Responses and bounces

  • Updated

Responses are messages sent back to the sending server (in this case, the Optimizely Campaign server) for various reasons.

Responses are classified by filters (autoresponders, hard bounces, soft bounces, replies, keyword SMS). Optimizely Campaign automatically manages bounces and adds recipients that have generated a defined number of bounces to a corresponding list.

You can also export hard and soft bounces automatically on a regular basis, for example to synchronize them with an external distribution list. For more information, see Scheduled jobs.

Displaying responses

To display responses, do the following:

  1. Open the Optimizely Campaign menu and select Responses.
  2. Select one of the following response types from the Response Type drop-down list:
    • All. Responses from all categories.
    • Hard bounce. Unreachable email addresses. This occur if recipients change providers/web mailers. You should not manually erase these recipients because Optimizely Campaign stops sending them emails after the third hard bounce. This threshold can be altered for your account/client.
    • Soft bounce. Temporarily unavailable email accounts. This can occur if a recipient mailbox reaches its capacity, and can only accept new email after some is deleted. You should not manually edit soft bounces because the addresses may be reachable again.
    • Autoresponder. Automatic reply email, such as On holiday until May 26.
    • Keyword SMS. Incoming SMS that can be assigned to a running SMS process. See SMS processes.
    • Reply. Replies from mailing recipients. The standard Optimizely Campaign setting is that such replies are not sent to you but to the system. If you want to receive these replies in your email account, contact customer support.

      Filters for the response type

      Optimizely Campaign filters are set to specify a response with maximum likelihood as a hard bounce, soft bounce, autoresponder, or keyword SMS. If an email cannot be assigned to one of these categories, it is moved to the Reply category so that no real reply is lost. You may also find autoresponders and undelivered email in this category.

    • Spam. Spammers do not send from their own mail servers but from computers of unsuspecting users. Worms or Trojans (malware) infiltrate user's computers, where they can be misused to send spam. If your mailing is sent to a recipient whose computer is infiltrated, it automatically sends spam to the mailing return address. The Optimizely Campaign server's spam filter places the spam in the spam category.
  3. Select one or more mailings from the Mailings drop-down list.
  4. Click Show. The Overview area displays all matching responses.


The list in the Overview area displays all responses that match your search profile. You can find the following information:

  • Subject. Subject line of the returned message with information about the reason for return.
  • Received. The sending date of the email. Bounces and autoresponders are usually sent the same day the mailing is sent. Responses can be sent several days afterwards.
  • Type. The response type.
  • Recipient. The sender of the email.

Recipient details

The Recipient Details tab displays response details including email address, recipient registration date, and other data. You can also blocklist or delete recipients.

  • Block Recipient. See Blocklist overview.
    1. Select a recipient from the list and click Block Recipient. The Block Recipient dialog box appears.
    2. Optionally, enter a blocklisting reason, such as, complaint by telephone.
    3. Click Apply. The recipient is added to the blocklist.
  • Delete Recipient.

    Only use Delete Recipient to remove a recipient whose email address does not exist. Recipients who should not receive email from you because of a complaint should be added to the blocklist.

    1. From the list, select a recipient and click Delete Recipient.
    2. Confirm.

Reply and SMTP error codes

The Reply tab displays the text of the recipient's reply email. For bounces, the reply tab contains the SMTP error code which can help you analyze the cause of deliverability problems.