What is a Bounce or Complaint in Newsletter Insights?

With our Newsletter Insights feature, we allow greater insights into member engagement to Newsletters with the ability to see open, click, report, or bounce rates. Since we added bounces to the Dynamic User Group triggers and Exports, we want to define what a bounce or complaint is and explain the different bounces and complaints that can occur.

What is a Bounce?

Bounces can happen for several reasons. Basically, we define 2 different type of bounces:

  • Permanent / hard bounces: These are bounces due to the fact the email address just doesn’t exist for example. Typically these bounces cannot be overcome.
  • Transient / soft bounces: These are bounces that might occur due to a full mailbox for example. Typically these bounces can be solved by the user.

Permanent Bounces

Permanent bounces can have the following reasons:

  • Suppressed; The email address has a recent history of bounces and therefore is suppressed from now on.
  • NoEmail; The email address doesn’t exist. We recommend you to remove this email address.
  • General; Our email server received a general bounce. We recommend you to remove this email address.

In general, when a user has a permanent bounce, you can remove them from your list. This will allow you to get a lower bounce rate in general on your emails.

Transient Bounces

Transient bounces can have the following reasons;

  • MailboxFull; Apparently the user has a full mailbox. After cleaning up his mailbox, he should be able to receive your emails again.
  • MessageTooLarge; The message you have sent is too large. It could also indicate that the recipient is unable to receive such size of emails.
  • ContentRejected; The content of your email is rejected. A filter determined that the email is not suitable for the person you have sent the email to.
  • AttachmentRejected; An attachment of your email is rejected. A filter determined that the attachment is not suitable for the person you have sent the email to.
  • General; The mail server was unable to process your email to unknown reasons

You can retry sending emails to transient bounces. Based on the reason you might need to alter your email or check with the user in regards to his mailbox.

What is an Undetermined Bounce?

In case the mail server is unable to determine what kind of bounce happened, both the type and reason will be “undetermined”. We will not have more information available for these undetermined bounces, so it is best to reach-out before removing the user if purging inactive or bounced members. 

What is a Complaint?

A complaint is a report by the recipient. Either they clicked on the “report as spam” button which you can find in several email clients like Gmail, or they reported the email to their ISP.

There are several different type of complaints:

  • Abuse: Indicates unsolicited email or some other kind of email abuse.
  • Auth-failure: Email authentication failure report.
  • Fraud: Indicates some kind of fraud or phishing activity.
  • Not-spam: Indicates that the entity providing the report does not consider the message to be spam. This may be used to correct a message that was incorrectly tagged or categorized as spam.
  • Other: Indicates any other feedback that does not fit into other registered types.
  • Virus: Reports that a virus is found in the originating message.