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What does an "Accept-all" email status mean?
What does an "Accept-all" email status mean?

What does an accept-all status mean and is it safe to send emails to these email addresses?

Updated over a week ago

Some email addresses are verified by Hunter’s Email Verifier as “accept-all".

An accept-all (also known as catch-all) domain is an email domain that is configured to accept all emails, even if they’re sent to non-existent mailboxes on that domain. As a result, verification tools, including Hunter, can't verify if your email is deliverable or not.

For example, the domain “” uses an accept-all domain. So, if we check we will always receive an “OK” response for any mailbox. This is why we cannot be sure the emails associated with this domain are valid and can be safely used.

What is the purpose of accept-all domains?

Accept-all email domains are designed to make sure businesses and organizations never miss an email, even if it's sent to a wrong or non-existent address within their domain. This can be very helpful for catching important messages that might have otherwise been lost.

However, this convenience comes with a downside. Catch-all domains are more likely to attract spam and malicious emails because spammers know that any email they send to the domain, regardless of the specifics of the address, will be delivered.

The use of catch-all email domains might decrease over time as companies prioritize security and efficiency, seeking smarter ways to manage emails without risking spam and security breaches.

Pros and cons of using accept-all domains in your cold email outreach


  • Engagement potential: They may be completely valid emails and reach real interested parties, boosting your sender's reputation and deliverability.

  • No missed opportunities: Keeps you from accidentally discarding potential customer emails.


  • Low engagement: The mailbox might not be regularly checked, hurting your campaign’s effectiveness and sender reputation.

  • High bounce rates: Full or deactivated inboxes can lead to bounces, damaging your reputation and risking your email account.

Is it safe to send emails to accept-all email addresses?

Accept-all emails may still bounce, so whether you want to send them or not depends on the bounce rate you are willing to have.

🔬We've experimented with using accept-all emails in cold email outreach, you can review our results HERE.

In general, the bounce rate of the accept-all emails in your list is around half the invalid rate of your full list. For instance, if 10% of the emails in your list are invalid, around 5% of the accept-all emails in the list may bounce.

Some email service providers (ESP) will have different tolerances in bounce rates. If you have a dedicated email server with your own IP addresses, accept-all emails may be safe to send. If you rely on a third-party service to send emails, it may have a stricter bounce rate limitation and it may be a good idea to remove accept-all emails from your sending list.

What confidence score is considered safe for accept-all emails?

  • To assess how safe an accept-all email address is, Hunter provides a confidence score associated with each address. The confidence score is based on the freshness and number of web sources that mention the email address.

  • To maximize your results for accept-all emails, as a general rule of thumb, it's advisable to filter emails with a minimum 85% confidence score and gradually decrease it based on the bounce rate.

  • However, if you just started sending emails and are still warming up your domain, it's safer to start with a higher confidence score, of 90% and above, monitor the performance, and then slowly lower it by 5% at a time.

  • In all cases, prioritizing accept-all emails with sources is always better than using accept-all emails that don't contain any sources.

👉 To learn more about accept-all domains and using accept-all email addresses in your email outreach, read our Ultimate Guide to Accept-all (Catch-all) Email Addresses.

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