Accept-alls are email addresses that are impossible for an email verifier to identify whether this email is valid or not. You might also hear about them as unverifiable or catch-all emails.
Such emails are related to domains with accept-all settings. The configuration is typically employed by small businesses to ensure a company will get all the emails sent to them, despite grammar mistakes.
On average, around 50% of the accept-all email addresses are valid — the accept-all configuration is used to get all the emails sent to the domain. Yet, sometimes, organizations use the setting as a security practice to avoid undesirable emails. As a result, you send to accept-all email, hoping it is valid, and then it is returned to you because of receiving server security policies.
Accept-all vs Valid vs Invalid vs Unknown emails
A valid email address means that the verification tool has received confirmation of the existence of the email address from a mail server.
With the accept-all recipient’s domain settings, a verification tool can’t check the validity. The server and domain rules set by the accept-all configuration are unclear. So there are odds the email will be returned to you with the message that the email address doesn’t exist.
An unknown email means that the receiving email server doesn’t respond to the request due to security settings.
In the case of an invalid email address, the verification tool gets the response, but it tells that the email address doesn’t exist.
Note: the email types are related to a verification process. There might be other email types based on the email fiding process. In the latter option, you might also face Not found and Not checked emails.
How to safely send cold emails to accept-all addresses
In case you use third-party email providers to send emails:
- 1. Contact your email provider support team to know how many accept-alls you can send at once and what are the bounce rate limitations. Usually, email vendors tolerate up to a 4% bounce rate.
- 2. Try sending to the accept-all emails from an alternative domain and email account. So if it results in a high bounce rate, you won’t harm your main domain reputation.
- 3. Send in small batches of up to 15 accept-all emails or up to 50 mixed with valid ones. Larger sets may be considered suspicious for your and receiving email providers. The outcome may be block, spam, or blacklist.
- 4. Remove bounced emails from your list.
In case you use your own server to send emails:
- 1. In this instance, you don’t have bounce limitations. Yet, receiving email providers (e.g. Google) may notice that >10% of email addresses you send to are non-existent and blacklist you.
- 2. It is a good idea to keep your bounce rate under 5%.
- 3. Follow the same tips as for third-party email providers.