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    Bounces, Unsubscribes, and Complaints

    Types of Bounces

    There are two kinds of "bounces".

    Soft bounce

    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 bounce

    Hard bounces happen due to one of the following:

    • A bad email address
    • 4 consecutive soft-bounces. 


    Unsubscribes happen when a person clicks the Unsubscribe 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 Opt Out.


    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.

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    • Avatar
      Vanessa Thomas

      How do we see the unsubscribe page?  Can we change it or edit it?

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      Hi Vanessa - the best way to see the unsubscribe page exactly as your contacts would see it is to add two contact records for your self and send both contact records an email ... the unsubscribe link will appear at the bottom of the message. You do need to send the message to at least two contacts to generate the unsubscribe link (sending a single email to a single contact does not add the unsubscribe link). 

      We do not allow editing of the unsubscribe page. Here is what it looks like if you do not have any Sequences marked "Show this sequence on the Subscription Management Page" (located in the Settings of the Sequence). 



    • Avatar
      Joanne Petrovic

      Hi,   does an email confirmation of unsubscribing get sent to the person who unsubscribes and are they automatically marked for "do not email" by ontraport?

    • Avatar
      Coach Karen Vega - ICG


      Are soft-bounced emails re-sent later on? How many times?

      Thank you.

    • Avatar
      Customer Support

      Hi Karen,

      If an email soft bounces we attempt to send it 3 more times once a day. Once the fourth soft bounce occurs we mark the client as hard bounces.

    • Avatar
      Coach Karen Vega - ICG

      Thank you Sean :)

    • Avatar
      Kat Ferraro

      How can someone who accidentally unsubscribed subscribe again?  


    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      Hi Kat - sorry I didn't see this earlier!

      There are three ways your Contact can opt in again. They can use an opt in form, and that will reset their "Bulk Email Status" to Opt In.

      Even though they are opted out, you can still send them the "Double Opt In" email from the Contacts database; just select their Contact Record and in the drop down Actions drawer select "Double Opt-In": 


      Support can also help you if you have a notice from the customer (the spam laws require proof!) Support can toggle the Bulk Email Status back to "Opt In" after approval by our Email Delivery team in those cases. 

    • Avatar
      Elvia Roe

      Good info here, thank you! Is there a way to "unbounce" a contact? I know I could with our previous tool. Have a connect who's status is "hard bounce" but the email address is legit. Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Avatar
      Frank Hagan

      Check the contact and from the Actions drawer select "Double Opt-In" to send them the double opt in email. ONTRAPORT will send that email to Contacts with opt out and hard bounce status in their Bulk Email Status field.

      You can also have an opt-in form for them where they re-enter their information, and direct them to use that form if you like. 

    • Avatar
      Ryan Gromfin

      Once a contact is marked Hard Bounce, will there be any further attempts to mail them? It appears to be no, but just confirming this?

    • Avatar
      Craig Press

      How can I opt-out contacts that have had no activity for a period of time (ie. 180 days) so they do not get sent future emails?

      Never mind, figured out it needs to be done through rules by giving contact a tag.

      Edited by Craig Press
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