Learning about Bounces

Bounces occur when an email that is sent gets rejected by the receiving server. There are two types of bounces:

Hard Bounces

Hard bounces are permanent errors that indicate the email didn’t deliver because:

Email address is incorrect, i.e., name@yahoo.net where the address is really name@yahoo.com


• Email address doesn’t exist, i.e., Sam@company.com doesn’t exist because Sam no longer works at company.com

If an email address has one hard bounce they will become deactivated. This is in place to help your sending reputation.


Soft Bounces

Bounces from temporary causes. Soft bounces occur when:

• Recipient’s Mailbox is full


• Recipient’s Mailbox server is down

If a contact is engaged and they have 20 consecutive soft bounces, they will be deactivated.

If a contact is unengaged and they have 10 consecutive soft bounces, they will be deactivated.

To change the preset amount of  soft bounces it takes to deactivate contacts, please contact support.

How to view the bounce log

You have the ability to see the bounce message that the server sends back that gives more details about the bounce. There are several ways to see this message.

Keep in mind, bounce logs are technical and usually have long strings of code that may be hard to understand.


View bounce log from campaign report

In any campaigns report click on the number of bounces to see that list of contacts.

You will see a column to the left side of that contact that says the number of bounces. Click on the number and it will open the bounce log for that contact.

Click on the icon that looks like an eye and it will expand the server message.


View bounce log from view members window

Anytime you are looking at a list of members and you see a number in the bounce column, you can click that number to view the bounces by expanding the log by using the icon that looks like an eye.


View server log, including bounces from contact activity report

The contact activity report is where you see the sending activity for an individual contact. You can get to this by searching the email address directly, or by clicking the bar graph icon on the left of contact when in the view contacts window.

Once in the activity report, you will see the option to “view log” next to the most recent sendings. This will show you both bounce, and accepted receipts. you will see a 1 in the bounce column if they did soft or hard bounce on that issue.

If the sending log has the word “FAILED” in it, with a 500 code that means it’s a bounce. If the log says “250 ok” this means that it wasn’t a bounce and that they did receive the message. 250 ok messages are only stored temporarily in the activity report. Please contact support if you need a 250 ok message from a previous email and can’t see it.

The server log is proof of what happened after the email was sent. The server log will tell you definitively if an email was accepted or rejected by the recieving server.


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