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Email delivered, then bounced = spam??

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Email delivered, then bounced = spam??

Hi Community,

Has anyone come across emails that get sent, delivered, then bounced? We're trying to figure out if there's a way to know whether an email has been sent straight to spam in the recipient's inbox, and whether or not if the following example is it?

The details for the email bounce is 550 [internal] [oob] The message was blocked by the receiver as spam.

Thanks!

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Re: Email delivered, then bounced = spam??

Victoria,

Yes, emails can be both delivered and bounce. And yes, that activity log will provide details of the bounce, so in this case, the email did bounce because of hitting a spam filter. You can find details of the bounce in each person's "email invalid cause" or "email suspended cause" fields.

Steven Vanderberg​ explains here: This would be an out-of-band or asynchronous bounce.  The recipient server accepts the message and returns a 250 OK delivered response.  Then it does some evaluation on the message, decides it's undeliverable for whichever reason (like maybe the user doesn't exist on that domain or it thinks the message is spam), and sends back an additional soft/hard bounce message.  The lead's activity log records every delivery/bounce response it receives from the recipient server in connection to the mailing.  Ultimately it depends on how the recipient email server's configuration on if this will happen with an email or not."

More info: Under what circumstances can an email be delivered and bounced?

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Re: Email delivered, then bounced = spam??

Victoria,

Yes, emails can be both delivered and bounce. And yes, that activity log will provide details of the bounce, so in this case, the email did bounce because of hitting a spam filter. You can find details of the bounce in each person's "email invalid cause" or "email suspended cause" fields.

Steven Vanderberg​ explains here: This would be an out-of-band or asynchronous bounce.  The recipient server accepts the message and returns a 250 OK delivered response.  Then it does some evaluation on the message, decides it's undeliverable for whichever reason (like maybe the user doesn't exist on that domain or it thinks the message is spam), and sends back an additional soft/hard bounce message.  The lead's activity log records every delivery/bounce response it receives from the recipient server in connection to the mailing.  Ultimately it depends on how the recipient email server's configuration on if this will happen with an email or not."

More info: Under what circumstances can an email be delivered and bounced?

View solution in original post

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Re: Email delivered, then bounced = spam??

Has anyone come across emails that get sent, delivered, then bounced? We're trying to figure out if there's a way to know whether an email has been sent straight to spam in the recipient's inbox, and whether or not if the following example is it?

Further to Devraj's comment, no, this is not an example of message missing the Inbox proper but going to a Spam folder or web-based Quarantine.

Rather, this message was rejected by a second-hop mail scanning service after being delivered at the first hop. It is functionally the same as a delivery-time bounce (and incidentally is bad practice on their part, as it produces what's called "backscatter")

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Re: Email delivered, then bounced = spam??

Thank you Sanford Whiteman​ and Devraj Grewal​ for your response.

So is there a way to know if an email is delivered but missed the inbox and went straight to spam?

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Re: Email delivered, then bounced = spam??

I do not believe there is a definite way because you don't have insight into how the recipient server and inbox rules are set up to know if your email went to spam. But the "email invalid cause" or "email suspended cause" fields containing "spam" is a good place to start.

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Re: Email delivered, then bounced = spam??

That makes sense, thanks for chiming in.

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Re: Email delivered, then bounced = spam??

So is there a way to know if an email is delivered but missed the inbox and went straight to spam?

Not definitively, no. That's precisely the type of end-user action that's concealed from you as the sender (imagine if you could see if someone clicked "Delete" or "Flag"!). 

Across a large-volume send to a familiar domain, process of elimination might help you intuit that you missed the Inbox more than usual by trending Opened Email. But for an individual recipient, you can't tell between different types of non-logged action.

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Re: Email delivered, then bounced = spam??

Thanks Sanford! Since the activity is recorded as email delivered AND email bounced, will this contribute to both numbers on the email performance activity report?

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Re: Email delivered, then bounced = spam??

The email performance report will show the bounce activity only, as the delivered activity is overwritten if a later bounce occurs. However, if you were to query those who were delivered the email, the person will populate a smart list since smart lists look at activity records and the activity shows that the email was both delivered and was bounced.

More info: Why Does My Smart List Count Not Match the Email Performance Report?

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Re: Email delivered, then bounced = spam??

That's what was thinking, thanks for confirming Devraj!