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Understanding your bounces

July 23, 2012

One of the key metrics in any email marketing campaign is deliverability - are you actually getting your message to your intended audiences inbox ? If your message isn't getting that far, then even the most exciting and engaging message wont be acted upon. We've now expanded the information available in reports to help you understand this important point.

The first stage of getting any message successfully delivered is having it accepted for delivery by the receiving email server. If the message doesn't make it this far then generally it gets returned as a bounce. There are two major types of bounces - hard and soft.

A soft bounce is one where the error causing the delivery failure is temporary. For instance, the mail server for that email address may be temporarily broken, or the user has run out of space to store their emails so the server isn't accepting any more till they delete some. If you try and send an email to that address again in the future then delivery may be successful.

A hard bounce a more serious permanent problem. This is normally because the address is no longer in use but can also be because of a misconfgured email server or domain. Re-sending to the same address would always result in a hard bounce.

When we were starting to think about what our users required from a new reporting tool, we heard that a lot of the time it wasn't enough to be able to see that an address was marked as a hard bounce. So in Extravision Reports we've enabled you to really dig into these bounce reasons.

When you select the Bounces tab within a campaign's overview, we are now able to show you the exact reasons for failing to delivery to each contact in the campaign.

If you hover over the table, you can read a short explanation of the reason, and you'll also see that as you hover over the pie chart the appropriate row in the table highlights to make it easy to see the exact numbers even for the smaller parts of the chart.

You can also choose to see this grouped by list name, so if you are segmenting your customers or have different information sources you can quickly see which area needs improvement.

These break downs are also available as a filter option for the CRM widget of course, so you can easily locate all the contacts who had delivery problems. Just double click a row or segment of the pie chart, or swap to the CRM tab and select the 'Bounces' report at the top, then turn the filter on and select 'category'. We highlight if a bounce was soft or hard in the list in the CRM widget, and if you hover over it the tooltip will give you the full details.

Posted by Tom Chiverton
Deliverability, New Features

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