Receiving email bounce messages is perfectly normal and is usually not a cause for concern. If you are like me, you send a bunch of holiday cards every year, and there's always some cousin or old friend that's moved and you get a big Return To Sender message. The same thing happens with email, when someone changes their Internet provider or moves to a new company, their email address gets deleted, and you get a notification that your email could not be delivered.
But there are other reasons you can get error messages, and we'll go over the most common ones here. There are two types of errors: permanent and temporary.
Permanent errors occur when something is wrong with the email address or the email inbox. The email address could have been misspelled, their inbox may have been deleted, or they switched to using gmail instead of Yahoo mail and the email address has been deleted. You should log into Fireside and change the users optin field to opted-out. They won't receive emails, and you won't get bounces. These errors are easy to spot since they happen every time you send an email. Here are some examples of permanent bounce messages:
- The email account does not exist at the organization to which this message was sent. Check the email address, or contact the recipient directly to find out the correct address.
- Host unknown (means the domain was probably misspelled).
- No such user (misspelled email address or old mailbox).
- Could not deliver the message in the time limit specified (email server has been removed).
Temporary errors happen when something goes wrong while sending the message. Common causes of this are when the house email servers or network aren't working correctly or the email server you are sending the message to is having some problems. These are temporary and are like the notes you get from FedEx letting you know that they tried to deliver a package and they will be back tomorrow to try again. Usually it works out fine and emails simply get delivered later than they normally do. Some examples:
- Could not send message for past several hours (something wrong with the network).
- Mailbox is full (the users email box is full of messages, and as soon as they delete some it will deliver it).
Another issue to be aware of is that sometimes emails can be misidentified as spam. Some email systems consider anyone who is sending a lot of emails to be suspicious and will sometimes delay email delivery. We have seen instances with Yahoo where if you send an email to a large audience and enough recipients mark it as spam, Yahoo will try and slow down the delivery of messages, resulting in emails not getting delivered for several hours, and you will receive a lot of warnings.
So here is how you take care of bounce messages:
- If the bounce message contains any of the text from the permanent list, unsubscribe them by looking them up by email under People>Search in Fireside, going to their Profile tab, and selecting opted-out. If you have a large audience in the thousands of recipients, it's not uncommon to get five to ten of these messages each time you send out an email.
- If you get a bunch of temporary messages that contain words like delay, network, or spam, send us an email so we can investigate if there are issues with the house network or email systems.