I was doing some testing and was wondering why hard bounces weren’t showing up in my email marketing system. I ran a test to some bounce and complaint test addresses that respond accordingly, and it worked. I was a little perplexed why the fake email addresses I was putting in didn’t bounce. Then it made sense to me… I was putting email@example.com … which doesn’t have a server to respond back with information regarding the type of bounce. As soon as I put firstname.lastname@example.org then it showed the hard bounce correctly. Now it seems common sense.
So does that mean that anytime that double opt-in isn’t used and someone enters a fake email address with a domain that does not exist it just become junk that piles up in the email database? I think so. I always stress the importance of list hygiene and not mailing to email addresses that have never opened a single email within a 3-6 month threshold. There are some situations in why it’s a good ideas to keep those email addresses in the system and not just purge them, but that gets to some pretty advanced discussion on deliverablity that I’m just not going to get into at the moment.