Guests email bounces/rejections issue: Final report

Report on Guests email rejections/bounces

The problem

When I emailed Guests on Nov 18 to launch the new web site I received over 600 bounce notifications, a rate of around 25%.  There were no problems with current subscribing members.

This situation has arisen because

– people have not kept their email address up to date on their society record

– I have not been disciplined enough in deleting records when email rejection has occurred; every four to six months was clearly not adequate.  Although there has been an explosion over the period of the pandemic

– In many cases people have used a work email to register.  They change employment and their email bounces.

Short term actions taken

All cases were analysed as to their technical cause.  Rejections are recognised as Hard ie permanent; the only action is to delete the record.  The so-called Soft ones may be short term but after two successive appearances on the bounce list I have deleted the person’s record.

I have a record of the action taken on every one of the rejected emails.

The most difficult area has been those rejections due to the Guest’s ISP putting the sender, ie the Society, on their blacklist.  They are described as Blocked – these totalled about 90.  I contacted each person with a one-to-one email.  About ten people responded with some action taken.  I believe that I have managed to unblock the remainder with their ISP.  Anyone who has not visited the web site for five years has been deleted

Future plan and policy

– Maintain close attention to level of Blockages with further record deletions if no communication or solution forthcoming from Guest or ISP.  Bring down 5-year retention period to 3 years over the next 12 months

– In future Hard rejections will be deleted as soon as they occur

– Soft rejections will be deleted if they continue for two consecutive mailings

This issue has taken an excessive amount of time to sort out.  I do not intend to allow this to happen again


Specific research interests