Abnormally high soft bounce rates.

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Yesterday (10/20/14) we saw abnormally high soft bounce rates across all sends through Emma. Did anyone else notice this trend? If so, any ideas on why this would be the case? We seemed to be about 4-5 times normal undeliverable with 80-90% of them being first time soft bounces. Is this a problem on our end, a widespread internet problem, or an Emma issue?
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COLE Publishing Inc

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Posted 4 years ago

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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hi there -- That's a great question, and I love that you all are really in touch with your normal response statistics! I'd like to hop into your account to see if there is any sort of pattern to the addresses that seem to be affected. It sounds like you saw this higher bounce rate across all sub accounts, is that correct? If there is one I should start with, please let me know!
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COLE Publishing Inc

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We only did two sends yesterday, but yes, both were affected. You can certainly look around. We have an "Agency" account so look under the TPO account on yesterdays send and you'll see a substantial amount of soft bounces. Normally we have about a 99% delivery rate across all accounts. If you want a second sample you can look in the PRO account where it was still an issue, though not as pronounced. Thank you!
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Thanks for that! I looked up the reply codes for the bounces on yesterday's mailing. It looks like most of them were rejected due to "spammy" content. I ran your mailing through some spam filters to see if we could zero in on the issue. Your content didn't raise any flags in the filters, but the one thing that jumps out to me is “Ebola” in the subject line and in the content. Hot button topics are often used by spammers and may be seen by receiving servers as being ‘spammy’.

Other than that, I think the best thing to do would be to update your SPF record to make it easier for ISP's to verify the legitimacy of your emails that are coming in! There's more on that here and instructions on how to update your SPF record here!

I hope this helps!!
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COLE Publishing Inc

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Thanks, I had considered that may have been part of the problem.