What is a catch-all email address and how it works

Thomas founder at Enrow

Thomas

July 4, 2023

3 min read

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

If you have ever enriched a contact file or checked an email list, you have probably already realized that you had emails marked as catch-all or accept-all.

We often talk about catch-all emails even though, this is not the catch-all email but the domain — I mean all employees in a company will have the same problem.

Don't panic; I will make this article as simple as possible so that you understand everything, even as a beginner.

What is a catch-all email?

In email marketing or cold emailing, it is essential to check the email addresses of your contacts to avoid bounces. When an email bounces, it cannot reach its recipient.

There are two categories of bounces: soft bounces and hard bounces.

Supposedly, you have many bounces in your campaign; your deliverability or chance to reach your recipient's inbox will decrease. Ultimately, it will penalize your campaigns, and those of your colleagues send if you have any.

When Enrow checks emails, it gives you 3 possible statuses (valid, invalid, and catch-all) to determine their validity. When an email is marked as a catch-all, it is impossible to check its validity with standard checks.

However, we still display an email corresponding to our algorithm to the most probable pattern (or way of constructing the email address) according to several criteria (company size, sector, and geographical area).

These emails are not 100% reliable, but you will likely reach your recipient's inbox.

How does a catch-all technically work?

To understand how a catch-all works, I usually take the example of a tennis match between two players:

  • In the first case, I send the tennis ball (or a call to the mail server), and the player (or the mail server) returns it to me on the tennis court. I deduce that the address is valid.

  • In the second case, I send the tennis ball, and the player in front of me returns it off the tennis court. There is an error somewhere, and I deduce that the address is invalid.

  • In the third case, I send the tennis ball, and the player in front decides to catch it and shout, "I got the ball!" but never returns it to me, so I can't determine the validity of the address. I deduce that it is a catch-all.

How to check a catch-all email?

Most solutions on the market do not check catch-alls; some will isolate and email them to see if a soft bounce occurs.

It isn't a suitable method since the cost of these solutions if their sender server has spammer behavior, it risks being regularly refused the connection with the client-server and thus decreasing your chances of checking it.

I call this a return to square one.

At Enrow, this method does not respect one of our primary commitments: never to contact the people whose information you ask us to find.

Therefore, we have developed state-of-the-art technology, an independent algorithm that checks catch-alls in another way, in a few seconds, without sending an email or using databases (GDPR friendly).

In order to do this, you have to upload a file containing either a list of emails or a column with a first name, a last name, and the URL of the company; we will check your emails or find them.

To go further, I recommend the article on the difference between an email verifier and an email finder.

Should I send emails to unverified catch-all addresses?

To be honest, yes and no.

If you're starting with email prospecting, you've already begun to warm up your email address. However, if catch-alls represent many of your emails, wait to send them. You risk negatively impacting your deliverability.

If you don't have enough contacts, you can scrape more with this tutorial that explains how to do it.

Suppose you have been doing email prospecting for a while, and your company sends many emails daily. In that case, you can incorporate them into your campaigns in small doses. Of course, this will increase your bounce rate, but sometimes you will get a pleasant surprise.

Advantages of catch-all emails

  • These are preserved targets by email prospecting because of the complexity of checking their email.

  • If the person has just left his job, it could be read by his successor, who has recovered access to his mailbox.

Disadvantages of catch-all emails

  • You increase your chances that your email will bounce and the negative impact on your deliverability.

  • You can't be sure that your recipient has received your email.

Conclusion

Emails marked as catch-alls have no more secrets for you. Until recently, the subject of catch-alls was a significant threat to marketers and salespeople. But with Enrow, you can find and verify them.

If you start prospecting by email, avoid them and add them gradually to maximize your chances of success.

Remember to keep your inbox warm to avoid any inconvenience to your deliverability.

If you have ever enriched a contact file or checked an email list, you have probably already realized that you had emails marked as catch-all or accept-all.

We often talk about catch-all emails even though, this is not the catch-all email but the domain — I mean all employees in a company will have the same problem.

Don't panic; I will make this article as simple as possible so that you understand everything, even as a beginner.

What is a catch-all email?

In email marketing or cold emailing, it is essential to check the email addresses of your contacts to avoid bounces. When an email bounces, it cannot reach its recipient.

There are two categories of bounces: soft bounces and hard bounces.

Supposedly, you have many bounces in your campaign; your deliverability or chance to reach your recipient's inbox will decrease. Ultimately, it will penalize your campaigns, and those of your colleagues send if you have any.

When Enrow checks emails, it gives you 3 possible statuses (valid, invalid, and catch-all) to determine their validity. When an email is marked as a catch-all, it is impossible to check its validity with standard checks.

However, we still display an email corresponding to our algorithm to the most probable pattern (or way of constructing the email address) according to several criteria (company size, sector, and geographical area).

These emails are not 100% reliable, but you will likely reach your recipient's inbox.

How does a catch-all technically work?

To understand how a catch-all works, I usually take the example of a tennis match between two players:

  • In the first case, I send the tennis ball (or a call to the mail server), and the player (or the mail server) returns it to me on the tennis court. I deduce that the address is valid.

  • In the second case, I send the tennis ball, and the player in front of me returns it off the tennis court. There is an error somewhere, and I deduce that the address is invalid.

  • In the third case, I send the tennis ball, and the player in front decides to catch it and shout, "I got the ball!" but never returns it to me, so I can't determine the validity of the address. I deduce that it is a catch-all.

How to check a catch-all email?

Most solutions on the market do not check catch-alls; some will isolate and email them to see if a soft bounce occurs.

