Why Catch-All Email Validation Is The Missing Piece In Email Verification Tools Like ZeroBounce Or NeverBounce

In email marketing, it makes sense to build a long-term list of email marketing contacts you can contact again and again. Trying to rely upon a massive list of ‘one and done’ email marketing targets who only ever interact with you once is unsustainable. While billions of people exist on our planet, building your business model around interacting with each of them only once would be challenging, to say the least!

Therefore, on your email campaigns, you want to have a list of contacts who regularly read and respond to your emails. Rather than having a list of 10,000 people who barely interact with you, it is better to have a more contained list of subscribers that actively check out what you send them. In email marketing, quality over quantity matters – especially because of your sender’s reputation.

It is always better to send a smaller number of emails to a clean email list than it is to send marketing material to a wide range of bad emails. No matter which email marketing platform you use, you want to practice good email hygiene by:

·        Avoiding sending cold marketing to inactive email addresses

·        Clean your email list regularly to remove invalid email addresses

·        Use reputable email verification services to clean up your list on an annual schedule

·        Ensure deliverability and click-through rates by employing email tracking

·        Using segmentation and A/B testing to help ensure emails are more unique

·        Receive high email scores by sending valuable content people want to open

Therefore, email verification services can be a vital aid in making sure you maintain a high sender reputation. This can help to cut down on the number of invalid email addresses, making the email campaigns you run more effective overall. Regular email list clearing helps to avoid campaigns losing effectiveness as emails in your list become invalid.

Sender Reputation?

A poor sender reputation means that you are likely to find it harder to get new email addresses to accept your messages in the first place. It can also make finding an email marketing client that will accept your domain more challenging; email platforms do not tend to want to work with lower sender reputations.

A poor sender reputation will almost certainly see your emails consigned to the SPAM folder.

High deliverability rates, especially when sending bulk emails, speak to a high sender reputation. For cold email campaigns, in particular, a better sender reputation is essential.

With all of this in mind, then, it makes sense to focus your email marketing on a list of quality emails. Email deliverability is one of the most important metrics in your email marketing. As you might imagine, low email deliverability is going to hamper your email marketing efforts by damaging your reputation.

Nothing stands still, though, and over time your list will become populated with invalid email addresses. These emails could have been shut down, compromised, or replaced by another email account. Therefore, over time, you need to focus on making sure that you run your email list through an email validation platform like ZeroBounce or NeverBounce.

Email validators are very useful in that they allow you to verify email domains without having to send a single email yourself. Email list verification of any email list before you send any content is going to be vital to reducing bounce rates.

Why Verifying Emails Matters

Without verifying emails, you run the risk of sending emails to invalid, risky, or otherwise inaccessible email accounts. This leads to high bounce rates and low click-through rates. That would be disastrous for your email marketing campaign efficiency and also produce a poorer return on investment long-term.

Emailing invalid email addresses will eventually lead to your mail server suffering. Invalid addresses will hurt your ability to send cold emails without them bouncing due to the high bounce rates they create. As such, a domain check before sending is very useful.

These tools clean up your email list and get rid of as many invalid emails as possible. This keeps your list fresh, removing emails that no longer respond or are likely to hurt your sender’s reputation thanks to increasing your bounce rate. As good as these tools are, though, they are not perfect.

Tools like ZeroBounce and NeverBounce allow for rapid uploading of email lists so they can be checked and validated. This is usually done via uploading an email list in a specific file format, or by using the built-in API that allows for easy uploading. While false positives can be an issue here, high accuracy numbers ensure you can trust the results produced.

Thanks to the use of tools like ZeroBounce A.I., you can get much-needed peace of mind about the accuracy of your email list. The verification process is quick and easy, making sure you avoid sending sales emails and marketing campaigns to invalid emails.

In fact, they lack one critical tool that just about every email marketer needs today – catch-all email validation.

What Are Catch-All Email Addresses?

Sometimes known as ‘accept-all email addresses’, a catch-all email address is used by a web domain. Think about this: you go to contact a website to find out about a product they sell. The email address they give you is called ‘info@’ – so you contact that email address. A week goes past, and no response – strange. Why? You double-checked the email you sent, and you made a typo in the email address name.

Instead of sending the email to ‘info@’ you sent your query to ‘innfo@’ – an easy mistake to make, and by no means rare. If that domain does not have a catch-all address, then your email simply fell through the cracks. If that domain does have an accept-all address, though, you are in luck. That email you sent will instead land in the inbox of the catch-all address.

As the name implies, these are emails designed to ‘catch’ all of the emails sent to that domain. This means that businesses and marketers no longer miss out on queries, supplier questions, partnerships, customer support questions, etc. because the sender made a typo in the name of the email address. As you might imagine, such an email address can be extremely useful in the realm of Internet marketing.

However, validating catch-all email addresses is not something that most email verification tools provide. In fact, only one tool, Scrubby, provides that essential feature.

Why Does Validating A Catch-All Email Address Matter?

You might wonder why you should verify the presence of a catch-all email address in your mailing list. The simple reason is that without confirming the catch-all exists, you run the risk of hurting your sender’s reputation. Since the email will inevitably bounce without a valid catch-all email, your marketing campaign starts on the back foot. You want to avoid that as much as you can.

Thanks to email verification tools, you can make it much easier to clean up your list. While real-time verification is rarely possible, you can often get results delivered back to you in a matter of hours or days. This leaves you with a list of valid email addresses that you can feel confident messaging without risking damaging the reputation of your email server.

You might also wonder, though, why not simply just remove the catch-all emails? Why take the risk of sending an email marketing campaign to a catch-all email?

The simplest answer we can give you is the most important: tossing the email away completely means losing a potential doorway into a new partnership. By now validating a catch-all email address, you are taking a risk by emailing it. You might choose to not take that risk, which is your right. However, this means tossing away a golden opportunity to meet a potential new contact you would work with.

Therefore, it would be wise in the extreme to separate your catch-all email addresses and then have them validated. This means you do not have to give up on using that email address. After all, you might look at the company and imagine, if you could just get your foot in the door, they would be a great partnership to have. Tossing away that email address, though, precludes you from getting introduced.

Instead, it makes sense to validate the catch-all email address so you do not have to give up on that opportunity. If someone happens to check that accept-all email address, they will find your message. They might then respond, giving you a chance to get in touch with someone from that company today. This could result in the development of a positive partnership that benefits your marketing campaign.

Can You Validate Catch-All Email Addresses Yourself?

You could, but the process is elongated and likely to cause you problems. You see, to test out a catch-all email address you simply need to send it an email and then wait 48-72 hours to see if it bounces. If it does not bounce, then you can likely say that the email address is active – it might not be in use or get checked, but at least you can confirm that it exists and that you can send it marketing material.

However, validating means having to send an email to that address. If this bounces, this naturally hurts your rate of success, which could damage your sender’s reputation. You could create a burner address to send a message to, but unless you pay for this on a new email server you are relying on a free email address, such as a Gmail address, to test out the catch-all email address. Most disposable email addresses will bounce, too.

As such, email verifiers are your best bet to separate valid email addresses from invalid emails. Especially if you send a lot of cold emails, this can be very important.

Many private email servers block emails from such providers outright, meaning your free email is unlikely to get through. By using a private email on a domain you own, though, if the email bounces it makes your marketing look spammy. So, validating a catch-all email address on your own is not something we would recommend. Instead, you can use Scrubby to validate the email address on your behalf.

Is Email Validation Accurate?

Yes, these tools can generally be very accurate when used in the right way. However, it would be wise to pay attention to the accuracy rates of each platform. For example, tools like ZeroBounce suggest they are 99% accurate. NeverBounce goes one further and claims it offers 99.9% accuracy – however, neither can properly validate catch-all email addresses. So, if your list has lots of catch-alls included, that might come down.

There is also the potential issue of false positives and false negatives. Catch-all domains can be incorrectly verified, or incorrectly flagged, even with the best tools. Since only Scrubby offers a way to analyze catch-all emails, the accuracy of other tools is often disputed – at least when discussing catch-all and other risky emails.

You might have purchased an email list from a third party, and within that last are many catch-all emails. Indeed, some email marketing lists that you can buy are purely made up of catch-all addresses. Email validation is accurate, but for catch-all email addresses, you need to use a tool built with them in mind.

That tool, for most marketers, is Scrubby!

Does Scrubby Validate Catch-All Emails?

Scrubby is the only tool available today that you can use to validate catch-all email accounts. This tool simply needs to be fed an email list, and then Scrubby sends out messages on your behalf. Using burner accounts from highly reputable domains removes the risk of disposable email detection.

This is one of the major key features of Scrubby, simplifying the email validation process without having to send a single email yourself. This can be great for preparing cold email campaigns that won’t fall flat on their face.

Scrubby guarantees that the emails will get through to the catch-all email address if it is valid. If it is invalid, then you are alerted and thus can remove that email. With one of the highest accuracy rate values of 98.7%, Scrubby can help to reduce the risk of false positives. That accuracy rate can give you confidence that the results can be trusted.

Scrubby does a good job of taking your email list and then breaking it down into two forms: valid, and risky. Risky emails are those, such as catch-all emails, that come with the potential to be a problem. By validating them inside Scrubby, though, you make it much easier to determine what percentage of your ‘risky emails’ are safe to contact. Then, you can contact these emails and see what response you get.

Valid email addresses are vital to make sure you do not damage your sender’s reputation needlessly.

This is so useful and can be a great way to make sure you can quickly and easily verify your email list includes catch-all emails. Scrubby helps you to avoid having to take the risk of emailing the accounts and damaging your reputation. This tool also stops you from having to manually validate the emails yourself, saving you countless hours.

However, Scrubby can be used to validate all email addresses that you have, catch-all or otherwise. When paired with tools like ZeroBounce and NeverBounce, Scrubby can be the ultimate verification tool for guaranteeing your messages are likely to land in an inbox that is being used.

You do not have to use one tool or the other; many run their email lists through a tool like NeverBounce or ZeroBounce. Then, they run it through Scrubby to get any of the risky emails leftover validated accurately. This results in a much more accurate, safe, easy-to-use email marketing list for the future.

