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I'm a little uncertain on this topic on this help page: Bounce Mail Management

Says that:

Reactivating Bounced Subscribers

If a subscriber whose address is in a bounced status renders images in an email, or if the subscriber clicks on a link in an email, the status of their address will be changed back to Active and the bounce count for that subscriber address will be set back to zero.

This makes sense, but there is nothing regarding reactivating held subscribers.

Are they able to reactivate themselves by interacting with a mail as described above or do I as a Marketing Cloud user have to change their status from held to active by uploading and updating their data in a .csv with status set to active?

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Held subscribers no longer receive any commercial emails from SFMC. In order to activate these subscribers again, you would have to manually change the status or have them change the status through a webform or similar source (subscription center).

In general, the only reason people wind up in the Held status is if they have bounced multiple times in a row within a set time period. Bounces can greatly affect deliverability, so to protect your IP and sending domain, as well as itself, SFMC will prevent future sends to these email addresses.

So before changing their status, I would verify that:

A.) it is a legitimate email address.

B.) it is an active email address

C.) that this subscriber's mail server and/or firewall is not blocking you

Otherwise, you may be causing your email reputation more harm when you reactivate by incurring even more bounces.

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  • I'm syncing status'es from MC to our Navision as we handle subscribers externally. First I unsubscribe all 'unsubscribes' and 'held' statuses in Navision, then I remove them from All Subscribers. But I want to handle static status'es only, not dynamic ones as 'bounced' as this can change. Hence my question. Does it make more sense now? Jan 26, 2017 at 12:24
  • Yes - Held is not quite as definitive as an unsubscribe, but I definitely would not consider it a dynamic status like bounce is. Jan 26, 2017 at 13:22
  • Okay, thank you, this is great knowledge. Knowing if a status is dynamic and or makes handling statuses externally manageable. Not recommendable, but at least manageable :) Jan 26, 2017 at 13:32

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