There are three email statuses noted in the people tab of your documents depending on the lifecycle of the email:

  • Waiting on email status – This is the first email status you will see after an email is sent. Once the email has been delivered or bounced, this status will update accordingly.

  • Bounced – If a server cannot or will not deliver a message, the email provider fires a bounce event. Bounces are often caused by outdated or incorrectly entered email addresses. Many times you won’t know a bounced email address until it bounces. This event can help identify which addresses should be removed from your lists to ensure they don’t bounce again.

  • Delivered – When an email is accepted at the receiving server, a delivered event is generated.

There are also a variety of email events which can cause confusion without proper definition and understanding. Below are helpful insights to have if/when notifications are received.

  • Processed – When the email provider receives an individual message and prepares it to be delivered – think of this as the top of the funnel (unless it is dropped), each message pushed to an email provider will create a processed event.

  • Dropped – There are a number of reasons your email may not be sent to a recipient for delivery. This event will not only let you know an email has been dropped, it also provides a reason, such as possible spam content (if spam checker app is enabled) or if the recipient previously unsubscribed.

  • Deferred – When an email cannot immediately be delivered, but it hasn’t been dropped, the deferred event fires. Sometimes called a soft bounce, the email provider will continue to try for up to 72 hours to deliver the message.

  • Bounced – If a server cannot or will not deliver a message, the email provider fires a bounce event. Bounces are often caused by outdated or incorrectly entered email addresses. Many times you won’t know a bounced email address until it bounces. This event can help identify which addresses should be removed from your lists to ensure they don’t bounce again.

  • Delivered – When an email is accepted at the receiving server, a delivered event is generated. This event does not guarantee the email was placed in the recipient’s inbox. In fact, a delivered email is only the beginning of an opaque process. The remaining four events begin to give us hints about whether anyone will ever see this delivered email.

  • Open – An opened email is the first step toward the action you want your recipient to take. This event fires every time the email is viewed with images turned on. Like all email service providers, our email provider uses a transparent image beacon to track opened messages. This beacon is currently the only way a sender can tell if an email has been opened. (To learn how image opens are affected by Google’s new image caching, read our blog post on the topic here.)

  • Click – The pinnacle of email engagement is the click. Your call to action, whether it is to confirm a newly registered account or to view a recommended product, asks the recipient to click a link. The email provider tracks that interaction and executes a click event.

  • Spam Report – Most internet service providers (ISP) provide a feedback loop, sending specific spam complaints to the email service providers. When the email provider receives a notice, it triggers a spam event. It is recommended to remove any email address that triggers this type of event from mailing lists to protect the sending reputation.

  • Unsubscribe – Reacting immediately when a recipient unsubscribes from your mailings, by removing the email from your lists, can pay long-term dividends to your sending reputation and deliverability rates.


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