In email marketing ‘bounce’ is the term given to any email that returned an error stating that the email did not make it to the recipient. The terms hard and soft bounce are commonly used and it is generally accepted that a hard bounce is a permanent failure whereas a soft bounce is a failure that could be temporary. Thus, it makes sense to immediately remove all hard bounce email addresses from your mailing lists and monitor the soft bounce addresses and remove them if the soft bounces continue. ClickDimensions does this automatically through a feature we call Service Protection. We DO NOT automatically remove bounced recipients from user’s marketing lists, but rather we will exclude any listed recipients from sending if previous attempts to email them resulted in one hard bounce or 4+ soft bounces in a 3 month period. This feature ensures that our customers receive high deliverability.
NOTE: If a recipient becomes excluded due to bounces, this blog post provides several methods to quickly determine which recipients were blocked due to soft bounces vs hard bounces.
Below are all the possible bounce messages that can be returned from a ClickDimensions email. In terms of how we treat these errors, codes 10, 21 and 30 (highlighted) are what we consider permanent failures or hard bounces. Thus, when these errors are returned we will no longer allow sends to those email addresses. We consider codes 1, 20, 22 through 70 and 100 to be soft bounces and we will send to an email address returning these errors up to 4 times in three months. Once we have received the 4th Soft Bounce in a 3 month period for an email address we will no longer allow sending to it.
Table: ClickDimensions Bounce Categories (highlighted items are what we consider to be ‘Hard Bounces’)
In the screenshot below you can see that the ClickDimensions solution returns the full text of the error message in the Email Event message field.
Other Email Event Types
In addition to the table above, the ClickDimensions Email Event record has the following types:
- Click: This records an instance of a recipient clicking a link in an email
- Deliver: This means that the email was delivered to the recipient’s mail provider
- Error: An unspecified error in the delivery of the email
- Open: The email was opened by the recipient. Determined by a small transparent image being loaded in the recipient’s mail client. If images are disabled in the recipient’s mail client, an open is not able to be recorded.
- Render Error: The email contained invalid code. This can be due to invalid HTML or poorly formed Freemarker script. (Freemarker is the code used to add dynamic data to an email.)
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