Managing and rectifying bounced emails in your database
This guide explains what bounced emails are and how to address them. The FAQs below address common questions about Artlogic's bounce management tool.
What are bounced emails?
Bounced emails are addresses that could not be delivered successfully to recipients of marketing campaigns. There are two types of bounced emails: hard bounces and soft bounces.
If you have a lot of records in your Bounce Management feature, it's important to remember that 2,000 records does not equal 2,000 people. The logs represent failed emails, so one can have several failed emails to one email address.
It is important to manage your bounced emails as having too many can affect your sender reputation, leading to your newsletters arriving in your recipients' spam folders. This is explained further in the following guides.
Click here to learn how to boost your sender reputation
Click here to learn about why your mailing campaigns might be recognised as spam
The Bounce management tool
Find the Tool
Log into your database > Sales and Marketing > Email Marketing Campaigns > Email logs & analytics > Email bounce management
What do the 'Server rejection messages' mean?
These messages are generated by the third-party email delivery service we use called SendGrid. They refer to the reasons why an email may not have been delivered to a client. Because we display SendGrids reports in the system they may look as though they're coming from our own system. This means we are limited in the support we are able to provide for each specific message.
It is worth checking out Sendgrid's website for more detail on these messages. For example, see this article for more information about Sendgrid: https://support.artlogic.net/hc/en-gb/articles/360009929999
Remove selected email addresses
Tick the email addresses you would like to remove and click 'Perform selected action'.
Clicking 'Continue' will remove the bounced email address from the main email address field for the selected contacts. The bounced email address will be retained and visible in the preview pane for these contact records, along with the reason for the email bouncing.
There is an automatic mechanism on the email server, which puts email addresses that have resulted in permanent failures into a 'Bounced emails' list. This means that emails will not be sent to them again. Therefore, by clicking 'Perform selected action' you are synchronising your database with the current list of blocked emails on the email server.
How to locate the contacts with failed addresses
You can use the 'Find Contacts' button on the 'Email bounce management' page to do this. Copy the following URL into your browser, changing 'AccountID' for your Account ID: https://app.artlogic.net/AccountID/admin/utils/email-bounce-management/.
This will allow you to locate the Contact records for the 500 responses listed on the page and then export their details or modify them as you require.
Below is a list of our frequently asked questions about bounced emails and the Bounce management tool.
Bounced emails are not grouped by hard and soft bounces so it is difficult to know which bounces to prioritise.
While it's true that bounced emails aren't grouped by hard- and soft-bounces, it's fairly safe to rely on the SendGrid definition that hard bounces are registered by a 5XX codes (like 550s for example) and soft bounces by a 4XX codes (like 404s for example). SendGrid has a useful page explaining this in great detail here and another explaining the nature of errors and troubleshooting here.
A key take-away is that: "200 responses are usually success responses, and 400 responses are usually deferrals. SendGrid continues to retry resending 400 messages for up to 72 hours. 500 responses are hard failures that are not retried by our servers."
It is also worth taking a look at their page on deferred emails, which explains that "SendGrid will retry delivery of a deferred email on behalf of our customers for 72 hours from the time of the first deferral."
Are hard bounce emails removed from the mailing list automatically?
Contact records will not be automatically updated by the system. However, the mail server will protect your sender reputation by not sending emails to those addresses that have responded with a 500 response and 'drop' them instead. See SendGrid's explanation of this here. You will still need to administer that Contact record in your database and investigate the correct email address for that person.
Our 'Email bounce management' tool will automatically select the checkboxes for all 500 responses. You can either select 'Perform selected action' button and immediately resolve those 500 responses or you can select some additional 400 soft bounce responses you wish to resolve from your list and then select 'Perform selected action'. The system will disable all those 500 and 400 emails by removing the email address used for mailings and a note will be listed in the Contact record.
Are we expected to create our own rules?
No, that's not necessary. The rules that are already applied are controlled by our team and applicable to all our clients. Get in touch if you have any queries regarding SPF rules.
In the Bounce report (Email Bounce Management section), some emails are listed over 10 times. Why is this?
In the event that an email address is listed multiple times, this may be because they've been sent multiple emails from the system or this might represent the attempts made to deliver the email by SendGrid.
Shouldn’t the system time out and stop sending after a certain number of attempts?
Yes, after 72 hours SendGrid will refrain from attempting to deliver the email.