This article assumes you have already set up a Contact List within Canvas.Email and perhaps even sent out your first campaign message.
Congratulations! you’ve sent a campaign, and you’re pretty sure that you had at least a few bounces. In fact, maybe you logged into your bounce email address and you KNOW you have some bounces to be processed. In the past, you would have to manually read each email, take note of the address affected, and decide on the best course of action. With the application, you just need to have the login details for your bounce account. It will automatically login to your account, download your bounced emails, and then analyze them and categorize them accordingly depending on the severity of the bounce.
When setting up a contact list for your email campaigns, you can define a Bounce-To address. This address will automatically receive any emails that “bounce” off receiving mail servers, typically with lots of helpful information on what exact delivery problem was experienced. It’s typically useful to pick a bounce email address that is not used for any other purpose, often times of the form firstname.lastname@example.org. Any subscribers viewing your email headers will realize you take pride in keeping an updated, accurate subscriber list, and it will also lead to less clutter than you would experience using a normal mailbox, as bounce messages typically grow with the size of the list, meaning your mailbox could be receiving hundreds or even thousands of bounce emails per campaign send.
Bounce accounts are configured on a per-list basis. Each contact list you maintain in Canvas.Email can be set up for bounce processing using a different email account.
To begin, log into Canvas.Email and then navigate to Contact Lists -> View Contact Lists -> and click Edit next to the list you wish to configure. At the bottom of that screen, you will see a section of the form labeled, “Bounce Account Details”.
To configure a bounce account, you will need to specify a valid email account, preferably one hosted at Canvas Host. Looking at the diagram above, enter (1) the server host name, (2) email address and email password. Select (3) IMAP Account as the connection/account type, and select (4) “Do not validate certificate”. Finally, select (5) “Empty the inbox after processing bounces”, and test these settings by pressing (6) “Test Bounce Settings”.
Please note: You cannot use AOL, Gmail, or Yahoo accounts for this type of service. We recommend using a hosted POP/IMAP account with your current web hosting provider. Canvas Host can set you up with a different bounce address, one that we host and which is used just for your bounces. Please contact our team if you’d like help setting that up.
If you’ve setup your Bounce-To address, and you’ve configured your server details, and you know you have bounce emails, now you want to process them. At this point, you have two options, depending on your server configuration. If you have cron support enabled, you can schedule automated bounce processing from your Settings → Cron Settings page. This lets you adjust the frequency of bounce processing on your server. Please note that bounce processing can be very resource-intensive. It’s best to set larger intervals for bounce processing than scheduled sending or other cron tasks to lower the load upon your server.
When it’s scheduled to run, Canvas.Email will access your mail server and attempt to automatically process your bounced emails. If it has any problems, it will send an email to the server administrator email address informing them of the problem and with some notes on the error experienced and possible ways to fix the problem.
If you don’t have cron enabled, or don’t wish to automatically process bounced emails, you can still process them manually. You can access this from the Contact Lists → Process Bounced Emails option on your top menu. From here, you’ll have to choose which contact list you want to process emails for, and also confirm the correct server details. Once again, if you have trouble accessing your mail account, please review the helpful hints at the bottom of this guide.
After processing your emails, subscribers will be marked appropriately, and you can access all bounce related statistics from the Statistics → Email Campaign Stats or Statistics → Contact List Stats pages. Hard bounces will make a subscriber be marked as “Bounced” by the application after one bounce, and deal with problems like “email address doesn’t exist” or “invalid domain name”. Soft bounces take 5 times to remove a subscriber from your list, and deal with more common problems like “relay problem” or “mailbox is full”.
To remove bounced contacts from your list, follow these instructions:
1. Log into Canvas.Email, then navigate to:
Contacts -> Search Contacts -> Select the list -> Set Activity Status to “Bounced” -> Display Results
2. On the results screen, you can view up to 100 addresses at a time. Check the box at the very top of the display area to select all 100 addresses at at time, then from “Choose an Action” select Delete Selected Contact(s), and press Go.