people who actually subscribed to your list and are interested in your products.

With the right emails at the right times, you might easily convert these people into customers. Ultimately, this means you might be better off keeping these emails on your list, even though some of them may bounce. Those customers who do, however, open your emails help you improve your sender reputation and deliverability.

Unfortunately, the converse is also true. For instance, when you send an email and it ends up in a catch-all inbox, it won’t bounce. But it likely won’t be opened. This then impacts your engagement rates negatively and reduces the impact of your email marketing campaigns.

Another drawback is that many companies often set up their catch-all servers to accept emails from all addresses and then reject them later. In other cases, companies set up these servers to only accept a certain number of catch-all emails.

When this is the case, your emails will bounce immediately if the number of emails falls outside of this limit. While some of your emails might be delivered, there’s still a possibility that they could bounce. The inevitable result is that your bounce rate will suffer.

Unfortunately, many email service providers use bounce rates when deciding if you can use their services. Too many bounces impact the deliverability of all its users. When your bounce rate increases too much, these providers might terminate your account.

How to Solve the Catch-All Email Marketing Problem

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry too much about catch-all emails. There are ways to deal with them while keeping your deliverability sky-high.

Firstly, if you’ve built your mailing list from scratch through a sign-up form and implemented opt-in processes, you can be reasonably certain that the emails on your list are genuine.  

If, however, you’ve built your list through other means, there might be a lot of catch-all emails on your list. As mentioned earlier, this could impact your sender reputation and deliverability.

Your best bet is to run the emails through an email validation tool. This will show you if they belong to a catch-all domain. If some of them do, you can remove them from your mailing list before they affect your deliverability.

Verifying email addresses with Findymail

Test these emails by adding a few of them to every campaign. This allows you to see if they bounce while still keeping your overall bounce rate low. You can eliminate them if they bounce; if they don’t, add them to your main email list.

Similarly, you should check email addresses if you get them through lead gen tools or platforms like LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

For example, you can get prospects’ email addresses with Findymail, which doesn’t just find email addresses on the spot but verifies them, too.

It’s Time For You to Check Your Email List!

While catch-all emails can be handy for a business, they can wreak havoc on your deliverability. Before you send your next campaign, make sure your email addresses are verified and - even better - pre-verify them during lead generation.

After that, there’ll be one less thing to worry about!