If you have an email newsletter, you’ll want to keep your delivery rate as high as possible. That means that you should fix email addresses that are bouncing mail, and consequently improve your percentage of successful mail deliveries.
Reasons why an email might bounce include:
When an email bounces, it can be put on hold immediately for some bounce reasons, or after it’s happened a number of times for other bounce reasons. Here’s the number of times an email has to bounce for each reason before it is put on hold:
You can read more about email bounce settings in CiviCRM’s documentation.
For organisations using CiviCRM to send email newsletters, the easiest way to keep an eye on addresses that are on hold because of mail bounces is to regularly check the Mail Bounce report a day or two after you send an email newsletter. In reality, there are lots of email newsletter senders who forget to do this, and that’s understandable.
To make it easier on yourself, here’s how you can set up a report to be emailed to you daily with a list of all the email addresses that are on hold and their bounce reason, so you can fix the ones that need fixing
First, set up a Smart Group of Contacts who email is On Hold and have had a Mail Bounce. Refine this to only include Contacts whose Mail Bounce is a reason you care about (eg Invalid or Inactive to ask them for a new email address, Spam or Away or Quota to just remove the On Hold from their email).
Once you have your search results, choose the Actions drop-down option to create a new Smart Group. Give it a sensible name and description, so that one day when you have to clean up the eleven billionty reports in your CiviCRM, you know what this Group is being used for.
Next, create a report that includes only those Contacts who are in your new Group. The Mailing report “Mail Bounces” is a good base if you want a report that lists the name and mail bounce reason for each contact. Save a copy of the report and give it a sensible name and description, so that one day when you have to clean up the eight gazillion reports in your CiviCRM, you know what this one was intended to do.
Customising your report is pretty easy. Just go to the Filters tab and select your new Group. You might also want to check “Phone” on the Columns tab.
Go to the Email Delivery tab and put in your email address and a subject line. Make sure you click on Update Report to save your changes.
Now sit back and relax until tomorrow, when an email turns up with your CiviCRM report of contacts who need their email address fixed.
This does assume that your CiviCRM Scheduled Jobs has a setting for Mail Reports to be sent out daily. You can change this setting (eg to weekly, or monthly) but it means that ALL reports – not just your mail bounce report – will be sent on the new schedule. So if you’ve also got Contribution reports being emailed to your finance officer for bank reconciliation, or membership reports being emailed to your CEO, this is a setting you should think about carefully before changing.
Still need help? We can help you.
VP of Client Happiness at Agileware. Emma is passionate about supporting the non-profit sector and ensuring that customer requirements are delivered.
The Agileware office is located in Canberra, providing services locally and around the world. Talk to us today and we'll help you find a solution that works for your organisation.