It isn't a suitable method since the cost of these solutions if their sender server has spammer behavior, it risks being regularly refused the connection with the client-server and thus decreasing your chances of checking it.

I call this a return to square one.

At Enrow, this method does not respect one of our primary commitments: never to contact the people whose information you ask us to find.

Therefore, we have developed state-of-the-art technology, an independent algorithm that checks catch-alls in another way, in a few seconds, without sending an email or using databases (GDPR friendly).

In order to do this, you have to upload a file containing either a list of emails or a column with a first name, a last name, and the URL of the company; we will check your emails or find them.

To go further, I recommend the article on the difference between an email verifier and an email finder.

Should I send emails to unverified catch-all addresses?

To be honest, yes and no.

If you're starting with email prospecting, you've already begun to warm up your email address. However, if catch-alls represent many of your emails, wait to send them. You risk negatively impacting your deliverability.

If you don't have enough contacts, you can scrape more with this tutorial that explains how to do it.

Suppose you have been doing email prospecting for a while, and your company sends many emails daily. In that case, you can incorporate them into your campaigns in small doses. Of course, this will increase your bounce rate, but sometimes you will get a pleasant surprise.

Advantages of catch-all emails

  • These are preserved targets by email prospecting because of the complexity of checking their email.

  • If the person has just left his job, it could be read by his successor, who has recovered access to his mailbox.

Disadvantages of catch-all emails

  • You increase your chances that your email will bounce and the negative impact on your deliverability.

  • You can't be sure that your recipient has received your email.

Conclusion

Emails marked as catch-alls have no more secrets for you. Until recently, the subject of catch-alls was a significant threat to marketers and salespeople. But with Enrow, you can find and verify them.

If you start prospecting by email, avoid them and add them gradually to maximize your chances of success.

Remember to keep your inbox warm to avoid any inconvenience to your deliverability.

If you have ever enriched a contact file or checked an email list, you have probably already realized that you had emails marked as catch-all or accept-all.

We often talk about catch-all emails even though, this is not the catch-all email but the domain — I mean all employees in a company will have the same problem.

Don't panic; I will make this article as simple as possible so that you understand everything, even as a beginner.

What is a catch-all email?

In email marketing or cold emailing, it is essential to check the email addresses of your contacts to avoid bounces. When an email bounces, it cannot reach its recipient.

There are two categories of bounces: soft bounces and hard bounces.

Supposedly, you have many bounces in your campaign; your deliverability or chance to reach your recipient's inbox will decrease. Ultimately, it will penalize your campaigns, and those of your colleagues send if you have any.

When Enrow checks emails, it gives you 3 possible statuses (valid, invalid, and catch-all) to determine their validity. When an email is marked as a catch-all, it is impossible to check its validity with standard checks.

However, we still display an email corresponding to our algorithm to the most probable pattern (or way of constructing the email address) according to several criteria (company size, sector, and geographical area).

These emails are not 100% reliable, but you will likely reach your recipient's inbox.

How does a catch-all technically work?

To understand how a catch-all works, I usually take the example of a tennis match between two players:

  • In the first case, I send the tennis ball (or a call to the mail server), and the player (or the mail server) returns it to me on the tennis court. I deduce that the address is valid.

  • In the second case, I send the tennis ball, and the player in front of me returns it off the tennis court. There is an error somewhere, and I deduce that the address is invalid.

  • In the third case, I send the tennis ball, and the player in front decides to catch it and shout, "I got the ball!" but never returns it to me, so I can't determine the validity of the address. I deduce that it is a catch-all.

How to check a catch-all email?

Most solutions on the market do not check catch-alls; some will isolate and email them to see if a soft bounce occurs.

It isn't a suitable method since the cost of these solutions if their sender server has spammer behavior, it risks being regularly refused the connection with the client-server and thus decreasing your chances of checking it.

I call this a return to square one.

At Enrow, this method does not respect one of our primary commitments: never to contact the people whose information you ask us to find.

Therefore, we have developed state-of-the-art technology, an independent algorithm that checks catch-alls in another way, in a few seconds, without sending an email or using databases (GDPR friendly).

In order to do this, you have to upload a file containing either a list of emails or a column with a first name, a last name, and the URL of the company; we will check your emails or find them.

To go further, I recommend the article on the difference between an email verifier and an email finder.

Should I send emails to unverified catch-all addresses?

To be honest, yes and no.

If you're starting with email prospecting, you've already begun to warm up your email address. However, if catch-alls represent many of your emails, wait to send them. You risk negatively impacting your deliverability.

If you don't have enough contacts, you can scrape more with this tutorial that explains how to do it.

Suppose you have been doing email prospecting for a while, and your company sends many emails daily. In that case, you can incorporate them into your campaigns in small doses. Of course, this will increase your bounce rate, but sometimes you will get a pleasant surprise.

Advantages of catch-all emails

  • These are preserved targets by email prospecting because of the complexity of checking their email.

  • If the person has just left his job, it could be read by his successor, who has recovered access to his mailbox.

Disadvantages of catch-all emails

  • You increase your chances that your email will bounce and the negative impact on your deliverability.

  • You can't be sure that your recipient has received your email.

Conclusion

Emails marked as catch-alls have no more secrets for you. Until recently, the subject of catch-alls was a significant threat to marketers and salespeople. But with Enrow, you can find and verify them.

If you start prospecting by email, avoid them and add them gradually to maximize your chances of success.

Remember to keep your inbox warm to avoid any inconvenience to your deliverability.

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