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Article : Bounced Email Primer

Summary: Mass Email sending requires quite a bit more knowledge and process than ordinary email sending that you may be used to.  Gnosis hides much of the complexity of sending mass email, however, there are a few things that you should know to ensure you have a trouble free experience.  This article explains the email bounce process and how Gnosis handles it.

Applies to: Gnosis - All Versions

Details: Bounced email means that the recipient’s email server returned the message to us with a note that it was undeliverable.  This “note” is called an NDR – Non-delivery report.

There are basically two types of bounces – Hard and Soft. 
  • A hard bounce is permanent – something like “mailbox no longer here”
  • A soft bounce is a temporary correctible problem – something like “mailbox full”
Gnosis marks the email addresses for which it receives “hard bounce NDR’s as “Invalid email addresses” and subsequent email runs don’t even attempt to deliver them.  For the “Soft bounce NDR’s”, Gnosis counts the number of sequential soft-bounces that an email address gets and when the address gets 6 soft bounces in succession, the email address is determined to be undeliverable and Gnosis marks the email address as undeliverable.

You can see in the graphic here the “Invalid” check mark and the “number of soft bounces” (rejected) for each email address, shown in the email address editor on the person form in Gnosis Pro, along with the date that the email address was last successfully used.

If an email is successfully delivered to an address that has soft bounces marked against it, the soft bounce count is reset to zero and the process starts over again with the next email that is sent to that address.

Resending Email

Gnosis automatically resents to persons who did not receive the communication previously.  This is it’s standard mode of operation. 

You can force an email send to behave differently by checking on the “Also resent to persons sent to over ‘X’ hours ago” checkbox on the email content management form.  This will cause all persons in the target list to receive it again – even if they received it over ‘X’ hours ago.

Another way to make persons receive duplicate copies of an email is to copy the communications item so that in effect they are receiving different emails, just with the same content.

While it is theoretically possible to resent email to those who according to Gnosis have not opened their email, it is not a good practice as Gnosis cannot know for sure whether a person has actually opened their message and it is believed in the industry that open statistics are 20%-35% understated.

It is VERY important to remember that you do not want the recipient to flag your email as SPAM as a result of recipients receiving too many duplicates.  If you are flagged as a SPAMMER, you may be effectively shut down from sending ANY emails for a number of days while the “flags” are cleared in multiple places across the internet.  You can also get flagged as a spammer if you continue to send emails to addresses that have already been advised as invalid.  For this reason, it is very important to process reject emails soon after each major email send – and certainly prior to the next send.

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