Why Cant I Separate Hard & Soft Bounces?

SOLVE
Esteemed Contributor | Gold Partner

Soft bounces still have value as future emails may make it though their spam filters, but I find it crazy that you cant make lists based on hard bounces (ie bad domain/mailbox etc) only. These could then be exported and re-uploaded as an opt-out list, then the system records deleted, to ensure they never re-entered via another list and so avoiding future mailing. 

 

This wouldnt be an issue if HubSpot didnt charge based on total contacts held, but rather on unique contacts mailed per month, as several other platforms do. For this reason hard bounces need to be deleted from the database, as they hold no value in the system. But, they cannot be separated out to do so, causing contacts with potential value to be chucked out with them.

 

Seems like an easy fix?

2 Accepted solutions

Accepted Solutions
HubSpot Product Team

@lrosin, I think you are asking how to create a list of soft bounces specifically. If so see the below:

 

If you create a list of hard bounced contacts following my steps above and a list of all bounced contacts with Ed's initial comment. Then you can make a third list to isolate just the soft bounces with the criteria:

contact is a member of 'Emails Bounced > 0'

AND

contact is not a member of 'Whatever you named your list of hard bounces'

 

Reply
0 Upvotes
HubSpot Product Team

Hi @JMoreau,

 

Previously hard bounced contacts will not be sent email in HubSpot. If they are included in your emails you will find them in the Not Sent category on the post-send page. You do not need to manually exclude contacts from future emails.

24 Replies 24
Esteemed Contributor | Gold Partner

Hi @edjusten,

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply,

 

I had tested that option and it includes soft bounces, which obviously want to be kept in the system.

 

It needs to be able to differentiate explicitly between soft & hard bounces, so the hard bounces alone can be removed from the system

 

Thanks,

 

Joe

 

Esteemed Contributor | Gold Partner

Hi @jennysowyrda,

 

Thanks for this, would the list volume not then drop to zero? As hard bounces are dropped out of email sends due to previously bouncing?

 

Thanks,

 

Joe

Reply
0 Upvotes
Esteemed Contributor | Gold Partner

Hi @jennysowyrda,

 

Thanks for this, and I am seeing differing numbers when changing the number of bounces there, but could you explain to me why I am seeing this in my sends? Does it have a max hard bounce limit? the attached image made me assume that once hard bounced, the contact would not receive an email again? 

 

Thanks again.

 

Joe

 

Screen Shot on Sep 29th at 03-31 PM.png

Reply
0 Upvotes
Regular Contributor

With email server finickyness, this is really problematic. Our own team has had our emails soft bounce a number of times due to our company's use of mimecast. Has it always been HubSpot's policy to move a contact to a hard bounce after three soft bounces? I feel like that is not accurate from what I have experienced on our system... or it least it wasn't last year (is this new?)...

 

And why, for the love of Pete, are you saying this "problem" is solved. This is exactly why I don't participate in this portal. The problem is NOT SOLVED. The customer above wants to export a list of "HARD BOUNCE" emails to clean up the list. Your solution still lacks this ability. PROBLEM NOT SOLVED.

New Contributor

Agreed that this is not solved.   Hard and soft bounces are inherently different.  HubSpot charges for contacts so we need a way to identify those that can never receive an email again (i..e hard bounces) so we can delete them.  We should be able to create a list of hard and soft bounces.   

 

EITHER GIVE US AN OPTION TO SEPERATE HARD/SOFT BOUNCES OR DO NOT CHARGE US FOR CONTACTS THAT CAN NEVER AGAIN RECEIVE AN EMAIL.

HubSpot Product Team

Just wanted to clarify a couple points here: 

  • The Emails Bounced property > 0 should not be used to identify hard bounced contacts
  • Soft bounces are bounces that do not mark the contact ineligible for future sends. They will never turn to hard bounces.

