Friday, February 27, 2009

Bug Fix For Inadvertent AOL Bounces

Bounces tend to come with the territory when sending out mass emails. But an unusual problem with AOL’s bounce reporting methods was causing some JangoMail users to find their own email addresses on their campaign bounce lists.

After detecting that an email address has been blocked one of their users, AOL typically alerts the sender to the problem via an email that looks something like this:

Subject: Mail Delivery Problem

Message: Your mail to the following recipients could not be delivered because they are not accepting mail from jquest14

Due to the fact that the AOL message refers to the recipient by screen name (jquest14) rather than by the AOL user’s full email address (in the example above the AOL subscriber’s actual email address would be, JangoMail’s bounce processor would occasionally pick up the only complete email address in the message: that of the sender. This error caused the bounce processor to relegate the JangoMail user to his or her own bounce list. To correct this problem, our bounce processor will now automatically add to any screen name shown in an AOL MAILER-DAEMON delivery alert, and then send the AOL user to the campaign bounce list rather than the sender.