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Email Bounce Handling Through A Self-Hosted Email Client

Email bounce handling is one of the first things you need to consider when bringing your email in house.

By using your own dedicated email solution with dedicated IPs, you’ve already taken control over your email program.

But with that control, also comes a little bit of management, primarily in terms of managing bounce emails (and feedback loops). For more information on feedback loops, visit our blog post: Feedback Loop Basics.

Back to addressing bounce email handling...

The problem with most self-hosted solutions is that ISPs often change their bounce “rules”. And your email software is only as good as the last update that the vendor has made to the bounce rules AND the last update you’ve installed.

For example, let’s say that Yahoo had a bounce message that said “email message blocked for spam content” and they changed it to “your message is blocked because it looks like spam”. Most email clients are no longer going to be able to catch those messages. As a result, your bounce emails are not getting properly tracked.

In our experience, these rules are generally only between 50-70% accurate, depending on the software and composition of your list.

The problem here is that you’re missing between 30% and 50% of your bounces!

This means that you’re trying to send to addresses over and over again that you SHOULD BE REMOVING from your list!

This affects your overall reputation and your inbox placement. “Unknown senders” are one of the key reasons why email reputations suffer.

The EmailDelivered Bounce Parser gives you precise information (our team is in the system each and every day and when an ISP changes a rule, we update it immediately). By having the right information, you can decide what email addresses you should keep and what email addresses you should remove from your list.

For instance, you can choose to remove all bad addresses daily (recommended), but full mailboxes only after 3 failed attempts in a 7 day period.

This allows you to keep more of your valid subscribers, longer... while still following ISP best practices when it comes to bounce handling.

You can see exactly WHY your emails are bouncing, like due to message content or a problem with one of your IP addresses, and take necessary action. You’ll finally have the REAL information when it comes to what’s going on with your email at all times.