Bounces are emails which indicate that a campaign could not be delivered to certain contacts. A list of bounce email addresses can be found under the Contacts menu > Bounce Management.
As a quick reminder, here is the onboarding video about Deliverability:
There are three types of bounces:
Emails could not be delivered because of temporary problems, such as:
- The mail box of the recipient is full.
- The denoted domain cannot be reached temporarily or the host is unknown.
- Temporary server breakdowns.
Emails could not be delivered because of permanent problems. A typical reason is that the email address does not exist ("contact unknown"). This often happens when either the contact name or the domain name have been misspelled (e.g. the email address email@example.com is spelled as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
Emails could not be delivered because they were blocked by spam filters. Reasons for this could be:
- Content with suspicious words; emails that contain inappropriate words (in the text body, the subject line or the sender field) are usually rejected.
- The HTML format in the sent email differs significantly from the HTML standard.
- A recipient activated a spam filter and has put the sender on its personal spam list.
- The sender is blocklisted, which means that the contact has informed their internet provider that they consider the email received to be spam.
- Emails are rejected by the recipient’s server firewall (especially company servers).
Soft Bounce Settings
On the General Settings page, you define the threshold value which determines after how many soft bounces an email address is to be set to invalid.
The following rules apply:
- If an email was sent successfully to an email address which had produced bounces before, the counter is not affected. The only way to reset an email address is via the Reset soft bounces option (see below).
- If you increase the counter (e.g. from "after two" to "after three"), email addresses that were marked as invalid after two bounces remain invalid.
- If you have adjusted the counter the other way round (e.g. reduced it from "after three" to "after two"), email addresses which were bounced twice in a row are immediately marked as invalid.
Reset Soft Bounces
You can define the time period after which a contact will be reactivated as well as how many times a contact can be reactivated (the upper limit is 10 times) if their email address is flagged as invalid.
- Allowing too many soft bounces before blocking, and too many reactivations will mean invalid data remains in the list for longer, potentially harming your sender reputation and deliverability. For this reason, we recommend periodically reviewing your results over a number of weeks and months.
- If you have never updated your bounce settings, then your invalid contacts (due to too many soft bounces) will not be reactivated automatically.
You cannot reset the bounce status manually or in batches. If you believe that genuine contact email addresses are being unjustly set to invalid due to excessive soft bounces, please contact Emarsys Support. Our Deliverability team can analyze the bounces for you and, if necessary, rest the email addresses to valid.
The Overview tab displays a list of the email addresses which have been bounced.
Filter bounce list
The list can be filtered by the following criteria:
- Select a Status option to show the bounce results for either all, valid or invalid email addresses which produced bounces.
- Select a Bounce type option to display either soft bounces, hard bounces or block bounces.
- Select an Email option to view the bounce results for a particular email or all emails.
In the Bounce list, invalid email addresses are marked with an x, while those addresses which produced bounces, but have not yet been deactivated, are marked with a "?".
These contacts are not listed on the Bounce Management page but you can find them in the Email bounces data view or you can create an Email and mobile behavior segment using the Email bounced (bounce notification) criteria that will contain these contacts:
- 4.4.7 (delivery time expired)
- 4.4.1 (no answer from host)
- 5.3.5 (specified virtual MTA does not exist)
To remove a contact from the database, click Delete contact.
View error report: Detailed view
Click Detailed view to display a detailed error report for the selected address. You see the date and time of dispatch, the sender and the original subject of the bounced email, and the reason why it could not be delivered. The report also contains the Bounce body, i.e. the error message issued by the server identifying the error (either the recipient’s mail server or one of the Emarsys mail servers).
If you want to export the bounces (e.g. to correct the email addresses), click Save as list.
For more information, see Checking bounced contacts with invalid email addresses.
As a quick reminder, here is the onboarding video about Bounce Management: