About Bounces, Unsubscribes and Complaints
Applies to: All ONTRAPORT accounts.
This article describes hard bounces, soft bounces, unsubscribes and complaints and how they affect the contact's "Bulk Email Status" field.
The Bulk Email Status Field
The Bulk Email Status field is found in the Contact Record, and it determines if you can send email to the Contact via a Broadcast, Campaign or any other automation.
This is a field maintained by the system, and the only modification you can make to it is to change the status to "Transactional Only" to manually opt a contact out from receiving bulk email. If you change the field the only way to revert to Opt-In or Double Opt-In is for the contact to fill out a form.
The Bulk Email Status may show any one of these:
- Single Opt-In: can receive all types of email.
- Double Opt-In: can receive all types of email.
- Pending Review: can not receive any email. This is typically found when the contact has just been imported and has not passed our review. Contact Support if it has been more than two business days since the import.
- Hard Bounce: can not receive any automated email. This status is explained below.
- Unconfirmed: can not receive any automated email. This status is used when you have specified that double opt-in is required and the contact has not confirmed the opt-in.
- Transactional Only: receives only non-marketing email such as invoices. This status is usually due to the contact opting out of email using the "Manage Your Subscription" link.
Note: In most cases you can still send one-off emails to the individual Contact. It is not considered bulk email if there is only one recipient and it is sent manually.
Types of Bounces
There are two kinds of "bounces".
Temporary conditions with the contact's ESP (Email Service Provider), including:
- A full mailbox
- An inbox "spam protector" autoresponder that requires senders to respond to a verification email in order to make it into the inbox
- The ESP being temporarily down
- 3rd party spam-blocker on their local computer.
Hard bounces happen due to one of the following:
- A bad email address
- 4 consecutive soft-bounces.
Unsubscribes happen when a person clicks the Manage Your Subscription link that appears by law at the bottom of all your bulk emails. Of course, if a person complains they will also be unsubscribed from your sequences and their Bulk Email Status will change to Transactional Only, indicating they do not want marketing content. See our Transactional Email article for more details on this bulk email status.
Complaints are bad for your email marketing health. Don't get them. Your contacts can complain in one of two ways:
- They click the This is Spam (or similar) button within their email program.
- They click the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of an email and then, rather than merely opting out of receiving future mailings, they additionally click the Report Abuse button at the bottom of the unsubscription page.
ONTRAPORT requires you to maintain a complaint rate at 0.1% or below. Our team will reach out if you exceed that rate and work with you to correct it. We reserve the right to terminate accounts with high complaint rates.
Articles in this section
- ONTRAPORT and GDPR
- List Bombing
- Order Form Security Updates
- Active Re Engagement
- Email Delivery 101
- Can I Import My Email List
- Bounces, Unsubscribes, and Complaints
- List Management
- Getting too many complaints? Start here!
- Remove "via ontramail.com" From Your Email FROM Address