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Managing Email Bounces

Delivery Reports Updated on October 22, 2020

Managing Email Bounces


There are many reasons for emails to bounce, common reasons for bounced emails could be a recipient’s server is temporarily unavailable, the email content is rejected, too many emails being sent to the inbox or invalid emails. Email bounces are then classified into soft bounces, hard and confirmed bounces. Learning how to clean your list can not only save you money (decreasing your list plan) but, can also help you achieve a good sending reputation.

Soft Bounce

When the email has bounced with a reason indicating short-term issues with the recipient, they are flagged as a soft bounce. These email addresses could later be available in future campaigns. They include reasons like “Quota exceeded,” “Too many sessions in a connection,” “Temporary local problem,” and “Out of Office AutoReply.”

Hard Bounce

When the email has bounced with a reason indicating permanent issues with the recipient, they are flagged as hard bounces. Chances that these emails would later be available for future campaigns is less.

The reasons for such bounces could be: Mailbox not found, unknown user, mailbox is no longer active, incorrect domain. Benchmark email recommends cleaning up such emails to improve your statistics for future campaigns. However, in some cases, an email could be marked as a hard bounce due to spam filters. If you suspect this is the case you can remove the email address from your list and reupload. Click Here to learn more.

Confirmed Bounce

In case the same contact has hard bounces in three consecutive campaigns, Benchmark email automatically flags the contact as a Confirmed Bounce. A Confirmed Bounce contact is then excluded from your active contact count and will not be sent an email if the contact list is selected again. In case a previously bounced email is opened in another campaign before it has been flagged as Confirmed Bounce, the contact’s bounce counter is reset to zero. This allows bounced emails, to remain in the active contact count and not be flagged as Confirmed Bounce. Confirmed Bounce contacts are listed separately in your contact list.

If an email has bounced for a known, permanent reason based on the error codes returned by the recipient’s email server, we remove that contact from your list in the first instance. Some of the examples of the error codes would be   – 550 No such user (xxx@xxxxxxxxxxxx) Giving up…   – 5.1.1 unknown or illegal alias: xxxx@xxxxx …   – Recipient address rejected: User unknown.

If you’d like to get ahead of the game and prevent hard bounces you can utilize a List Verification service, a List verification service can detect and remove invalid emails from your list. Benchmark also, provides an easy to use Clean List feature that removes Soft, Hard and Confirmed bounces based on the recipients history.

If you have any other questions regarding bounces please feel free to contact our Support team via Email, LiveChat or Phone.

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