Sending emails to invalid addresses -- aka "bounces" -- has a negative impact on both TechValidate's and your brand's perception and future email deliverability. For this reason, TechValidate will not deliver survey invitations to email addresses that we have determined are invalid.
How an Email address gets marked as bounced:
There are two methods by which an email address can be marked as Bounced in TechValidate:
1. Hard Bounces
We sent an email to this address in the past (either on your behalf or on behalf of another customer) and the email was rejected by the receiving email server as being invalid. In email terminology, this is often referred to as a 'hard bounce'.
2. Pre-Delivery Email Address Verification
Before delivering emails, our servers also ask receiving email servers if each receiving address is valid. Not all email servers respond to these queries, but a significant percentage do.
When the server response tells us that a particular email address is invalid, we will mark the address as bounced without ever sending an actual email.
Our testing has shown that this technology helps us significantly reduce our actual bounce rates -- about 50% overall. Note that this step begins happening in the background as soon as you upload a recipient list.
Here are a few more relevant FAQs about Bounced and Invalid email addresses:
The bounce list is global
We maintain a global bounce list across all customers. This is one reason an email address can show up as bounced as soon as you upload it, even if you've never sent to that email via TechValidate before.
An email shows up as bounced but the Last Emailed column says 'Never'
In your project's recipient list, you may sometimes see an email address listed as bounced with a last-emailed date of Never. These are email addresses that either failed Email Address Verification (see above), or that bounced when we emailed them for another product or vendor's surveys.
The last-emailed date you see on your project is per-product-family.
Bounced vs. Invalidated
Another reason we won't email a recipient is if they're marked as Invalidated. Recipients are marked as Invalidated by TechValidate admins for one of two reasons:
- Customer request -- you request we mark a particular recipient as invalidated for some reason (competitor, no longer a customer, etc.).
- The recipient marked your survey invitation as spam, and a TechValidate admin was able to detect this via the anti-spam feedback loops we maintain.
A soft bounce is also known as an undeliverable. If bounced emails are in the "Undeliverable" category, that means that the receiving email server was overloaded, temporarily unavailable, or could not be found. A server that can't be found could have crashed or been under maintenance. In this case, you may be able to successfully send to undeliverable email addresses again in the future.