Email Deliverability and Bounced Emails

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Before we jump in, here are some phrases to know:

Bounces - A bounce is another way to say an email wasn’t deliverable to the employee’s inbox

Batch(es) - A group of emails that have and haven’t been sent

Bounce Rate - The amount of bounces per batch of emails

How emails work

When a scheduled survey starts to be sent out, the emails are received by an outgoing server which sees that the emails need to be sent to the client's email servers. The client's servers will look for each employee's mailbox and ensure that:

  1. The email appears for each employee (this means that the email exists and it'll determine if there are issues)
  2. If there is an issue, the client's server will let our outgoing server know what the issue is, and our server will let us know.

Sending surveys to bad emails

If there is a bad email (an email that's not valid due to misspelling or being inactive) and WorkTango continuously send out surveys to numerous bad emails, the client's server can block us from sending surveys because it thinks we are spamming the client's server. This is why we need to ensure that the client provides us with valid emails so we can continue sending surveys.

How we send emails

WorkTango send emails in batches. One thing to note: The bounce rate cannot exceed 5%. If we have 5% bad emails per batch, we pause the email delivery process for that survey. The initial batch is 50, so if there's 3 bad emails, then the survey delivery will pause.

If we are sending a survey to 600 employees and the first batch has no bad emails, the batch doubles: first 50 emails are sent, second 100, third 200, then the remaining 250. As we double the emails, there's less chances of there being enough bad emails to pause delivery. When the emails are delivered successfully without pausing, we are able to see on our end that they have indeed been delivered.

Once all emails have been sent out, anybody who has edited the survey will receive the following notification:

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If there were bounces, but not enough to halt the email delivery (i.e., below 5% at any point), then the following email will be sent to anybody who edited the survey:

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What happens if there are bounces

If we hit the 5% threshold in any batch, then an email will be sent to WorkTango Support and the survey delivery will be paused. The Surveys & Insights Consultant will be notified who will then reach out to their client and share the list and ask to do the following:

  1. Review these emails with their IT team and identify why the emails bounced
  2. Ask them to see if there are any similar/other issues with the rest of their employees

Once they've identified the issues, the client will provide one or all of the following:

  1. A list of employee email addresses that need to be updated
  2. Employees that need to be removed
  3. Employees who bounced before but are fine now

Only at this point can survey sending resume.



What should clients check for to prevent future bounces in their surveys?

  • Review all email addresses and the previously bounced emails to identify and remove issues before they happen.
  • If there are bounced emails, please check the following issues:
    • Do all of these emails exist/have any email addresses for employees changed? For example: is now
    • Have any employees left the organization since the last time the employee file was updated?
    • Do any employees have full mailboxes?

The employee received the previous survey, however, they didn't receive this one. How come?

Chances are the email bounced in a previous survey and as a result, we did not send it again to them. Additionally, if an employee participated in previous surveys but for the past few months they haven't received any surveys, chances are their email was blocked, which is why the survey was not delivered. Please notify us if this issue occurs. The employee will be removed from the block list and the survey will be resent to them.


What if an email bounced but the email address is valid?

There are situations where an email bounced for a random/unknown reason but it’s actually a valid email. In such situations, we'd have to relay the issue to our technical team and they'll remove the email from the bounce list. Once the email is removed, the survey will be resent to them.


Why don’t we send all emails at once?

Although this is possible for us to do, the client’s mail server may not be able to handle all those 1000+ emails being received in a second, which could lead to emails getting lost or them blocking all our emails. So we purposely slow down our email sends so that they can all be received. It also ensures we do not have thousands of employees filling out the survey at the same time, helping ensure we have no performance issues.

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