You can gather a list of hard bounced contacts by the 'Export of Unsubscribes and Bounces' within your Email Dashboard > More Tools section. If you need a hand filtering out the unsubscribes, and formerly deleted contacts check out this post.

HubSpot Product Team

@lrosin, I think you are asking how to create a list of soft bounces specifically. If so see the below:

 

If you create a list of hard bounced contacts following my steps above and a list of all bounced contacts with Ed's initial comment. Then you can make a third list to isolate just the soft bounces with the criteria:

contact is a member of 'Emails Bounced > 0'

AND

contact is not a member of 'Whatever you named your list of hard bounces'

 

Reply
0 Upvotes
Occasional Contributor

Hi Paxton,

 

We too need the ability to create a suppression list of records in the system that have hard bounced.

 

We are trying to clean up our database and ensure hard bounces are not included in our emails (which will help prevent hitting spam traps as well).  The only workaround for this is very manual - continously exporting the list of hard bounces and re-importing into the system.

 

It would be helpful if HubSpot added a Permanently Hard Bounced field that is marked as Yes or No.

 

Thanks,

Jenna

HubSpot Product Team

Hi @JMoreau,

 

Previously hard bounced contacts will not be sent email in HubSpot. If they are included in your emails you will find them in the Not Sent category on the post-send page. You do not need to manually exclude contacts from future emails.

spf
Regular Contributor

The lack of clarity here is astonishing, and this is a huge issue.

 

To clarify the conflicting comments above:

- Do soft bounces become hard bounces after 72 hours, yes or no?

- Are contacts only excluded from future mailings after 3 hard bounces, yes or no?

- When exporting all bounced and unsubscribed addresses, are the "bounced" addresses in the list ONLY hard bounces (not soft bounces), yes or no?

 

Additionally, When I export all unsubscribes and bounces, there are thousands of contacts in the CSV that are not in my CRM. Does HubSpot store all previously deleted contacts??

 

To come back to the original post, I think this is a huge issue. You charge us based on the number of contacts we store, but there is no simple way to find and delete hard bounced addresses (it requires continuous manual exporting and importing). 

 

HubSpot Product Team

 

Thanks for letting us know what is astonishingly unclear. Please see the below for answers to your questions:

 

- Do soft bounces become hard bounces after 72 hours, yes or no?

No. Soft bounces never become hard bounces. Check out this article to clear up confusion about bounce classification.

 

- Are contacts only excluded from future mailings after 3 hard bounces, yes or no?

No. One hard bounce and the contact will be excluded from all future mailings.

 

- When exporting all bounced and unsubscribed addresses, are the "bounced" addresses in the list ONLY hard bounces (not soft bounces), yes or no?

Yes. The bounced addresses in the list are only hard bounced contacts. Soft bounced are not included in this export. Check out this article for full details on that export. 

 

- Additionally, When I export all unsubscribes and bounces, there are thousands of contacts in the CSV that are not in my CRM. Does HubSpot store all previously deleted contacts??

Yes, this export is meant to serve as a reference for users to see all email addresses that are not eligible to receive future mailings. If you were to delete an opted out contact and reimport that contact at a later date HubSpot would not forget the email address opted out or hard bounced previously. We keep this information on the backend to prevent from emailing previously hard bounced, or unsubscribed contacts even if they are deleted and recreated later. This is required by CANSPAM law (for the unsubscribed contacts). It also protects our users from re-emailing previously hard bounced contacts, emailing spam traps, and thus causing blacklistings.

 

For the articles linked above, if you have the time, please provide feedback by selecting NO at the bottom where it asks "Is this article helpful?" and telling our knowledge team how we can improve.

HubSpot Moderator

Hi @spf @JoeDavies @JMoreau @lrosin   Thanks to @paxton for the clarification. I just wanted to put a button on the original topic of this post.

