I have read this help document but I am a little confused: Bounce Mail Management

  1. How many times an email needs to receive an email from marketing cloud in order to be marked as hard bounce? Just once or 3 times within 15 days of period?

  2. Once an email is marked as bounce, Is marketing cloud going to try again to send the email to that email address?

So far, I have been exporting the hard bounces using this method: Bounce Data View

Then I keep the hard bounce in one data extension and use it as exclusion for sending emails from the Marketing Cloud.

So, my question is if Marketing Cloud is already ignoring the emails marked as bounce or hard bounce then is the exclusion step actually needed or not?

1 Answer 1


Once set to Bounced, Marketing Cloud stops trying to deliver only that email message which bounced. It'll try again with the next email (depending on subscriber status)

  1. A Hard Bounce happens as soon as Marketing Cloud detects a permanent condition and the subscriber status is changed to 'Bounced'. Marketing Cloud will not make any more tries to deliver that particular email message.

  2. If the subscriber's status was already Bounced, which indicates they had experienced a bounce previously, the application treats the bounce differently. If the Subscriber status is 'Bounced', then next email message will be tried (if it is the first or second email). If the bounce happens on 3rd email also, then it is set to 'Undelivered'.

Once set to Undelivered, Marketing Cloud will never send any more emails to the email address.

Yes, you need that exclusion list for Hard Bounces because Marketing Cloud will continue to try until the status changes to 'Undeliverable'

I understand the documentation language is a little ambiguous but the key things to note is - - If Bounced, no more tries happens for the current email - If Bounce Count is 1 or 2, next email will be tried - Once it hits 3, it will be set to Undeliverable based on some conditions (last 15 days bounces)

  • Thank you @Maneesh for answering my question. Question - You mentioned that Yes, you need that exclusion list for Hard Bounces because Marketing Cloud will continue to try until the status changes to 'Undeliverable'. Yes, I am already doing this and keeping the hard bounce emails in a Data Extension and using it as exclusion on all emails but my concern is, isn't this approach working against the system (Marketing cloud) and preventing the system to mark the emails automatically as "Undelivered'? By this, system will never actually know if the email is Undelivered' or not.
    – kuml
    Mar 22, 2017 at 12:40
  • You are right but that's the system behavior. If you want system to do it, then you'll have to let the bounce happen for at least 3 times before it changes to Undeliverable. What I have seen organizations do is use an exclusion list or unsubscribe the hard bounce cases manually.
    – Maneesh
    Mar 22, 2017 at 12:50
  • Just making sure if I understand this correctly. For any email address to be marked as "Undeliverable", it requires the system to send an email to that email address at least 3 times. These 3 tries need to be within 15 days of period? What is two emails are more than 15 days apart? Does that mean, system won't mark an email address as "Undeliverable" if most of the emails are more than 15 days apart and system will keep on trying to send emails to the hard bounce email address?
    – kuml
    Mar 22, 2017 at 13:16
  • There is also a 'trusted domain' concept here. This 3 times thing happen only if its not a trusted domain. A trusted domain is one in which the Salesforce Marketing Cloud trusts the ISP or receiver's bounce feedback implicitily. For example. if hotmail.com is a trusted domain, it'll change the status of a hard bounced hotmail.com address to Undeliverable immediately instead of waiting for the address to bounce three times over 15 days. If the bounce comes from any other domain, a subscriber must receive three bounces to acquire an Undeliverable status.
    – Maneesh
    Mar 22, 2017 at 18:16

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