Automated bounce handling install guide

This article refers to MailPoet 2

If you're looking for MailPoet 3 articles, please go to MailPoet 3 Knowledge Base

It's important for your sending reputation not to send to undeliverable email addresses.

In the free version, bounces are sent to the address specified in the menu MailPoet > Settings > Advanced tab.

This feature is not recommended to clean your old lists! You run the risk of being blacklisted. Please use BriteVerify (our favorite one) or DataValidation.

In our Premium version, we offer the possibility to handle bounced emails automatically. Very practical when your lists are over 2000 subscribers.

How Automated Bounce Handling works

  1. All bounced emails are sent to a single dedicated bounce address, like
  2. The plugin checks that account periodically
  3. If the plugin finds a "soft" or "hard" bounced message, it will apply the rule you want
  4. In any unknown case scenarios, the system will forward you the email so you can manually process it. For example, confirmation that you are a human being
  • MailJet customers need to manually remove their bounced email addresses.
  • 1and1 customers won't be able to configure this because they block all the ports to connect to an external POP.
  • You cannot use an Office 365 "shared" mailbox. You must purchase a user email license and dedicate it to bounce processing.
  • More Office365: If you have difficulty connecting, make sure you go into the Exchange control panel to make sure that POP3 is turned on for the bounce account.
  • MailPoet doesn't recommend sending newsletters or manage bounces with a Gmail or Google Apps account any more.

The rules you can apply

This screenshot above is fairly explanatory. There are 4 case scenarios, and the last one is the wild card:

  1. When mailbox is full (after 3 tries)
  2. When mailbox is not available
  3. When you need to confirm you're a human being, forward to...
  4. When you are flagged as a spammer forward the bounced message to...
  5. When the bounce is weird and we're not sure what to do, forward to...

Requirements for the bounce address

  1. it has to be on the same domain as the sender's address. If you're sending from, then your bounce could be
  2. the bounce address is dedicated solely to bounces, nothing else

Some hosts require the bounce address (Return-Path header) to be the same as the From address.

SendGrid, Elastic Email & Mandrill: forward the bounces

You won't be able to handle bounces with an Amazon SES account; there's no way to forward the bounced messages to another email address.

SendGrid & Elastic Email forces its own bounce address so they can handle the bounces themselves.

Simply ask SendGrid or Elastic Email to forward these bounces to your own bounce address so MailPoet can process the bounces itself.

In SendGrid, go to Email Report > Bounces. Click on the "Settings" link to be directed to the bounce options page.

In Elastic Email, find the option in the "Advanced Options", under SMTP / API configuration:

In the Advanced Options, you'll see the bounce configuration for forward here:

In Mandrill, you'll find the forward bounce option in Settings > Sending defaults:

Office 365 connection details: