Guest post from Lee Floyd (LeeFloyd.com).
I’ve known Lee and his family for a number of years. Tubu Internet Solutions was actually lucky enough to have Lee as an intern.
When Lee gave me his email address recently and I realized how he is using catch-all addresses I asked him to write about it.
If you have your own domain name, you likely have an email plan which allows you to have domain-specific email addresses, like “firstname.lastname@example.org” for example. As a part of a plan, you can set a particular email address as the catchall for your domain. The catchall email address receives any messages sent to unknown addresses at your domain. Thus if you set up “email@example.com” and someone sends a message to “firstname.lastname@example.org”, the message will be delivered to the catchall instead of bouncing back as undeliverable.
1. Prevent Human Error From Disrupting Communication
The most obvious benefit of a catchall is to ensure delivery of a message, even if the sender mistyped the address. For a personal site where your main account serves as the catchall, you may not even realize that the receiving address differs from what is printed on your business card. The message will hit your inbox like any other. Larger organizations will need to monitor the catchall, assign an individual’s account as the catchall, or set up email forwarding from the catchall to any number of employees.
2. Preserve important messages to recently-closed accounts
Inevitably, organizations experience staff changes and close existing email accounts. Ideally, an auto-response would be set up to inform senders why an address is no longer valid and whom to contact. However, a catchall may come in handy when a potential client pulls the address out of their contacts two years later.
3. Manage social networking, ecommerce, and other online services.
Finally, you can remember your login credentials!
Nearly all online services require a valid email for account creation and many continue to use it as your login. If you use “email@example.com” for your twitter account and “firstname.lastname@example.org” for your facebook account, it suddenly becomes much easier to figure out your login in the future. Combined with the help of a “Forgot Password” link, you may never be locked out again.
As an ecommerce and user experience designer, I have found that a surprising number of customers create multiple accounts using various email addresses.
Know where SPAM comes from and have the ability to quash the source.
All sites claim to keep your personal information safe, but even the most secure sites can succumb to malicious attacks. More frequently, SPAM bots and phishers will scan popular social networks for public email addresses to add to their databases. If this happens, you will have a much better idea of where the problem originated. Even better, you can set up that particular account to prevent the SPAM from getting to your catchall inbox.
4. Detect Domain Spoofing
Another malicious tactic is to send SPAM as if they came from a legitimate domain. Innocent victims, like my friends at Laskody Artistic Portrait Design, are helpless in stopping these messages from being sent. When filters and invalid addresses bounce these messages back to the sender, they end up going to the sender’s address, legitimate or not. Since the Laskodys had a catchall enabled, they were at able to detect this problem and publish a statement on their site.
5. Reveal Your Comic Genius
When a friend asks me for my email address, I like to jokingly offer an absurd address. For example, when Techburgh’s Andy Quayle asked for my email, I told him AndyQuayleIsTheMan@leefloyd.com. Use caution, however, you never know who will ask you to write an article.
Author: Andy Quayle
Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
Known globally as a willing source for tech news and views, Andy takes great pride in consultation and education.
Should his schedule permit, Andy is available to help you with your SEO and Web Analytics needs.