Email deliverability · Soft bounce

What are the best practices for managing unsuccessful email deliverability?

Jason Hofsess

October 28th, 2013

I just sent out an email campaign and discovered 5 different result types:
- Delivered
- Spam Complaints
- Hard Bounces
- Soft Bounces
- Deferred
The "Spam Complaints" and "Hard Bounces" are straightforward to deal with. They represent a clear threat to the sender score and need to be immediately deleted from the sending list. 

Soft Bounces and Deferred items have subtypes. We are trying to determine what to do with each subtype.

So far, we've seen the following:

- Soft Bounce : mailbox full
- Soft Bounce : general bounce : mailbox unavailable
- Soft Bounce : general bounce : over quota
- Soft Bounce : general bounce : delivery failed
- Deferred: general delay

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to manage Soft Bounce and Deferred? We want to have the best score possible.

Anonymous

October 28th, 2013

Are you using an established service for this? If not, I'd recommend you do so because email deliverability is a difficult problem, so prefer not to try to do it yourself ... use a service like SendGrid.

Gaurav Sharma

October 28th, 2013

We keep track of the soft bounces. Email addresses are taken off the list after 10 bounces.

Jason Hofsess

October 28th, 2013

We went through Mandrill. We looked into SendGrid, but decided not to use them.

Patrick Colmenar Development Manager at LDProducts

October 29th, 2013

Jason, you might want to check Mandrill.  Pretty sure they do some kind of filtering by known soft bounce.  I use Mandrill as well.  Amazing product.  You can message me directly and I can take a quick look at your data.  Right now we are using it for transactional data and have an 'Excellent' reputation.  

Eric Lai Product manager / S/W Engineer / Online Commerce

October 29th, 2013

We use Sendgrid, haven't had any problems with them yet (been using it for 2+ years) and they are quick to respond to specific questions related to any failures related to your deliveries.


Gaurav Sharma

October 28th, 2013

We use AWS SES and have automated it. Mandrill should have an API that you can use to automate it.

Jason Hofsess

October 28th, 2013

@ Gaurav - Good solution. Is there a way to automate that?