Bounce Management in MailPoet 3

Quick links:

What is a Bounced Email?

It's when there's a response from the recipient's server that your message was rejected due to some reason. It means your recipient (subscriber) didn't receive your newsletter at all.


Types of Bounces

Hard bounces are when your email is undeliverable because:

  • the recipient's email address no longer exists;
  • there's a typo in the address (such as johndoe@hotmai.com)

soft bounce, on the other hand, means the email could not be delivered at the moment but doesn't mean the recipient's email address is invalid. It occurs when the subscriber's mailbox:

  • is full;
  • temporarily unavailable (server is down);
  • won't accept your email because is too large (over quota)

Bounce Management When Using MailPoet Sending Service

Users sending with MailPoet Sending Service automatically have bounce management enabled to help you keep your lists clean. It requires zero configuration by the user and we can improve the bounced filtering for everyone by sharing a common list of bounced address.

Our bounce management system detects all the hard bounces and marks them as "Bounced", so they will no longer receive your emails. The plugin syncs once every two days with our sending service, so you can see the subscribers marked as "Bounced" approximately 48 hours after sending by going to the Subscribers page and checking the Bounced category:

Soft bounces do not count against a user getting downgraded or bounced. However, we count the number of a specific category of soft bounces (like quota-issues), and if a given address gets 10 such soft bounces in a week - we mark them as hard bouncing. 

Please notice: MailPoet downgrades users to less reputable servers - or even suspend your sending - if we detect a too high number of invalid addresses. 


How to Prevent a High Number of Bounces?

The first thing is to ensure your lists are clean before you send with us. The bounce management feature we offer is not a cleaning service. 

We also suggest keeping the Inactive Subscribers feature enabled, so you won't send to subscribers that are no longer engaging with your content.


What to Do with Subscribers Marked as Bounced?

Once MailPoet Sending Service determines that an address is invalid, it will stop sending to it, so users using our sending service don't need to take any action about email addresses that were already marked as " Bounced". This ensures your reputation as a sender - and ours as well. 

If you want to delete them, you can simply do it by selecting them and use the bulk action "Move to trash".


Handling the Bounces When Using "Other" Sending Method

You have two options to handle the bounces when sending with your own host or a third-party sending method:

  1. by installing this free add-on (not supported by MailPoet);
  2. by manually unsubscribing bounced email addresses that fall in your inbox after sending a newsletter (default)

On the Advanced tab of the MailPoet Settings page, you can choose which email address will receive bounce messages. 

We highly suggest you use an email address from the same domain as your website in order to improve your spam score. For example, if you are sending from newsletter@mailpoet.com, your bounce address should also be an address with the domain "@mailpoet.com", like bounces@mailpoet.com.

Please note that in certain circumstances, the email address you specify in this Advanced tab will not be used and a different one will be enforced by:

  • Your hosting company, if you are sending through your own server;
  • By a third-party email provider, because they manage the bounced messages themselves.

What has changed from MailPoet version 2?

In the previous version of MailPoet, bounce handling was part of the Premium plugin.

The way automated bounce handling was done in MailPoet version 2 was quirky and error-prone. It worked by specifying a new email address, for example, bounce@domain.com, which would gather all the bounced email addresses after a newsletter was sent. Then, MailPoet Premium would automatically log in to that account and detect which emails were hard bounces (email addresses that don’t exist anymore and ignore out of office replies) and remove them from your lists.

This setup wasn't user-friendly and it often required our support team’s intervention. Sometimes, it wouldn’t work properly altogether.

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