Skip navigation
All Places > Champion Program > Blog > 2015 > July > 14

There is many websites out there that can help walk you through email bounced codes, categories and examples. What I wanted to cover here is how Marketo handles bounce categories and what they are. For some time now, I had a hard time trying to find information regarding Marketo’s bounce categories and then try to report on them.


Working with Marketo support over the years I was able to nail down some of them.

Was told that there are 6 categories but not in numerical order. I’m not too sure what categories 5 and 6 are. I’ve not seen any leads being tagged with them, but I’m sure some of you may know them and can add to this post and we can all reference them.


The point of this is to monitor and find repeat offenders in case of deliverability issues. With adding a constraint of say last 7 days depending on your email frequency should help you get an idea of the data that needs suspending.



The Marketo mail servers use "StrongView” (formally StrongMail) as there mailing software. (At least they did when I went though this few years ago with Marketo support). StrongView stamps emails with 1of 6 different bounce categories. StrongView categories are blocking (receiving server is not allowing mail), hard (unknown user), soft (temporary failure) and technical (infrastructure).


To identify these categories, we will set up a smart list for each of the categories, set them to look at the last 7 days and show me the leads. So lets make a start!


Email Management

  • Create a new folder and name it Email Management
  • Create 6 Smart Lists


The categories


Category 1 – Should be Email Suspended (usually from spamblock). You may find leads (particularly Gmail addresses) that are Category 1 bounces, but have no data in Email Suspended or Email Suspended at. They are STILL problematic leads. You could also add a further constraint for the # of times they hit Category 1.



Category 2 – Email Invalid. Anyone who has a Category 2 bounce should be email invalid. Leads in this category should be considered for being marked email invalid if they are not already.


Category 3 – Soft Bounce. “Mailbox is full”, that kind of thing. Temporary. Repeat offenders may be an issue.


Category 4 – Technical. Something was wrong with the mailserver on the other end. Again, temporary, but you might want to look for minimum # of times.


Category 7 – Proprietary, used for Strongmail internally.

Category 8 - Is invalid From Email address

The most common reason this happens is because your "From" email address is incorrect. The easiest way to check this is to go into the results of your campaign, and do a search at the bottom for ‘email bounced’. When results come up, double click on a random one. It will show you the reason for the bounce.


Category 9 – Unknown. Nonsensical errors, non English, etc.


I hope some of this is helpful, this information I gathered was from a few years back but may still be relevant today.

Please feel free to add and more information to this post.

“They say Marketing Technologists will become the next CMOs”


I still remember the first time that I heard the name Marketo. I was working as a freelance catalog designer for 3B Scientific in early 2009. I had just taken over their email marketing program and the vice president wanted the company to use one of the new marketing automation platforms. We evaluated Eloqua, Silverpop and Marketo. Eventually we chose Marketo. Then, they turned over the keys to me and asked me to drive!


At the time I knew very little about marketing. I had a degree in photography and worked nights in restaurants to pay the bills. The original Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring was the first time I had ever even considered how the sales and marketing process worked. At this point I had only done B2C marketing and had no concept of how B2B was different.


Along this journey, the Marketo Community has been an invaluable tool that helped me in so many ways. Here are some ways I recommend you get involved:


1. User Groups: As I learned about what other people were struggling with – their specific use cases – I was able to start to piece together a bigger picture of what marketing was and how it needed to start working better. My first Marketo User Group in Atlanta had Cheryl Chavez teaching us how to use new features.

2. Champion Program: When I moved to a B2B software company as an  online marketing manager, Marketo helped double my salary. Quickly afterward, I was honored to be inducted into the first-ever Marketo Champions class. The Champions program has done so much for me professionally. But even more than that, it has connected me with a group of friends whom remain close with to this day.


3. Connect with the Marketing Nation (on and offline): When I requested to be relocated to Planon’s corporate headquarters in The Netherlands, I soon was helping a geographically split team run their marketing online. My Marketo connections helped me work with colleagues in many countries and time zones and in various native languages. It was an invaluable education in global marketing organizations and effective communication. I was able to build these relationships through the Marketo Community, Champions Calls, Marketo Roadshows, and, of course, The Marketing Nation Summit.


4. Marketo Community: When my contract ended, my husband and I decided to return to the United States and had no clue about where to move. So, I asked Marketo employee friends and found out that fellow Champion, Jason Seeba, was looking for someone to join him at BloomReach. We arrived at SFO with our dog and just a few suitcases, and no place to live. Our cab to the Extended Stay in Mountain View was the first time either of us had been to the South Bay before. And yet we didn’t feel alone because the Marketo community was with us. I immediately had friends to connect with in the area that I would never have had without my years of experience with Marketo.


In fact, throughout this journey, the thread that connects it is the Marketo community, the Champions program and the User Groups. As marketing technologist for BloomReach, my responsibility was for the entire technology stack, in addition to Marketo. I am amused by the recent surge of the term “full-stack marketers”. I think in our day and age, we all have to understand how our core technologies operate. To be truly effective and maintain a competitive advantage, we now have to also know where to add in other technologies to create a more complete sales and marketing machine. If you attended this year’s Marketo Summit, you might have heard the name BloomReach a few times for all the cool things we have done  using the whole stack.


I am writing this Champions blog post for the kickoff of the new Marketo Community. I cannot express to you how different my life is from the first time I heard the name Marketo. I have been lucky to be asked to speak at the last three Marketing Nation Summits and several other smaller events. I love being able  to co-lead the Silicon Valley Marketo User Group with Jason. I have spoken with analysts and given advice to product managers. One of my favorite things has been to beta test and make suggestions for improvements.


With the launch of the new Community, I too am launching a new step in my career. I recently started at LeanData as the chief marketing officer. It’s an incredibly exciting and new challenge. At the Summit, I was speaking with the vice president of sales at Influitive and told her I was a marketing technologist. She said: “They say Marketing Technologists will become the next CMOs”.  Funny you should mention that.


After years of doing manual and monotonous operations tasks, I’m excited to help fellow marketers simplify and allow  the machine to work for them – rather than the other way around. I joined LeanData because after using their products for a year, and I knew that they solved real problems that people like me have been struggling with over the years.


I guess what I am really saying is this: Take it seriously, and you can go far. If you can pull a report and show your direct impact to the top line, the higher you push that top line the further you will go. Now get to work, there’s great marketing to be done!


Adam New-Waterson

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: