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14.7. Bounce Notifications - What do they mean?

Updated 11.03.16

Bounce notifications are provided by the recipient's email service provider, and when available, we make that information available to you.

Here are some of the reasons your message may have bounced:

   Syntax Errors - usually mean the email address doesn't fit email address protocol. 
       Example: user@aolcom  - this email address is missing the dot (aol.com).  You may be able
                     to repair syntax errors and resend your message if needed.

   Account Does Not Exist - this email account is no longer valid or is mis-spelled. 
       Example: myname@msn.com vs. mnyame@msn.com - are any letters transposed?  No? 
                     If you can contact the recipient to get their correct email address, great!  If not,
                     you will want to at least delete the incorrect email address from your database. 
                     Otherwise it will continue to create hard bounces until we are forced to remove the
                     address for you - which may coincide with a suspension of your account if we're
                     getting too many bounce complaints from your data.

   Network Issues - Occasionally, a network failure at the sender or recipient end will cause an
                     e-mail to bounce back to the sender.

There are numerous other reasons your message could be failing.  Additional information about failures and understanding your notifications can be found here:

About.com SMTP Error Code Guide

Answers That WorkTM Error Code Glossary

The term Soft Bounce usually means that a message made it all the way to the recipient's email server, but at that point it ran into a problem.  Failures of this nature are usually due to something like the recipient mailbox being full or the receiving server having a temporary issue.  In these cases our system will continue to attempt to deliver the message for up to 72 hours, and if the message still can't get through, it will be discarded.

Soft bounces can also be triggered by Spam Complaints - if too many recipients mark your message as Spam, it may throw a flag that automatically blocks the message to all recipients at the same email service provider (like yahoo, hotmail, comcast, etc.)  Remember that NewPanda is for 100% opt-in only messaging!

Hard Bounce usually indicates a fatal error of some kind and therefore rejection by the receiving server.  These are usually problems like "email account does not exist" or "domain does not exist".  In these cases the message cannot be delivered, and is therefore discarded immediately.

In cases of fatal errors, you'll want to update your database accordingly.  Check the Contact Details record for clues as to why the message was not deliverable. 

It's important for you to know that when your eMessage hard-bounces, our system automatically and permanently opts the email address out of future eMessage sends.  We have to do that to keep in good standing with all the Email Service Providers (ESPs) because if we send too many "fatal error" eMessages, they'll block us (and therefore block YOU).  Once you verify that the existing email address is now valid, you can "opt back in" those bounces (see our Related Page on Email Opt Outs).  Or if you get a new email address for a contact, our system will automatically undo the opt-out when you update your record.

Have a valid email address that bounced? Click here for instructions on clearing bounce records for valid email addresses.

Understanding why your messages aren't getting delivered is crucial to your marketing efforts.  Here's a great resource to help you understand the difference between blocks, bounces, complaints and more, so you can refine your targeting for better results!

Email Insider's Email Terms Glossary

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