All about risky

Sep 4, 2019

If you are in an email marketing family, you know the importance of communication, especially by emails. Making sure all clients and potential clients can connect with you when they need to is an integral part of any kind of businesses. As you are probably aware that deliverable email addresses are valid and undeliverable are not, you might be quite confused about risky ones?

In this article, I would like to bring a topic of risky email addresses to your attention, as it seems to be a quite confusing subject for our users.
Hopefully, I will be able to answer all your questions regarding risky emails, within this post.


Let’s start with the terminology behind risky emails. Of course, you can easily find it all in our FAQs as well 😉 Here at Bouncer, we describe two reasons why particular email is risky. There are low_deliverability and low_quality.

low_deliverability – it means that email address appears to be deliverable, but deliverability cannot be guaranteed (in most cases it is caused by catch_all /accept_all configuration of recipient’s server or full mailbox). 

catch-all is the type of email address that causes the most confusion for our users. Unfortunately, there is no ‘best practice’ approach to such emails.It depends on a lot of factors like your sender reputation, the source of emails in your email list, the percentage of undeliverable and risky to all emails from the list and also on the goals of your campaign. What is it a catch-all domain? It is a domain that is configured to accept all emails sent to the domain, regardless of whether the particular mailbox exists or not, (also known as accept all).

Should you send marketing emails to catch-all domains?

First of all, if you are thinking about an email marketing campaign you have to make a proper plan. You can extract risky email addresses from the whole list and then send in small batches and monitor which one bounce back (these will be emails you want to take out of your data) so you will not hurt your sender reputation with your primary email account or sending platform.

The percentage of catch-alls within a set of data is directly correlated with the amount of “Invalid” emails. On the statistic level, if you have lots of undeliverable email addresses, it is more likely that the risky email might bounce. If your list is of high quality, it is better to give them a chance and include them in your email campaign.
On the statistic level, catch-alls tend to bounce at half the rate of your original invalid percentage.
So, for example, if you’ve had 10% invalids in your email list, around 5% of your catch_alls might still bounce. It also depends on how you build your email list. If you know the source of each email, you shouldn’t face any problems while sending an email campaign to accept-alls. If your list is rented or purchased, it is better to leave it. ( anyway…here is the article why you should never ever buy an email list).

full mailbox-If your mailbox is full then new emails will be rejected by the server, so if you send a message immediately after verification, its 99% that it will bouncer, so it is better to avoid them. But on the other hand, it is worth leaving those email addresses because after a couple of days someone can clean his or her mailbox, thus your email will be received.

low_quality – Email address has quality issues that may make it a risky or low-value address (in most cases it is caused by the fact that it is a disposable/temporary email).

the temporary or disposable addresses also known as DEA or dark emails are created by users in lieu of using their primary address. It happens because users may want to conceal their identity or they are wary of joining another email list and receive yet another newsletter and other promotional emails. The temporary email addresses are valid and active only for a short time, but at the same time, the user can share them with companies and organizations. The benefit is that if anyone compromises the address or utilises it in connection with email abuse, the address owner can easily cancel (or “dispose” of) it without affecting any of their other contacts. Disposable emails providers set up a different, unique email address for every sender/recipient combination. It operates most usefully in scenarios where someone may sell or release an email address to spam lists or to other unscrupulous entities. Usually, it used for online registration: online shopping, file hosting services, bulletin boards, etc. Because of their temporary nature, they are identified as risky emails, so would you like to send your message even if it will be never opened? Better think twice 😉

Is there the best practice for temporary email addresses?

You have to be aware that disposable email addresses can drastically thwart efforts to reach potential customers—and it can also skew email list analytics, so the answer is no. You may have thousands of subscribers on your email list with only a small percentage of them actually reading their emails. In this case, quantity over quality loses. Real emails rather than fake emails can be the difference between quality leads and worthless lists.
Fighting disposable email addresses isn’t always easy, but there are several ways to increase the likelihood of generating real email addresses from potential customers. Simply, try to encourage users to submit real ones by providing valuable content, using online sign up forms with implemented real-time email verification script, which will validate if a particular email address is disposable and block it from being submitted.

You should know that risky email addresses could be dangerous to your business success but for the other hand, those could also bring you some $$$. This selection should be up to you, as it is based on your specific needs. You may include catch_all email addresses, as you might not want to lose a potential lead that might be hidden within those emails, even at the risk of seeing some bounces. You may want to always exclude disposable email addresses in your campaigns as you wish to reach business leads only, and you would like to be 99% sure that your bounce rate will stay low. It is all about monitoring and taking care of your email list. You have to have your fingers on the pulse and try to keep abreast.