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Bounce categories

August 23, 2013

In Reports the bounces from each campaign are broken down into categories to help explain why the email you sent wasn' delivered to its intended recipient. Below is an explaination of each of these categories.

Category Description
bad configuration The remote mail server configuration is broken in some way.
bad connection Something went wrong while we were talking to the remove mail server. This may be a symptom of 'gray listing'.
bad domain The part to the right of the @ sign is invalid - it's probably a typo like '[email protected]'.
bad mailbox The part to the left of the @ sign is wrong, probably a typo like '[email protected]'
content related The remote mail server objects to your message body, usually because it looks like spam. This is entirely down to the whim of the mail server
inactive mailbox Sometimes we can tell the that account associated with the left hand side of the email address isn't incorrect, just no longer used
invalid sender The is a configuration error in the DNS for the domain you are using to send your messages. If we manage your domain for you, you should never see this
message expired The mail server wasn't expecting us to retry a delivery as soon as we did, so rejected the message
no answer We tried to contact the remote mail server, but it wasn't answering. Normally this is an error on the destination domain's DNS or their mail server is offline
policy related Like 'content related' the mail server has rejected the message for some reason, but it's normally for some technical reason rather than your content
protocol errors The remote mail server didn't like the language we tried to speak to it in. This should never happen with correctly configured mail servers
quota issues The receiving email account has too many unread emails, and so it no longer accepting any more. This rarely happens these days with large webmail providers
relaying issues Due to an error in the receiving domains DNS or mail server setting, the mail server we tried to use isn't the correct one for the right hand side of the email address
routing errors Normally caused by something configured wrongly inside the mail server
spam related The remote mail server thinks your message is spam. Like 'content related' this can be for the oddest reasons, but is under the control of the receiving domain
virus related Although it's not an error you see very often, it means the remote mail server things you are sending, attaching or linking to a bad piece of software
other If we didn't get the message through, but aren't able to understand why, the bounce reason will be other. You may be able to figure it out from the message itself

We can normally resolve most of these issues by working with our clients or reaching out to the operator of a mail server. In this way we can help to get some bounced email redelivered, so if you are concerned about your bounce rates or which categories are most popular in your campaigns get in touch with us.

Posted by Tom Chiverton
New Features, Technology

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