Validating catch-all emails

Having an extensive list of email addresses in your database sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it? Yes… in an ideal world. Unfortunately, the reality we face is much more pessimistic and full of harmful practices such as catch-all emails. What are they and how to validate them?

Catch-all explained

A catch-all email server seems to cause a lot of confusion. It is sometimes referred to as accept-all and this is in fact what it does. Any email sent to a catch-all server will be accepted regardless of whether it exists or not. The question arises as to why they should even bother you.

Frankly speaking, a lot of businesses set their servers as catch-all in order to receive all the emails sent to them. Imagine an honest mistake like this – someone has made a purchase at your store and wants to modify it. They need to send you an email with clarification but… they made a typo. If your company accepts all emails that are sent to your domain, you won’t lose a client and all the correspondence will go through.

On the other hand, some of those email addresses do not even exist and if you try to reach out to them, they will bounce back increasing the bounce rate and damaging your sender score. It’s a waste of time and money, which is never good for business. 

Another problem with catch-all emails is a lower open rate as the messages sent to a non-existent mailbox will never be read. Finally, your mail server may even end up being blacklisted or getting suspended.

How to validate catch-all emails

Identifying catch-all emails is extremely difficult and traditional methods would probably fail. Sending an email just to check if it bounces back is not a good option either as it raises a potential threat to your sender score. On the other hand, no engagement could cost you clients as a large portion of such addresses is actually valid. So what should you do?

Only advanced services such as email validation by Byteplant can detect catch-all configurations. We are able to check if a mail server is set up for catch-all or not.

However, not all types of businesses should be getting rid of catch-all email addresses. Assessing the risk of having them on your list is crucial. If you, for instance, purchased an email list then it’s probably better to remove all the catch-alls. If you sell products or services and a high conversion rate is what you value the most, the list should be evaluated. Finally, using a third-party ESP needs to be taken with extra caution.

Byteplant validates each email address with a live, real-time check

With Byteplant’s realtime email address validation process you get answers to all these questions about an email address:

  • Does a valid MX record exist for this email domain?
  • Is this a disposable email address (DEA)?
  • Is this a misspelled email domain like (Typosquatting)?
  • Does the mailbox for this email address really exist and accept mail?
  • Is the mail server available (includes Greylisting detection)?
  • Is this a catch-all email domain?

Try Byteplant’s advanced email verification tools

Whether you want to lower the bounce rate, improve deliverability, reduce spam and fraud or secure your reputation, our email validator will help you hit your marketing goals. We have helped countless businesses to identify invalid, spammy or catch-all emails to improve the engagement. Let us be your guide, your savior and your guarantee for a better future.

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