The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Bounce Codes: Understanding Why Email Bounces Back

All email list administrators know what they look like, but what do they mean? Some bounces seem to have a clear meaning, but others are cryptic enough to make any normal person tear their hair out. The way bounce codes look when they show up is not even consistent!

Sometimes they'll look like this:

Remote-MTA: dns; smtp.myemail.com [192.0.2.3]

Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550 No such user here

Other times you'll see something like this:


while talking to smtp.store.example [192.0.2.3]

>>> RCPT TO:<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

<<< 550 No such user here

Okay. Take a step back, a deep breath and relax.

You can safely ignore most of what you see in both messages. The important part of the message is the 3 digit numerical code, 550 and the short description that follows immediately.

What do those three digit bounce codes mean? Well here's a list of the codes that matter to a mailing list manager and what they are supposed to mean:


  • 550 - The requested command failed because the user’s mailbox was unavailable (such as not found)
  • 551 - The recipient is not local to the server.
  • 552 - The action was aborted due to exceeded storage allocation.
  • 553 - The command was aborted because the mailbox name is invalid.
  • 554 - The transaction failed for some unstated reason.

The code to worry about for email marketers is code 550. Usually this means that there is no mailbox for that address. At this point you would want to cull the address from your list to avoid wasting resources on mailings, but even a code 552 which means that the user has exceeded their storage allocation is important. If the mailbox is full for several mailings it might be best to remove the address from the list.

Bounce codes are a great tool for refining lists gor maximum efficiency. If you have any questions about bounce codes or about how we can help you manage your email marketing please contact us.
 

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Gold Lasso's Joint Study With Azam Marketing Reveals Five Variables of Scaling Email Volume

We are happy to introduce to you our newest whitepaper, in collaboration with Azam Marketing, entitled The Five Variables of Scaling Email Volume.  It is free for all to download in our resources section.

In collaboration with Azam, we have uncovered the complex balance of scaling and successfully executing a high volume email campaign and are overjoyed to be able to share that knowledge with you.

This whitepaper addresses the importance of the five key components for success in scaling email volume: Sender reputation, bounces, list management and cleansing, content and engagement, and finally, technology. We believe these components can be mastered if the following key points are kept in mind:

• Managing deliverability for high volume is a joint effort between the ESP and client.
• Reputation success stems from data cleanliness and a good sending strategy.
• Abrupt strategy changes can cause issues and must be planned.
• There is no direct line to the ISPs. Vigilance and responsible sending practices are a must.
• Be prepared for a long scaling process. Extreme volume swings will not be effective.


 

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Debunking 13 Email Deliverability Myths to Help You Succeed

The below information has been gathered from countless hours of assisting our clients with their day-to-day deliverability needs.  A lot of research and hands-on experience has gone in to debunking these very common deliverability myths.  Unlike when Geraldo uncovered a big goose egg in Al Capone’s vault, I’m hoping that these revelations will help you boost your deliverability and provide necessary information to lead you to success.

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Gold Lasso Teams up with Bamboo Cricket

Partnership provides inbound email management, live customer chat and better customer retention Gold Lasso’s teaming up with Bamboo Cricket, a Florida-based customer service solutions company, to offer our clients inbound email management and live customer chat technology. More and more email marketers are discovering that it really pays to read their customers’ emails. With Bamboo Cricket’s email management solution, our clients can easily uncover “high value” messages from important customers that are currently being ignored. And by simply responding appropriately, you have the chance to retain those customers for about $1 each. And that, according to Stan Rapp, Chairman of Engage, is less than 1% of that client’s lifetime value to the marketer. Bamboo Cricket also offers a free evaluation report so customers can prove the ROI before they buy. And if you’re ready to take the next step up in customer service, Bamboo Cricket provides an outstanding live customer chat application as well.

For more information, please contact your designated eLoop Account Manager.

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EEC Study Reveals Confusion on Bounce Management

In March, the Email Experience Council held a webinar to discuss the results of its recent survey on the current state of e-mail metrics and bounce management. The survey of 400 email marketers and 29 email service providers revealed both positive and negative outcomes. It found that respondents knew delivery was an important, if not the most important, element to a successful campaign. Despite this knowledge, however, EEC’s study also confirms serious concerns about the apparent confusion and miscommunication on reporting and management of bounces.

The good news is that 83 percent of mailers and 88 percent of ESPs rate “email delivery” as high or above average in importance. The bad news is that the study also revealed there is “widespread industry disagreement on key bounce definitions” and inconsistent bounce data. Approximately 25 percent of ESPs reported that they didn’t break out hard and soft bounces for their clients and nearly 40 percent can’t isolate why an email bounced. The lack of detailed data leaves clients unable to distinguish bad addresses from other delivery issues, such as spam blockers or technical failures.

So, what is the email marketer to do? A few recommendations also came out of the study.  Most important is to be proactive and ask questions.  Find out how your ESP or company calculates bounces and other email metrics.  
eLoop has tools to help you.

First is a glossary of terms in the Help section.  If you don’t understand emarketing jargon refer to it or send us an email so we can explain the difference between terms like “hard” and “soft” bounces. Understanding the terms is the first step in effective bounce management.  The Reporting section of eLoop also breaks out the number of hard and soft bounces in addition to the total and unique opens and clicks.  The metrics are all there and we will work with you to understand it and customize it to your needs.

Gold Lasso considers bounce management as a priority to successful campaigns and you should too.

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The Email Monetization Playbook
Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!

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Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!