Bounce management for Mailgun

We introduce an upgrade to our bounce management for Mailgun together with migration to new Mailgun webhooks to correctly deal with failed deliveries and improve deliverability and IP reputations. These two changes will allow us to do more in-depth mapping to exponea bounce logic based on bounce reasons and SMTP codes provided by Mailgun and together with new cumulative bounce logic better prevent e.g false positive hard bounces.

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Existing Mailgun integrations will be automatically migrated to use the new Mailgun webhooks.

Bounce categories

Every unsuccessful delivery attempt will fall into one of these bounce categories:

Soft bounce

Emails could not be delivered because of temporary problems, such as the domain being temporarily down.

Action:

  • Track campaign event with status=soft_bounced

Hard Bounce

Emails could not be delivered because of permanent problems, such as the address is undeliverable, e.g. it doesn’t exist.

Action:

  • Track campaign event with status=hard_bounced
  • Attribute email_invalid set to true
  • Track event contact_invalid

Cumulative Bounce

Emails could not be delivered because of problems that can be temporary or permanent such as missing MX records for the domain or full inbox .

Action:

  • Track campaign event with status=soft_bounced and cumulative=true

Preblocked

Emails could not be delivered because they were blocked by the email service provider, e.g. when the address is on the suppression list of the provider.

Action:

  • Track campaign event with status=preblocked
  • Attribute email_invalid set to true
  • Track event contact_invalid

Complained

Emails could not be delivered because they were l marked as spam or sent to the spam folder.

Action:

  • Track campaign event with status=complained
  • Revoke consents

Find out more about email events tracking.

Cumulative bounce logic

Cumulative bounce logic is applied to problems that can either be temporary or permanent and only after repeated failed attempts can we confidently classify it as a permanent problem. Cumulative bounce logic will watch for repeated soft bounces with attribute cumulative=true and based on the defined rules will first result in temporary suppression and eventually in permanent suppression:

  • Temporary suppression
    Will temporarily suppress email addresses for a defined period of time (7 days)
    This will result into campaign event with status=”suppressed” and message=”Temporarily suppressed due to repeated soft bounces for this email address” and valid_until=timestamp
  • Permanent suppression
    Will permanently suppress email address which will result into setting attribute email_invalid=true and tracking event invalid_contact with reason=“Permanently suppressed due to repeated soft bounces for this email address”

Rules for the cumulative bounce

  • If there are 3 consequent soft bounces in 7 days or 5 consequent soft bounces over any timeframe, this will lead to temporary suppression for 7 days.
  • After the temporary suppression expires, 1 soft bounce consequently after that will lead to permanent suppression.

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Consequent soft bounces mean no signs of activity (delivered/open/click campaign events) in between soft bounces (with attribute cumulative=true)

These rules are evaluated at the time of next campaign sending attempt e.g:

  • If the next sending attempt is within the period of temporary suppression (7 days since the last soft bounce), the sending will be blocked and result in campaign event with status=”suppressed” and message=”Temporarily suppressed due to repeated soft bounces for this email address”
  • If Customer already has 3 soft bounces, the temporary suppression period is over, and they have another soft bounce, they won't get permanently suppressed immediately after the last soft bounce. Permanent suppression will appear with the next campaign sending attempt.

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Cumulative logic will not apply if the email property does not match the recipient in the soft bounce events counted in the cumulative bounce

Updated 14 days ago


Bounce management for Mailgun


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