Is Scrubby Free To Use?

With Scrubby, you can try it for nothing for an email list of up to 100 different emails. We would recommend that you take a smaller email list and run it through Scrubby to see what the results show. Try a small list of 100 or under catch-all email accounts and see what kind of results Scrubby can produce. Of all the key features of Scrubby, this free trial is one of the most beneficial.

Now, you can use this online email validation system to quickly determine the validity of an invalid email address. This will be especially useful for your campaign monitor, ensuring your campaign is not going to get off to a bad start.

You simply need to submit your list of catch-all (or otherwise risky) email addresses and submit the file. Scrubby will then validate the list by sending a test email to these email accounts. Since Scrubby uses ‘burner’ accounts that come from reputable domains, they will get through to the email if it is valid. This takes around 48 to 72 hours, purely because some accounts will bounce the email after 2-3 days.

After that, Scrubby will send you a list containing all of the valid emails that you can feel confident in messaging. Try out a small list, and, if you find the results satisfactory, check out the pricing for Scrubby. Scrubby’s pricing model starts at just $27 per month, so it is an affordable tool for risky email verification.

How Often Should I Validate Risky Email Addresses?

Our general advice would be to run any new email marketing campaign list through Scrubby – especially if you bought it from elsewhere. This will give you a good idea of how many of the X emails you just paid for are safe to contact. After this, we would recommend scanning your email list on an annual basis at the latest. However, checking the email list once every six months would be a better idea.

This allows you to regularly scan your email marketing list to remove any invalid or risky emails that have gone out of commission. This keeps the list fresh, reduces needless bounce rates, and ensures that your list is more likely to see long-term results. With Scrubby, validation is nice and simple: why delay?

While real-time verification is not possible, rapid verification in a few short days via Scrubby is. Of all the email verification tools you might try, Scrubby is among the market leaders for good reason.

Summing Up

This article has broken down the importance of catch-all emails, and why they are the major oversight in many email validation and verification tools. While these tools are excellent, the inability to properly validate catch-all emails with any great accuracy would become a problem the longer you market.

We have broken down the importance of bulk email list verification, email list cleaning, and avoiding sending undeliverable emails. Keeping your email lists clean helps you to retain a higher sender reputation, and improve your impact as an email marketer. We have also included options for you to use as your chosen email validation provider.

As such, this article has broken down in easy-to-understand detail what catch-all emails are, and why they are useful. We have also shown you just how easy it is to validate a catch-all email by using Scrubby, the perfect complement to reputable verification tools like NeverBounce and ZeroBounce.

You do not have to use one or the other: run a list through one of the aforementioned tools, and then through Scrubby. This will result in an even cleaner list with as many invalid or risky emails removed as possible. Thus, using that cleaned-up list for your next marketing campaign is likely to pay off.

Use this to your advantage and you should find it much easier to avoid having to miss out on catch-all emails. Though risky, once verified they provide a fantastic opportunity to get in and initiate business with a new potential partner. Catch-all emails are too valuable to throw away but too risky to trust.

Some verification, then, can go a long way to make sure you avoid falling into a marketing campaign that could become toxic in terms of results. We hope this gives you more confidence in both using tools like ZeroBounce and NeverBounce as well as how to augment the results they provide via Scrubby.

Frequently Asked Questions

·        How many catch-all emails exist? Nobody truly knows, but it is believed that around 30% of business email servers are configured to use the catch-all email protocol. This ensures most marketing lists contain at least one catch-all account.

·        Are catch-all email accounts checked? Most companies will have a member of their IT team check their catch-all email account(s) at an agreed interval. For that reason, they are worth contacting to see if you get a response.

·        Why do some catch-all emails not get checked? Some companies abandon checking their catch-all accounts as they can become a haven for spam emails and unwanted marketing content. Validating that email is safe and in use becomes very important for any marketer.

·        Should my business use catch-all emails? These email account setups are great for making sure that emails do not fall through the cracks. If you worry about customers being ignored due to not receiving a response, setting up your catch-all email account can be very beneficial.

·        Why do catch-all email addresses stop working? The main reason comes down to the overflow of messages; they might receive so many spam messages that the catch-all soon exceeds the storage space allowed, resulting in them being decommissioned to save space.

·        What is the target bounce rate for email marketing campaigns? Most aim for a bounce rate that is a maximum of 2%; anything over 2% and you begin to raise suspicions from email service providers about the validity of the emails that you are sending.

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Erik Paulson

Erik Paulson is a distinguished entrepreneur and the CEO of Vendisys, Scrubby, Golden Leads, Inboxy, and several other companies. With more than 15 years in the industry, Erik stands as a pivotal figure in lead generation. He has been the catalyst behind a series of successful ventures, where he has pioneered innovative strategies for creating meeting-ready leads, validating risky emails, and enriching data, thereby setting new industry standards. Erik's profound insights and strategic foresight are highly respected and sought after in the industry. Under his leadership, Vendisys and its associated companies continue to redefine and advance the future of lead generation.