Salesforce Marketing Cloud Bounces & Statuses

As you might expect, handling email bounces and subscriber statuses is a complicated balancing act undertaken by email service providers like Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Hard bounces, soft bounces, held status, unsubscribed, undeliverable — what do these really mean?

First of all, it means that subscriber statuses are not simply active or unsubscribed, which is sometimes difficult to explain to marketers — especially when they are scrutinizing subscriber reporting and statistics. There are a couple of pages that on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud help site that outline their bounce management process. The one that I’ve found most helpful is this one:


If you’re just looking for an overview, here’s a 3Sixty video tutorial on the subject.

Keep in mind that there are different kinds of unsubscribes:

  • list unsubscribe
  • master unsubscribe
  • global unsubscribe

Here is more info on that.

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2 Comments on "Salesforce Marketing Cloud Bounces & Statuses"

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Janine Phillips

Just wondering; if a ‘held’/’bounced’ subscriber’s email address is updated does marketing cloud change the subscriber status back to active?