Manage Smart Email Bounces

Required Borealis Add-on: Smart communications
Difficulty: Advanced

What is a bounce?

At its core, a bounce means that your recipient did not receive your communication, for various reasons.

There are technical details to be aware of when managing bounces, like hard bounces vs. soft bounces, server status, etc., but this article will not dig deeper in that subject, as the web is full of details and examples. Our Support team is always available if you have question on that matter. 

How to deal with bounces?

Bounces can occur for many reasons. The most commons causes are:
  • The inbox of the stakeholder you are trying to reach is deactivated
  • The inbox of your stakeholder does not exist
  • His/Her inbox is full
  • Your Smart email is being sent from an email/domain that does not actually exist
  • (If applicable) Your attached file was too large

Here are a few actions you can try:

  • Try to access the bounce back email you automatically received. It often gives you insight on "why" your communication did not reach your stakeholder:
    • "Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently"
    • "The email account that you tried to reach does not exist"
    • "The email address could be misspelled or contain a typo"

Depending on the number of bounces, we recommend you verify your stakeholder email address and adjust their contact info accordingly, then:

  • Resend a Smart email to adjusted stakeholders (if many bounces)
  • Forward your Smart email from your inbox (in isolated cases) while making sure you record your communication in Borealis

Your Smart email could also have been blocked. This happens more often when contacting public institutions, like governments, cities and schools, because their servers are frequently configured more strictly when receiving emails. In this case, you need to contact your stakeholder, and/or their IT team to unblock your organization's IP address.

Bounce behavior when sending Smart emails

In the case of a bounce when sending your Smart email to your stakeholders, Borealis will automatically send the bounce back emails to the sender inbox. For example:

  • An executive assistant has the access rights to proceed to send a Smart email
  • The sender is defined to be the executive VP of the organization (
  • The Smart email is sent by the executive assistant, in the name of the executive VP
  • Bounce back emails (if any) are automatically send to "" inbox
    • Be aware that if your stakeholders activated an "Out of office" auto-reply, they will be sent to the sender inbox

To learn more about one of the key metrics for successful Smart emails, be sure to read how the email read rate works.

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