About campaign bounces and bounce codes

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A contact is marked as bounced when their receiving email server rejects an email campaign or automation email. This rejection can mean that the email address is invalid or their inbox is inaccessible when sending.

Email bounce types

There are two types of bounces that we track: hard bounces and soft bounces.

Hard bounce

A hard bounce is a permanent failure or rejection. Once we receive a hard bounce, we mark the contact immediately as “Bounced.” We will no longer send any direct or automated campaigns to that contact.

Soft bounce

A soft bounce is a temporary failure or rejection. Some reasons may include:

  • The recipient's server is unavailable or down
  • The recipient's server is overloaded
  • The recipient’s mailbox is full
  • The message size is too big
  • Failing email authentication

When a contact soft bounces, we don't mark the contact as bounced until this happens three times in a row (3 separate campaigns). If we receive three soft bounces for your contact, they are marked as “Bounced” and we will no longer send them any campaigns or automation emails.

How to locate campaign bounce data

When a contact bounces, we will list the date of the bounce, the bounce code, the type of bounce (hard or soft), and the bounce description in your direct and automated campaign reports:

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Direct campaign reports

To locate bounce data for direct campaigns: 

  1. Click Reports on the left menu.
  2. Click the email you want to review. 

You will find "Bounces" in the "Summary" box. This shows you the percentage of bounces your campaign received.

If you hover your mouse over "Bounces," a modal will appear and show you the number of bounced contacts. 

If you click "Bounces" in the "Summary" box, we'll direct you to the Bounce Reports page for your campaign. Here you can see a list of all contacts who bounced, the date they bounced, the bounce code, bounce type, and bounce description

Automated campaign reports

To locate bounce data for automated campaigns:

  1. Click Reports on the left menu. 
  2. Hover your mouse next to the ActiveCampaign logo on the top left, then click "Show navigation." 
  3. Click the "Automations" option, then click the "All Automations" report
  4. Locate the automation containing the campaign for which you wish to review the bounce report.
  5. Click the "Contains X campaign ..." option under the automation name.
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  6. A modal containing links to additional reports will appear. Click the "Automation Overview" option.
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  7. A new tab or window will open and display a high-level overview of all campaigns in your automation. From here, locate and click the campaign in the table at the bottom of the report.
  8. A modal containing a link to the Campaign Overview report will appear. Click this link to view data for your automated campaign. 

You will find "Bounces" in the "Summary" box. This shows you the percentage of bounces your campaign received.

If you hover your mouse over "Bounces," a modal will appear and show you the number of bounced contacts. 

If you click "Bounces" in the "Summary" box, we'll direct you to the Bounce Reports page for your campaign. Here you can see a list of all contacts who bounced, the date they bounced, the bounce code, bounce type, and bounce description. 

Bounce codes

The bounce codes displayed on the Bounce Reports page come from recipients' email servers. Please note that these receiving mail servers may provide codes that do not accurately reflect the true nature of the bounce.

Below is a list bounce codes that we use and support:

Bounce Code Bounce Type Description
4.2.2 Soft The email account is over quota
5.0.0 Hard Address does not exist
5.1.0 Hard Other address status
5.1.1 Hard Bad destination mailbox address
5.1.2 Hard Bad destination system address
5.1.3 Hard Bad destination mailbox address syntax
5.1.4 Hard Destination mailbox address ambiguous
5.1.5 Hard Destination mailbox address valid
5.1.6 Hard Mailbox has moved
5.1.7 Hard Bad sender\'s mailbox address syntax
5.1.8 Hard Bad sender's system address
5.2.0 Soft Other or undefined mailbox status
5.2.1 Soft Mailbox disabled, not accepting messages
5.2.2 Soft Mailbox full
5.2.3 Hard Message length exceeds administrative limit.
5.2.4 Hard Mailing list expansion problem
5.3.0 Hard Other or undefined mail system status
5.3.1 Soft Mail system full
5.3.2 Hard System not accepting network messages
5.3.3 Hard System not capable of selected features
5.3.4 Hard Message too big for system
5.4.0 Hard Other or undefined network or routing status
5.4.1 Hard No answer from host
5.4.2 Hard Bad connection
5.4.3 Hard Routing server failure
5.4.4 Hard Unable to route
5.4.5 Soft Network congestion
5.4.6 Hard Routing loop detected
5.4.7 Hard Delivery time expired
5.5.0 Hard Other or undefined protocol status
5.5.1 Hard Invalid command
5.5.2 Hard Syntax error
5.5.3 Soft Too many recipients
5.5.4 Hard Invalid command arguments
5.5.5 Hard Wrong protocol version
5.6.0 Hard Other or undefined media error
5.6.1 Hard Media not supported
5.6.2 Hard Conversion required and prohibited
5.6.3 Hard Conversion required but not supported
5.6.4 Hard Conversion with loss performed
5.6.5 Hard Conversion failed
5.7.0 Hard Other or undefined security status
5.7.1 Hard Delivery not authorized, message refused
5.7.2 Hard Mailing list expansion prohibited
5.7.3 Hard Security conversion required but not possible
5.7.4 Hard Security features not supported
5.7.5 Hard Cryptographic failure
5.7.6 Hard Cryptographic algorithm not supported
5.7.7 Hard Message integrity failure
9.1.1 Hard Hard bounce with no bounce code found. It could be an invalid email or rejected email from your mail server (such as from a sending limit).

 

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