Bounced and Auto Reply Emails - How do you handle them?

Discussion in 'Member and Staff Management' started by Dan Hutter, May 19, 2009.

  1. Dan Hutter

    Dan Hutter aka Big Dan

    Jul 20, 2006
    Likes Received:
    New York
    I started talking about this here but figured it could/should be it's own topic.

    For my board's sending email address I use a mailbox that I monitor and whenever I send a mass mailing I get a good number of bounce messages. From time to time I also get bounce messages in reply to regular forum notices (PMs & Thread Reply notices).

    How do you deal with them?

    Here how I deal with them: I read the error message, if it's a permanent error like account closed, I move the member to awaiting confirmation group which isn't counted in our member count. I have a notice set up for people in that user group advising them of how to update their email address or request a confirmation link.If it's a temporary error I ignore it. If it's a regular visitor with a temporary error, I'll PM them and let them know.

    Auto responders:

    Auto responders are different beast. Since most of my members are business people who use email to communicate with their clients lots of them have auto-responders setup, saying "Thank you for contacting me, I'll get back to you blah blah blah."

    These I wind up creating a filter for BOTH email and text match so I don't miss other messages from them, should they email me. The filter marks them as read and moves them to the trash.

    Sometimes an auto responder is setup advising of an email address change for them I open their account in the ACP, and put in the new email address then email both the new account and the old account telling them that their email address has been updated on my site, I also send a PM saying the same.

    How about you?
  2. Nick

    Nick Regular Member

    Jul 27, 2008
    Likes Received:
    My reply-to e-mail address for outgoing messages is one I monitor - and sure enough, I get bounced e-mails almost every single time. Not too many though.

    What I do is move the members to a "Retired Users" group where members can log in and browse the forum, but not post or anything; its privileges are almost identical to those of unregistered users. In this specific case, the benefit is that no outgoing e-mails are sent to users in this group. I take advantage of vB's User Notes system and add a note stating the date the account was retired and why (in this case, I just paste the bounced error message). Unlike you, any bounced e-mail message is grounds for account Retiring, regardless of the specific error.
    I have a notice displayed to users in the Retired usergroup saying that they are most likely in that group with restricted permissions because they have an invalid e-mail address; the notice goes on to instruct them to update their e-mail address and contact me if they would like their account restored.

    As for auto-responders - I have never had one once (yet). I'd probably handle these the same way you do.

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