Understanding invalid emails in Sugar

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Understanding invalid emails in Sugar

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Most users of Sugar don't need to know more about invalid emails than was was covered in how to read a contact record. But advanced users need to understand the different ways in which a contact can become invalid and how this information renders in both Sugar and Act-On.



Hard Bounces


How an email becomes designated as hard bounced


When an email address no longer exists, it hard bounces. We learn of hard bounces because the email server on which the email address is hosted tells our email server that the email address does not exist. As soon as an email address hard bounces it is added to our Hard Bounce list in Act-On and delivery will no longer be attempted.




What happens to hard bounced email addresses?


In Act-On


Once an email hard bounces it is added to the hard bounce list in Act-On and delivery will no longer be attempted.


In Sugar


Through a segment and daily a maintenance programme in Act-On, Act-On writes the word HardBounced in the field labeled Email Status in Sugar.




Additionally Harneys has installed an automation which invalidates all hard bounced emails in Sugar, placing a strike through the email address:





Importantly, the flow of data as it relates to invalid emails goes in only one direction: from Act-On to Sugar. Act-On maintains our primary hard bounce, opt-out and suppression lists. Various steps have been taken so that Sugar reflects that information but any alterations to the firm's opt-out, hard bounce or suppression lists MUST be carried out in Act-On if they are to result in an actual change to the mailing status of a particular email address.



Removing an email address from the hard bounce list


If you become aware of an email address that should not be on the hard bounce list, it can be removed by opening the hard bounce list in Act-On and clicking the envelope icon next to the email address in question.




You must also find the contact record in Sugar and edit the email address and Email Status field to show that the email is now working. Uncheck the invalid tickbox and delete the word HardBounced from the Email Status field.



Soft Bounces


Sometimes the recipient's email server does not take delivery of a sent message. For example, it may tell us that the inbox is full or that it simply cannot be delivered at this time. These email addresses are added to a Soft Bounce list. Email addresses that soft bounce more than 3 times are added to our Inactive Soft Bounce list and no mail will be sent to these addresses.


The number of times we will allow an email address to soft bounce before giving up can be set within Act-On in the Bounces & Opt-Outs menu.


If we hear from a contact that they are not receiving our emails we should check that they are not on either the hard bounce or the inactive soft bounce list. If they are, remove them from within Act-On, and confirm that their email address is correct and see if that solves the problem.



Unsubscribes / Opt-Outs


How does a recipient get on our unsubscribe list?


If a recipient no longer wants to receive our messages, he or she will click the unsubscribe link which, by law, must appear in all outgoing marketing emails. This link takes contacts to a subscription management landing page where they can opt to receive only certain types of mailings, or click to confirm that they want to be completely unsubscribed.


Occasionally recipients email us directly by replying to messages, asking to be removed from the mailing list. In these cases we add the contact manually in the Bounces & Opt-Outs section of Act-On.




What happens after someone unsubscribes?


In Act-On


As soon as someone clicks the unsubscribe button in one of our emails, they are added to our opt-out list. They are also taken to a customised landing page, which looks like this (without the red circle):








Note: In the past we had an opt out form that in some cases pushed notes into Sugar. This no longer exists but some of those notes remain in Sugar. 



In Sugar


Through a daily maintenance programme which runs off the Unsubscribe segment in Act-On, the word Unsubscribe is pushed into the Email Status field for all contacts on this list. 





Removing a contact from the opt-out list


If a contact asks to again receive our emails, their email address can be removed from the opt-out list by opening that list in Act-On and clicking on the envelope icon that appears to the left of the address. All requests of this kind should be received in writing from the contact and saved in Filesite so that we can provide proof that we were acting on the request of the contact.




It is also necessary to update the contact record in Sugar so it is reflective of the fact that the contact is no longer unsubscribed.


Subscription Management


In April 2015 we turned on subscription management, a system which acts to provide persons who wish to unsubscribe from our mailings with an alternative to fully opting-out.


Canada Opt-In


Canadian law requires that recipients positively confirm that they want to receive emails; providing an opt-out option is no longer enough. As as a result we run a monthly campaign to new contacts in Canada asking if they wish to receive our emails. Those who respond positively will have the word OPT IN in the Email Status field. CRM Administrators suppress against Canadian contacts who have not opted in, as a matter of course.


Opt In


Contacts who subscribe to our newsletters online via the website are also designated as OPT IN contacts.


Domain Suppression


Harneys maintains a list of domain names that we do not send marketing emails to because they belong to our competitors. The list of these domains is found in the Email Suppression Domain List in the Bounces and Opt-Outs page of Act-On. Domain names can be added or deleted from the list.


The list of suppressed domains is approved by the Marketing Committee.


How domain suppression is reflected in Sugar


In order that domain suppression is reflected in Sugar, a segment called Domain Suppression has been built in Act-On. This segment looks for any email addresses with suppressed domains. A maintenance programme populates the Email Status field in Sugar with the word DomainSuppression. The invalid automation also strikes through the email address in Sugar.


Adding a new suppressed domain


Add the domain to the suppression list in the Bounces & Opt-Outs area of Act-On:





Add the domain to the Domain Suppression segment query:




Removing a suppressed domain


Delete the domain from the list of suppressed domains:




Remove the domain from the Domain Suppression segment query:





Locate all affected contacts in Sugar and un-invalidate the emails and clear the text in the Email Status field.



Note: If we simply needs to send a certain mailing to our competitors, simply remove the relevant domain names from the domain suppression list in Act-On and set up your mailing. There is no need to edit the domain suppression query or edit the records in Sugar.