 

While it is not possible to use the list tool create a list of hard-bounced only contacts (the list tool will gather all contacts in any bounce status) the email performance page does give you the option of creating a static list of all bounces on a send, or to add bounces from one send to a running static list (see attached screenshot). 

 

bounce_list.png

 

If you're goal is to delete hard-bounced contacts immediatly, you could make it a practice to follow-up on each email after a period of time, adding hard-bounced addresses to a specific list, then delete the list on a periodic cadence. 

 

I hope this clears up the confusion for everybody. Please  let me know if you have further questions.  

 

Thank you,

Ed Justen 


Did my post help answer your query? Help the Community by marking it as a solution
Reply
0 Upvotes
Regular Contributor

Apparently you think I have way more free time in my job than I really do. Because there is no way I would find your suggestion to follow up with "each email after a period of time and ad hard-bounced addresses to a list."

Clearly the back-end of HubSpot has the ABILITY to see the hard bounced contacts. Clearly, EVERYONE on this thread just wants the ability to make a list in the list tool based on that parameter. I'm pretty sure that NO ONE will be satisfied with your lengthy work-around process suggestions as what we all want is fairly straightforward.

 

So, thanks... but KEEP TRYING. Please.

New Member

I think it's pretty clear that at this point given the level of communication obfuscation that Hubspot is doing this intentionally. An additional $100 or $200 or more across a large swath of the customer base is a not-insignificant 5-10% bump in MRR.

Occasional Contributor

I can't beleive this is still an issue.

 

Why is the list available in the email section not a smart list? Every month I have to export that list and then import that list again so my team can have accurate numbers for email campaigns. Even if i delete these people before hand, they are just created again when I have to add this list again to delete my hard bounces.

 

It can't be that hard surely hubspot? If it really is, please give me an accurate way of being able to see all my mailable contacts so my team can project outcomes more accurately.

Occasional Contributor

This fix provided by edjusten does not work. When I filter down to the hard bounces in a particular email send and then select create new list or add to existing list, it pulls in all hard bounces and soft bounces. How do I create a list based on just hard bounces for a particular email?

 

My only option was to export the list of hard bounces, then reimport that list to create a new list. 

Esteemed Contributor | Gold Partner

Hi @paxton 

Based on this comment:

- Additionally, When I export all unsubscribes and bounces, there are thousands of contacts in the CSV that are not in my CRM. Does HubSpot store all previously deleted contacts??

Yes, this export is meant to serve as a reference for users to see all email addresses that are not eligible to receive future mailings. If you were to delete an opted out contact and reimport that contact at a later date HubSpot would not forget the email address opted out or hard bounced previously. We keep this information on the backend to prevent from emailing previously hard bounced, or unsubscribed contacts even if they are deleted and recreated later. This is required by CANSPAM law (for the unsubscribed contacts). It also protects our users from re-emailing previously hard bounced contacts, emailing spam traps, and thus causing blacklistings.


What I've been doing, is before deleting opt-outs and (painstakingly) hard bounces, I was exporting them and re-uploading them as a suppression list, so as not to accidentally have any of them re-enter the system, while also reducing the total contacts. 

Does this mean that this process is redundant, as by deleting opt-outs and hard bounces the system is already undertaking that process for me?

Confirmation on exactly what happens here would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Joe


Top Contributor

hi @paxton, what we are all saying I guess is that one thing is being able to see and exclude hard bounced contacts from future emails. There is also an added issue and that is that we need to be able to identify those hard bounced contacts and move them in bulk/automatically to a list so that they can be removed from the CRM as they have no value. Would you please collate all posts on this topic and suggest this to the dev team? Thanks

 

And @edjusten - I would like a clarification regarding the 'not sent recipients' export. I'm trying to keep hard bounced contacts only from the Excel file. Do 'previously bounced' and 'mta ignore' both mean hard bounced? If not, what do they mean? Thanks

HubSpot Product Team

hi @clioi, I want everyone in this thread to know that we hear you. We are exploring multiple options to solve for customers who want to dynamically segment hard bounced contacts within their portal.

