Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Netiquette IQ Core Rules to Reduce Email Bounces

Why do emails bounce? How to reduce rejected email    

All of us have mail that bounce. Some of these are directly caused by lack of Netiquette. Nothing is worse than to have this happen at an inopportune time, such as a time-sensitive situation or with a resume, proposal or important document attached. Listed below are some of the causes. For space considerations, detailed explanations will not be given here. Other future blogs will discuss detail, error codes and resolutions. Here are some of the items all should note:
Wrongly addressed email
Changed email address
Large attachments
Host unknown, domain look-up failure
Mailbox unavailable
Mailbox full, or quota exceeded
Altered return addresses
Temporary errors
Unable to relay
Blacklist filters
Content filters
Sales/marketing terms
Unknown attachments
ActiveX content
Recipient servers are down or busy
Your email attributes and formats are not correct
References to explicit or illicit terms
It is important to note that there are "soft" bounces. These are when the sent to domain has accepted the sender's message and a final delivery does not transpire. This can often be rectified by the recipient's internal actions or by resending at a later time.
By contrast, a "hard bounce is more serious, meaning the email has been rejected and sender is to blame. 
Also there are temporary errors when the receiving server will adjust or retry internal delivery. Often these conditions are repaired without having to resend a message.

If simple Netiquette is applied in sending emails, the sender's rate of bounces almost always decrease. Obviously, poor use of Netiquette will result in more bounces both for the short-term and the long-term.
Reprinted from a post of 12/27/2013 
In addition to this blog, I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, "Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ Rider University and  PSG of Mercer County New Jersey.