What is BetterBounces.Net?

We are a technology company, passionate about email. Specifically we are crazy about non-delivered email, aka bounces, and the opportunity to make them better for everyone! BetterBounces™ is our site to help people understand bounce email messages, to learn more about specific bounce email error messages and to share ways to fix bounces. We hope you enjoy it!

Why bounces?

As a team, our background is email and specifically email deliverability. We think knowing if and when emails have not been delivered is hugely important. Besides that, bounced emails have not changed in 30+ years; they are still communicated in predominantly technical jargon; they are still only served in English regardless of the language of the original email. So, we think bounces are ripe for change.

What is a better bounce?

A better bounce is one that the recipient understands why their email was not delivered and what fixes are needed to get it delivered. Bounce.io has built technology that enables consumers to more easily understand their bounce email messages.

What is a "bounce" message and why do they happen?

A "bounce message" is a notice about an undeliverable email message. They occur when email cannot be delivered. Internet protocols require that an administrative notice be issued to the message author advising them the reason for non-delivery. They go by a number of names, including Non-Delivery Report/Receipt (NDR), Delivery Status Notification (DSN), Non-Delivery Notification (NDN), and most commonly as a "bounce". The term "bounce" is reflective of the process — when an attempt to send email has a problem and an administrative error message occurs, it seems to "bounce" right back to the message author!

I got a bounce from bounce.io, how are you affiliated with them?

Bounce.io is our sister site and is equally passionate about bounced email. Bounce.io provides information for our email provider and domain owner partners while BetterBounces™ provides consumer support.

The bounce error look up tool is cool, but my bounce isn’t in there?

Ooh, then we would love your help! The original internet gurus created a system to understand when emails did not make it to intended recipients. The list of potential ways for email to be deterred does change.

What do the numbers mean in my bounce email message? What is a bounce code?

The numbers mean something! Numbers follow the same pattern written as X.Y.Z or XYZ. The first placement (X) is specific to whether it is a temporary or permanent problem. The second and third numbers is specific to the error type. For instance, a 5.1.1 means this.

My ISP or mail provider has different bounce error descriptions than you, which one do I use?

Great question! Use both! You should consider all information about the problem. We think our explanations are great but some ISPs/mail providers have nuances to the codes, meaning that the errors behave differently within their environment, and therefore could be helpful to you.

So, is this spam?

Not at all! We don't originate messages to lists of users in any way. Sending bounce notices are a required and necessary component of email on the internet — delivery failure notices must be sent to systems and human users according to internet protocols and rules. At bounce.io, we only respond to legitimate messages that have been sent to a domain that we manage for our clients. And we make best efforts to only respond to messages that are clearly originating from a human email sender.

Can I opt out?

Internet email protocols require that administrative notices for undeliverable email be sent to the email author. On behalf of our partners and clients we are obligated to deliver these notices.

I sent an email to 8 people and one bounced back, do you think the other 7 got the message or do I have to correct the one bounced back email address and resend it to all 8 again?

The other 7 recipients should have received the email you sent if the bounce message came from bounce.io. To go into more detail: you should receive a bounce notice for each message that had a delivery issue. Email providers have the options to send separate notices from separate mail systems or they could be combined into one notice by a mail system for recipients of messages on that same system. As mentioned, in the case of bounces managed by bounce.io you will receive one bounce message per recipient (email address) for which there was a delivery issue.

Why are my emails being blocked? My bounce email message said something about error code 5.7.1.

A 5.7.1 error code indicates that the recipient's email provider is not accepting email from the sender due to security or policy concerns. This is often at the email service provider level rather than something you or your recipient may have done. We recommend resending your email to see if the error was a one-time occurrence or if the error is persistent. If the error is persistent we suggest contacting the recipient via alternate means e.g., another email address (yours or theirs), phone or text. You may also wish to contact your email service to let them know this issue is affecting you.

This email address has always worked but now I'm told the domain name is not valid. What gives? (Part 1.)

The most common cause for a 5.1.2 "domain name not valid" error message is simply a typo! Some common typos are gmil.com, gmai.com, hotmil.com, or the infamous '.com.com' as in yahoo.com.com.

This email address has always worked but now I'm told the domain name is not valid. What gives? (Part 2.)

We are often asked this question after a person has verified (double- and triple-checked!) that the recipient's email address is correct yet still receives a 5.1.2 "domain name not valid" bounce email notification. The most common cause in this situation is an expired or invalid domain name (the part after the '@' sign in an email address.) We advise checking the domain to see if it looks like it is "parked" and owned by a third party. For example, if the email address is "user@7mail.com" we'd check http://7mail.com, and see, first, whether a webpage exists at that address.  Nearly always a webpage should exist for a valid email address. If a web page doesn't appear, it's likely that the 'domain' part of the email address is incorrect. Second, we would do an Internet search on 7mail.com to see if there is a similar, common domain. In this case we find "y7mail.com" which, for this example, was the correct domain.

How can I correct the address and resend without retyping the whole message?

Check your 'Sent' mail folder or Outbox for a copy of the email message. Hopefully you find a local copy since we do not store copies of email messages for security and privacy reasons.

I'm getting bounce email messages for emails that I've never sent!

Hmmm... Check your 'Sent' email folder or Outbox for mail messages that seem suspicious. If there are messages in your Sent mail folder or Outbox that you do not recognize we recommend running anti-virus/anti-spam software on your system to ensure there is no malware present. This could be a case of spoofed email where your email address, as the Sender, may have been forged resulting in misdirected bounces known as 'backscatter'.

I am not able to get the correct email for The Jakarta Post newspaper (or XYZ company, or Widgets Limited.)

We get lots of questions like this and recommend performing an Internet search on the keywords, in this case "Jakarta Post newspaper". Look for related information such as a Contact page with a contact form to fill out, an alternate email address, phone number, or fax number, etc.

Where can I learn more about bounce error messages and the specific error I received?

Yay! We're excited to share the world of email bounces with you! Please visit betterbounces.net for general information and use our Bounce Finder Tool for information on specific error codes.

I still have a question...

Please visit support.

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