By Savicom News
Deliverability Part Three: Definitions
In Deliverability Parts One and Two, we described some of the challenges that commercial senders face in establishing positive ISP relationships, and outlined some of the strings we pull behind the scenes to make delivery possible.
However, to understand and interpret your email program's analytics, it is essential to define some critical terms.
Delivered – Email was accepted by the receiving network.
Undelivered – A message is undeliverable if the system is not able to establish a connection with the receiving domain. This can occur if a valid, receiving domain is unavailable, or available but not accepting email.
Soft Return – A temporary delivery failure (a.k.a., a "soft return" or a "soft bounce") is an email message that is returned by the receiving domain with a note stating anything other than "the email address (user) does not exist or is invalid". This can include "mailbox full" notes but typically would not include "on vacation" or other auto-replies. Addresses with temporary delivery failures are subjected to the pruning rules set up on the Edit.
Returned – A return (also referenced to as a "bounce") represents an email message that was successfully sent to the receiving domain, but was rejected and sent back. A message can be returned for a wide variety of reasons. The system separates returns into two broad categories that determine how the returned email address is processed.
Hard Return – A permanent delivery failure (a.k.a. a "hard return" or a "hard bounce") is an email message that is returned by the receiving domain with a note stating that "the email address (user) does not exist or is invalid." Addresses with permanent delivery failures are pruned (removed) from your list within 24 hours and are logged in the return detail as "Permanent Failures."
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any assistance in implementing any of the above recommendations or simply want to bounce your own ideas off our dedicated team of Delivery Assurance personnel.