Jan 2019 : Month 156 Here at Bikini we get asked a lot of questions. Usually 'Why are you called bikinilists?" but also some questions about delivery, data verification, servers etc. Recently the question "What is a catch-all emailer server?" has been coming up a lot, so here's the scoop...
What is a 'catch-all' email server?
A catch-all email server can also be referred to as an 'accept all' server.
A catch-all email server is a mail server configured to accept all emails sent to the domain (eg. @anagency.co.uk), regardless of whether or not a specific mailbox (email@example.com) exists.
Most Email Service Providers (ESPs) have very low tolerance for bounces - and they will 'pre-send' a randomly selected test batch from your email list at the point you upload it, to check for 'catch-all' domains and will declare email at those domains as 'undeliverable' - by the ESP - even though the email address could be correct.
"I want to use another ESP with your lists..." - Well, we advise you don't, to avoid having your account suspended from the ESP. (Most 3rd party ESPs operate on a strict 'opt-in-only' basis)
Can an email address at a catch-all domain be auto-verified by an ESP? No. Never. Not Possible.
No email verification service or ESP can confirm that a specific mailbox exists (or not) at a catch-all domain.
These services may be able to confirm that the domain is active and some advanced services will detect how the 'catch-all' is configured.
The only way to verify that a mailbox exists is to send an actual email, which is very dangerous for your sender reputation (we strongly advise you do not do this.)
Alternatively, call the company to verify each email address at that domain ahead of sending, but who has the time to do that?
Oh hang on. Us. We do that for you.
Hope this article has been of use, stay tuned for more updates.
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