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Act-On Software

Understanding Why an Email Failed

If your emails are not reaching your intended audience, you can get more information from the responses that you received (or did not receive) from the recipient mail's server.

This section in Act-On tracks reasons why messages were not received, with an additional bounce code with more information.

When viewing a Sent Message Report, click the Not Sent / Suppressed: count to view a list of reasons for the failed sends.

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See below for a list of possible Not Sent / Suppressed detail types and their explanations. Please note that there may be other factors affecting your deliverability.

Reason in "Details" Explanation
Bad mailbox Hard bounce is usually due to an invalid email address
Policy-related Hard bounce is usually due to a specific security setting that the recipient's organization has set
Bad domain This may mean that Act-On is having trouble communicating with that domain

This often happens after a previous Act-On send received a generic response from the recipient domain, eventually leading the system to classify this as a bad domain
Message expired
or
No answer from host
Act-On will attempt to send each email for up to 36 hours if there is no response from the recipient’s server

After that time, we will classify this message as a soft bounce with one of these reasons
Prohibited system address
or
Role based-address
You are trying to send to a generic email alias that is not yet added to your allowed list

These are suppressed by default because these types of email addresses are well known for generating spam complaints and hurting deliverability
Routing errors The server could not route the message correctly to the proper inbox

The recipient's email host may be experiencing a temporary outage
Spam-related The recipient's incoming mail server considers this message to be spam
Quota issues The recipient's mailbox has reached an internal storage limit and cannot accept any incoming messages. 
Bad Connection The recipient's mail server was unable to accept the message due to a time-out or inadequate connection quality.
Invalid address The email address may be misspelled or improperly formatted
Relaying issues This may be due to a recipient server issue

Usually, Act-On has found the email address but is having trouble communicating with it
Possible spam trap This email address is suspected as being used to expose spammers, who add email addresses to their lists without permission

They may also be used to identify marketers who do not clean/maintain their lists adequately
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