How can I see what caused my email to bounce?

There are two types of bounces that can be categorized under the bounce ratio:

It is possible to see the bounce message which can explain the cause of the hard or soft bounce. The bounce message is the literal message Spotler gets back from the receiving server.

The bounce message can be viewed in several places in Spotler, namely; in the mailing report and on a contact card. 

In this article you will find the following information:

How do you view a bounce message in the mailing report?

Go to the Mailings module and open the report of your mailing. To view the bounce message in your mailing report, click the Delivery tab.


Then scroll to the Bounce Rate header. Move your mouse over the Hard bounced or Soft bounced line and you will see a drop-down menu. Click on View.

bounce rate.png

You will see an overview of bounced contacts. Move your mouse over a contact and another drop-down menu will appear. Now, click on Bounce message.

Bounce message.pngA pop-up opens with the bounce message from the server. The content of the bounce message varies, because it also depends on the server.

How do you view a bounce message on a contact card?

Go to the Lists module and click on the Contacts tab. Find the contact you want to view the bounce message from. If you want to view all contacts that have a hard bounce in your account, select by email status; inactive: hard bounce.

contact card.png

Click on View in the contact's menu.

contact view.png

It is also possible to view the Mailing interactions and/or Automations/Campaign interactions of a contact.

View_bounce+message.pngWhen you see "No" under the heading Received, you'll know that the contact bounced in that mailing. Click on View bounce message in the menu. 

What information can be seen in a bounce message?

The cause of a hard or soft bounce can be found in the bounce message. Given the different types of bounce messages Spotler receives from the receiving servers, it is not possible to summarize a specific cause of a bounce in one overview. This is why it is necessary to view the message separately for each bounce. 

It thus differs what kind of information you get from a bounce message. Sometimes you see 'BounceCategory' in the description, just like the example below. The BounceCategory indicates what caused it. It is therefore useful when you open a bounce message to search for BounceCategory with Ctrl+F.

In the example below you can see that an inactive mailbox is the cause for the bounce.


In other cases, the cause is described in a detailed explanation and you don't get to see a BounceCategory, like in the example below:


A bounce message is kept for 90 days. After this you will see a message that the bounce message is no longer visible. 

Most common bounce categories

As said before, it is possible you will encounter a BounceCategory in the bounce message. The most common bounce categories are explained below:

  • Bad-domain
    The domain is incorrect or does not exist. Check the spelling and structure of the domain. If you come across an obvious mistake, change it to the correct email address.
  • Bad mailbox
    The email address does not exist or is incorrect. Check the spelling of the email address and adjust it accordingly. You can also contact the recipient and and ask them for an up-to-date email address.
  • Inactive mailbox
    The mailing bounced because the recipient's address no longer exists, is inactive, or has been disabled. Contact the recipient. For example, a person may no longer be employed by an organization. In addition, you could get the email address of a new contact person.
  • Message-expired
    You will receive this message when the mailing that Spotler tries to deliver cannot be delivered within two days. Try to reach the contact person to find out whether there are any known issues with the delivery of mailings and/or whether the email address is still up-to-date. If the email address is still correct, it is useful for the recipient to add you as a sender to the list of trusted senders.
  • No-answer-from-host
    The receiver is offline or has an issue in configuration. Contact the recipient if he or she is aware of an issue.
  • Other messages
    There is no detailed report about the cause.
  • Policy-related
    The mailing was bounced due to a policy of the recipient. Usually the reason being that the mailing is blocked for security reasons. To prevent this from happening in the future, you can ask the recipient to put you on the organization's list of trusted senders.
  • Quota issues
    The mailing has been blocked because the recipient's mailbox is full.
  • Routing errors
    The mailing bounced due to problems with email routing. You as the sender have no influence on this. It depends on the configuration of the receiving client.
  • Spam-related
    The mailing bounced due to spam reasons. Your mailing has been marked as spam by the recipient. Ask your contact to put you on the list of trusted senders.

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