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Email suppression and bounce data

When emails are sent via the broadcast email tools, including auto-responder thank you emails, the platform automatically records any bounces, which are automated replies. For example, the receiving server might reply to the sender to say that the address doesn’t exist (a ‘hard bounce’), or with an out of office (a ‘soft bounce’).

The platform can decide to ‘suppress‘ an email address if there are continuing problems with it. For example, the domain does not exist (e.g. This means that even if the supporter was selected to receive an email, our email server would reject them from the send. This is to maintain good reputations with the receiving servers, so your emails are properly delivered and placed properly (see email deliverability for more on this).

Viewing your bounces and suppressions

To view your bounces for the last 30 days, or your suppressions, go to Emails > Email suppression. This screen displays soft bounces, hard bounces and suppressions. Suppressions are email addresses that get placed on a suppression list if we record a number of bounces for that record (for example, 1 hard bounce or 3 soft bounces), which means they will not get emailed (although they are still in your account).

Click “View” to see a list of supporters in each category. Hard and soft bounces, and spam complaints (which is when a supporter marks a received email as spam), will have the date the email bounced and the reason why listed in this view.

A soft bounce is an e-mail message that gets as far as the supporter’s mail server but is bounced back undelivered before it gets to the intended recipient. It might have bounced, for example, because the supporter’s inbox is full, so it might be deliverable at another time.

A hard bounce is an e-mail message that has been returned to the sender because the recipient’s address does not work.

For supporters who have Not Opted In, there is a list of email addresses which do not have a ‘Y’ value for any opt-in questions in the account. Note that this list is updated on the 1st of every month and so may not represent the latest view of your “not opted in” supporters. This report provides the data on constituents with an email engagement score of 100.

For supporters who have no email address, they will be randomly assigned one which ends with @noaddress.ea, and they are never emailed.

Downloading your bounce list

You can also download the whole file as a CSV by clicking on ‘Download’ in any of the sections. Once you have clicked confirm on “Are you sur eyou want to schedule a job for this?”, the file will be available for downloading in your jobs monitor. When the action has completed, you can download your results. You will then have a spreadsheet of all your bounced records.

Deleting suppressed records

You are able to delete suppressed email records from your account by using the Data & Reports > Delete feature. Use a downloaded CSV of the records you wish to delete and upload it to this feature. Read more about deleting records here.

When should you delete bounce records?

There is no set rule on this, but generally, if a record is suppressed, then this email address is definitely not working and we will no longer send to it. Please note, deleting supporters will also delete their transactions including any active recurring gifts.

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