You’re about to launch a campaign and wondering if should you activate catch-all or not. Catch-all allows you to get more suggested emails but at a risk of increased bounce rates.

Want to know how to make the right decision? Read on to find out more.

What is a catch-all email?

To understand what catch-all is, let’s rewind to how professional email enrichment works using LGM. When leads enrichment is enabled in your campaign, your identity will visit the lead and extract information necessary to test emails. Namely:

  1. First Name
  2. Last Name
  3. Current Company URL
  4. Current Company website

Since we now know the full name of the lead and the company they’re working for, LaGrowthMachine will then proceed to test a number of different permutations of the first name, last name, and company domain. For example, we’ll test:

  • {{firstname}}.{{lastname}}@{{companydomain.com}}
  • {{firstname}}@{{companydomain.com}}
  • {{first.letter.of.firstname}}{{lastname}}@{{companydomain.com}}
  • And so on…

But wait, does this mean we’re sending emails as tests? Definitely not.

We actually ping the server to ask: “Does this email exist within your database?” The server will reply yes or no. Obviously, there is a catch! It doesn’t always work. It depends on the server’s configuration:

  • Catch-all Server: If the server is configured as “Catch-all”, it will literally catch everything, meaning it will always reply “yes this email exists”.

    This means that if the server is in catch-all, we won’t be able to verify the email.

    By default, LaGrowthMachine will never provide an email that we haven’t been able to verify, so whenever a server is in catch-all, we will not provide the email.

    Should you want to have Catch-All suggested emails, you can activate them in your campaign settings.
  • Non-Catch-All Server: When the server is NOT in catch-all, it will only reply to the facts. Either “Yes it exists” or “No it doesn’t”.

    This means that whenever it’s NOT in catch-all, we will test out dozens of permutations until it finally matches with an email existing in their database.

All of our professional email enrichment is realized by our GDPR-compliant partner DropContact.

TLDR: Catch-all is a server configuration that doesn’t allow us to verify the emails.

What’s the risk of using catch-all emails?

Now that you know allowing for catch-all emails means we will be providing you with unverified emails, you probably came up to the logical conclusion yourself: We will be providing you with suggested emails based on publicly identified patterns and guesses.

For example:

  • Many companies’ patterns are well-known, so even though we won’t be able to verify them, we know their pattern and will provide you with emails.
  • Big corporate companies tend to have a {{firstname}}.{{lastname}}@{{companydomain.com}} pattern. Using LinkedIn’s data, LGM will automatically match the company size with the preferable pattern.
  • Small companies tend to have {{firstname}}@{{companydomain.com}} patterns, and so forth.

Catch-all emails won’t be verified and there will be errors, which may lead to a number of bounces. If you’ve read our guidelines on bounces, you know that bounces are the enemy!

Too high a bounce rate may damage your domain’s reputation. Too high a bounce rate for prolonged periods of time may lead your email to end up in spam.

What’s too high? Anything above 8-12%.

Of course, volume is also a factor. It’s ok if you’re only sending a few dozen emails per week. If you’re sending hundreds of emails per week, however, then you can’t afford to have a high bounce rate.

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What’s the benefit of using catch-all emails?

Simple: more enriched emails. You’ll probably reach 60%-70% enriched emails.

Why not 100%? Because if we have no available data to provide you with intelligible suggestions, we’re not going to provide you with an email. That would be too risky.

When should I use catch-all emails?

High risk, high reward. Now that you know everything, when should you risk it?

Common sense applies a great deal in this case.

What’s your current enrichment rate?

If you already have 40-50% verified emails without using catch-all, adding catch-all emails doesn’t really make sense. It won’t be yielding a lot more emails while exposing you to a greater bounce rate.

If your enrichment rate is below 40%, you may start thinking about leveraging catch-all emails.

Is your target market email-dependent?

Using LaGrowthMachine, you have the ability to engage a prospect on many channels. Are you engaging leads using LinkedIn or email first? If you don’t know, you should probably read our article about which channel should you use first.

If you’re using email first because you believe your leads are more likely to reply via email instead of LinkedIn, and your enrichment rate is subpar, then activate catch-all emails.

Do you have a higher reply rate on Email than on LinkedIn? You might be more dependent on emails than you think too.

Are your target accounts big corporates?

Large companies tend to have their email server set up as a catch-all. However, their patterns are also well-known. It’s not such a high risk to activate catch-all emails!

How do I activate catch-all emails?

By default, LaGrowthMachine will never provide an email that we haven’t been able to verify. So whenever a server is in catch-all, we will not provide the email.

Should you want to have catch-all suggested emails, you can activate them in your campaign settings.