Role addresses are email addresses used for group communication. They are identified by names like support@, marketing@, sales@, info@ or similar. They do not belong to a single person - when somebody sends a message to role account - email is redistributed to all members of that group. For example, if you send an email to email@example.com - every member of the sales team will receive the copy of that message.
This is very handy when you need to personally communicate with a company - for example, if you have a question about the product or need help with a problem. Sending to role addresses will ensure that somebody from the company will get your message and assist you.
That is also the reason why these type of addresses should not be used in marketing communications - your email will be redistributed to multiple people - so there is no way to ensure that every end recipient has given you permission to send them an email. Group recipients may be upset about receiving unwanted information - and this can lead to emails getting marked as spam and an overall drop in delivery.
If a contact list contains a large number of role addresses then typically it means maintenance and email gathering practices may be subpar. Due to their nature, confirming opt-in for a role account is very hard - and that suggests addresses on those lists are not gathered in double opt-in fashion.
Email Service Providers like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo scan and track the percentage of your recipient addresses that are role addresses. If they see high ratios of role addresses then they will be more likely to throttle or filter your emails to spam folders.
For this reason, when you upload a list to Elastic Email - role addresses are excluded from Active contacts. They are automatically set to an Inactive status. That means any message sent to them will be suppressed. If you know that an address is valid and it has a single, real owner (eg. this is a small business and one person operates it as a sales representative) you can activate that address from the contact menu.
If you have role address on your list we recommend removing them. Instead, you should ask for a personal email. In large companies, each employee has their own, individual email address - and in this way, you can reach your recipient, without sending an email to the group address.
One to one engagement in this way will help you build and maintain a good reputation as an email marketer.