Bounce Management


When you send an email, a certain percentage of your distribution list may never receive your message as a result of technical issues on their mail server’s end. Pardot keeps track of hard and soft bounces for you and automatically removes them from your email circulation based on either of the following triggers:

  • Immediately upon any hard bounce
  • After five soft bounces

Bounce Definitions

  • A Soft Bounce is an email that is recognized by the recipient’s mail server but is returned to the sender because the recipient’s mailbox is full or the mail server is temporarily unavailable. A soft bounce message may be deliverable at another time or may be forwarded manually by the network administrator in charge of redirecting mail on the recipient’s domain.
  • A Hard Bounce is an email that permanently bounced back to the sender because the address is invalid. A hard bounce might occur because the domain name doesn’t exist or because the recipient is unknown.  Some mail servers may hard bounce an email address if the message received is suspected as spam.

Bounce Reporting

You can view your bounce report for list emails by doing the following:

  1. Navigate to Reports > Emails.
  2. Click on the name of the email whose report you are interested in viewing.
  3. Both the hard and soft bounce counts will be displayed.
  4. Clicking on either hyperlinked number will display a list of the prospects who made up the bounces.

You can also view a list of all prospects who have either been tagged as hard bounce or unsubscribed.

  1. Navigate to Prospects.
  2. Change the View to Unmailable Prospects.
  3. The resulting table is a superset of prospects who have hard bounced, opted-out of emails, were imported as “global opt out” or have been manually marked “Do Not Mail”.
  4. Clicking on Tools > CSV export will allow you to export this list as a file.

Note: Unsubscribed prospects could have opted-out of your email communications, been imported as “global opt out” or have been manually marked “Do Not Email”. Our “What is the difference between ‘Do Not Email’ and ‘Prospect Opted Out’?” article breaks down when the Pardot “Do Not Email” field is marked vs. when the “Prospect Opted-Out” field is marked in Pardot for an unmailable prospect.

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