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Should I send emails to catch-all addresses?
Should I send emails to catch-all addresses?
Grégoire Démogé avatar
Written by Grégoire Démogé
Updated over a week ago

Short answer: It depends...

If you are sending a high volume of emails (> 1K/day) from your primary domain, no.

If not, probably yes.

Need more details? Read on.

What Are Catch-all Emails?

Understanding Different Email Types:

Valid Emails: These are specific, existing email addresses that belong to an individual or a specific role within an organization.

Invalid Emails: Non-existent email addresses. Sending to these emails results in a hard bounce, like sending a letter to a building that has been demolished and no longer have an address.

Catch-all Emails: This is a specific setup of the email server. When you're checking to see if an email is real, and you ask "does this email exist," the server will always reply "Yes", no matter if the email's real or not. So basically, you can't be sure an email is valid or not.

Probably Valid Emails: Those are Catch-all Emails where we have been able to find if they are more likely to be valid than other catch-all emails.

The Risks of Sending to Catch-all Addresses

High Bounce Rates: Catch-all addresses can often result in high bounce rates. This is because while the domain receives all emails, individual addresses within that domain might still be inactive or full.

Damaging Sender Reputation: Continuously sending emails to catch-all addresses that result in bounces can harm your sender reputation. This is similar to a mail carrier constantly noting returned letters from a particular sender.

Reasons to do it

Untapped Business Opportunities: Think of it this way: every prospect you don't reach out to is a missed opportunity.

Consider the numbers: If 30% of your contact list uses catch-all emails and you ignore them, you’re potentially forgoing 30% of your potential revenue from email marketing. Which is a huge miss.

Large Organization Targeting: When targeting large corporations, you’re more likely to encounter catch-all emails. In contrast to smaller firms, big enterprises often use catch-all systems, leading to a higher proportion of catch-all addresses in your contact list. If you're targeting larger organization, the prevalence of Catch-all might be so high that you can't simply not send them an email.

Our Recommendation

At FullEnrich, we do send emails to Catch-all addresses. (and we send 50k+ emails a month)

Approximately 20% of our audience is catch-all, and out of these, 10% result in bounces. This means our overall bounce rate is around 2-6%.

We mitigate the risk by using over 30 different domains for sending emails (,,, etc), ensuring our primary domain's health ( is not compromised.

Should I Send Email to Catch-all Addresses? Probably Yes, but...

Preface: Don't use your Primary Domain for Emailing

Before we delve into whether you should send emails to catch-all addresses, it's crucial to understand the concept of sending emails from your primary domain. The primary domain is your main business domain, like Using this for high-volume email campaigns, especially when including catch-all addresses, can be risky. The reason? It's all about maintaining the health and reputation of your primary domain. A tarnished reputation can lead to serious deliverability issues, affecting not just marketing campaigns but also critical transactional communications, like account creation confirmations.

At FullEnrich, we recommend using alternative domains for high-volume email campaigns (like,,, etc). This approach helps protect your primary domain's integrity.

Three Categories Based on Volume and Domain Use:

Low Volume, Primary Domain:

If your email volume is low, sending to catch-all addresses using your primary domain will probably be safe.

A bounce rate of 5-10% in this scenario is unlikely to significantly impact your deliverability.

You're safe sending to catch-all addresses.

High Volume, Primary Domain:

This is where the risk escalates. If you're sending a large volume of emails from your primary domain, including catch-all addresses can be problematic.

A high bounce rate here can damage your primary domain's reputation, affecting all forms of email communication, including essential transactional emails.

You're not safe sending to catch-all addresses.

High Volume, Multiple Domains:

For businesses sending over 1,000 emails per day, using multiple domains is a must have ( whether you're sending email to catch-all addresses or not).

This disperses the risk across various domains, ensuring that a high bounce rate doesn't heavily impact your overall email deliverability.

In the event of domain reputation issues, you have the flexibility to shift to another domain without major disruptions.

You're safe sending to catch-all addresses.

Regardless of which category you fall into, monitoring your bounce rate is crucial.

This metric will be a guiding factor in determining if you need to adjust your email strategy.

A spike in bounce rates might indicate the need for a change, either in the volume, the choice of domain, or the decision to send to catch-all addresses.

In summary, the decision to send emails to catch-all addresses hinges on a careful evaluation of your email volume, the domain used, and the bounce rate. By categorizing your strategy into these three areas, you can make informed decisions that balance outreach with the health of your email ecosystem.

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