 

For now, exporting and filtering the unsubscribes and bounces export is the workaround. Instructions on filtering can be found here: https://community.hubspot.com/t5/Email-Marketing/Excel-Tutorial-Cross-check-hard-bounced-contacts-ag...

 

If you prefer not to work with exports, you can create static lists of contacts from the email post send page. MTA_IGNORE means the domain for that email did not exist. HubSpot recognized this without sending the email and dropped (aka. "did not send") the email to avoid an imminent hard bounce. These are very low quality contacts and you should evaluate/consider adding a confirmation step to the source where they came in.

Regular Contributor

Thx for your effort Irosin but this seems totally contradicting your public documentation on what the contact property "Marketing email bounced" includes: according to the doc it includes hard AND soft bounces... so how would I be able to isolate only the soft bounces if both are included in this contact property AND in the exported list?

 

EDIT: i had to clean the downloaded CSV manually so that it only contained the soft bounces and then I was able to do what could have been done with one click if the contact property would allow to distinguish hard/soft bounces.


This is insanity. How can there not be a contact property "Soft bounced" and one for "Hard bounced".... doesn't sound  impossbile at all to me.

 

Pls find a solution, this topic is TWO YEARS OLD.

Regards

Reply
0 Upvotes
HubSpot Product Team

Hi @fabianj , the contact property is incremented when any bounce occurs (hard or soft). This is not a current status, it is merely a count of bounce events.

 

The export shows the contacts current status. They will only be on the export if they are ineligible to recieve email.

 

This export now includes the ability to filter by which type of event caused the contact to become ineligible. Therefore now you can filter the export so that it conly includes contacts who are ineligible for future email due to a previous bounce. By definition if the bounce made the contact ineligible, it was a hard bounce.

 

Screen Shot 2019-05-28 at 10.36.33 AM.png

Highlighted
Regular Contributor

Thank you for the quick answer. 

I'd say that's definitely a step towards the right direction... however in our case what we need is to exclude the soft bounces from a list of contacts that need to be deleted.

 

Why? Because there are more criteria/filters that need to be setup in order to determine whether a contact can be deleted or not. Just as an example (there are many more cases): an operator of a client inserted the wrong email adress, or a user of a client opted out of emails so in both cases hard bouncing or not elegible for email... but should definitely not be deleted.

 

//EDIT:
I just tested the export as you described and showed on the screenshot, however there are still "MAILBOX_FULL" users in the export, but those are soft bounces that not necessarily are "ineledgible for email"... do you agree?

 

Also it's a mistery to me why all this export hassle needs to be done... would be much simpler to create lists and allow to filter for content for example "Contains MAILBOX_FULL".

 

Regards

Regular Contributor

Please make it possible to add only hard bounces to an existing list. We have additional workflows running on these hard bounce contacts.

 

Thank you!

Regular Contributor | Diamond Partner

Man, I feel this thread so much. It drives me NUTS that we can't easily access and use this info and that it's not clear.

 

Just wanted to share that - while it's not a complete fix and we still can't build lists or workflows based on this - you can now export based on bounce reason which is a start. 

 

Honestly, I'm still confused as to why it would tell us to "make a note to exclude these contacts from future sends" if HubSpot is going to exclude previously hard bounced contacts automatically. (I also would likely still want to remove them so I'm not charged for contacts I'll never be able to reach and don't need to store past info from anyway.)

 

Unfortunately, the knowledge base article about email bounce types and hard bounce reasons doesn't match the reasons listed in HubSpot so it's still super ambiguous and not completely clear or defined. For instance, one of the reasons is "content" but it doesn't say specifically what that means or why it occurs. 

 

Also, we should absolutely be able to see the bounce reason on the contact record and not be limited to digging it out of an individual email send. Even if the contact property were the most recent email send hard bounce reason.