Message State

What Flowmailer's message state tells you about your email


The message has been processed, but has not yet been delivered. It’s possible the message is still in the queue for the receiving server.


The message has been (partially) processed. It has been scheduled for future processing and delivery.


The receiving server has confirmed that the message has been fully received. As spam filtering may yet take place, this is not a guarantee that the message will be placed in the recipients inbox. Should the message be marked as spam at this point, there will often not be a bounce. In this case the message will only appear to be Delivered.


A Bounce means that the message has failed to reach the recipient. There is a surprising lack of standardisation in bounce messages. This means bounce messages are notoriously difficult to process automatically. Further, there is no guarantee that a bounce message will even be sent. The absence of a Bounce (even when the message has the Delivered status) is no guarantee of inbox placement.

Any Bounce shown in Flowmailer is treated as definitive. This means no further attempts to deliver the message will be made.We can split Bounces into two categories:


The message was not delivered for temporary reasons, or reasons unique to the message.  For example, if the contents of the message were considered spam, the receiving server was unavailable for an extended period of time, or if the recipients mailbox was full. Subsequent messages to the same address could still arrive.


A hardbounce indicates that not only did the message not arrive – it is also very likely that subsequent messages to the same address will also not arrive. This usually means that the email address or even the domain itself is non-existent. An address with a hardbounce is added to the Recipient Filter (see Rejected)


A large number of email providers (such as Yahoo and Microsoft) offer their users the option of marking a sender (not a message!) as unwanted or spam. From that moment on, messages from that sender will be classified as spam. This means they may not even reach the inbox.

Thanks to what is called a Feedbackloop , Flowmailer is notified whenever a recipient marks a sender as unwanted. Any future messages to that recipient will be considered spammy behaviour. To avoid this, a Complaint is always added to the Recipient Filter (see Rejected).

The Complaint mechanism is not always used as intended. We often see that users are unaware of the consequences of marking a sender as unwanted. In other cases, the mechanism is used to signal discontent. If the sender and the recipient both agree that the emails are no longer unwanted, both parties have to act. The recipient should drag an ‘unwanted’ message to their inbox (signalling that the Complaint can be lifted). The sender has to remove the recipients’ address from the Recipient Filter.


Sometimes a message is marked as unwanted / spam, or a recipient address does not exist. In these cases, receiving servers expect professional senders to stop sending messages. Failure to do so may lead to spam filtering or even blacklisting. To avoid such consequences, Flowmailer adds such addresses to the Recipient Filter. Any future messages to an address on the filter will not be sent (status Rejected).


As a result of a setting or a flowstep, the message has not been delivered. This is almost always the result of a deliberate setting, and not an error.


Adding open tracking places an invisible image in the message. If the recipient loads the images from the message, Flowmailer registers this event. Rare exceptions notwithstanding, status Opened means that the recipient has -in all likelihood- opened the message. Please note that the absence of an Opened status does not mean the message has not been opened. Also be aware that others with access to the message (such as administrator or certain automated processes) can theoretically trigger the Opened status.


Adding Click Tracking means that any link in the email is (where possible) rewritten to contain a unique code. Should the recipient click such a link, Flowmailer can register this event. A Click makes it very likely that the recipient has seen the message. Please note that others with access to the message (such as administrator or certain automated processes) can theoretically trigger the Clicked status.