Message delivery statuses

There are several different statuses displayed under the Messages tab on each contact card. These explain the delivery status for each email and SMS message you have sent to the contact. In this guide you will learn the terms so that you can keep track of the messages you have sent.

Email messages 


Delivered means that the message is delivered to the recipient’s email server.

Delivered (Opened)

Delivered (Opened) means that the message is delivered and has been opened. Recipients that have automatic downloads of images in email will get this status, too.

Soft bounce

Status Soft bounce means that the email has gotten as far as the receiving server but has bounced back before reaching the intended recipient. This might happen because the inbox is full, or the mail server is down. It could also be due to the Inbox Service Provider (ISP) considering your messages as spam. This can be a temporary matter but if you see this continuously from ISPs, please address it.

When a new send-out is dispatched from Engage, the emails will be sent to the soft bounces addresses again.

Hard bounce

Status Hard bounce means that the email address is permanently invalid and unreachable. This might occur because the domain name doesn’t exist or because the recipient is unknown.

A hard bounce on a contact will lead to deactivation of the email address, and the contact’s email address is then presented in red, overlaid with a red line, on their contact card.


Status Deferred means that the receiving domain has put the email on hold. This can have several explanations, and large send-outs combined with low activity and low reputation is one example.

Engage will continue the delivery attempt for 72 hours. If the email is not allowed through to the recipient within this time frame, the message is set as Soft bounce.

Unknown status

Status Unknown means that Engage hasn’t received a delivery status yet. It could be because the receiving domain isn’t set up to send status responses, which is common for smaller ISPs and business domains.

Included in a control group

This means that the recipient in question hasn’t received the email message because they are included in a control group.

SMS messages


The message has been delivered to the recipient.

Soft bounce

The message has not been delivered or validity expired.

A soft bounce might occur because of temporary delivery issues (if there is a problem with the operator's network, the mobile phone is disconnected, or the inbox is full etc). If the operator, after multiple tries, is unable to deliver, we will receive a message of failed delivery. Soft bounces on a contact will not lead to blocking the mobile phone number.

Hard bounce

A hard bounce is an SMS message that has been returned to the sender because the mobile number is invalid. One hard bounce on a contact will lead to blocking the mobile number. The mobile number of the contact is presented red, overlaid with a red line.

You can manually unblock the email address on the contact card.


The SMS message could not be delivered for unknown reasons.

Validity expired

We have not been able to deliver the message within 48 hours.

Included in a control group

The intended recipient has not received the SMS message because he/she is included in a control group.


Message routed by several parties—no delivery status available.

Bounce details

If a message has bounced, you can click on the information icon next to the status to open a popup with details such as bounce reason and bounce code for further investigation.

The example below shows the details for a hard bounced email, but it works the same for SMS messages too.

Bounce details.png

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