Viewing emails that were not delivered

When an email or dialog activity runs, emails can fail to be delivered for a number of reasons. You can query the HCL Commerce database to view details about the delivery of emails for the activity. For instance, you can view whether an email was opened, clicked, or bounced back to the sender. You can also view the email addresses that are associated with emails that were opened, clicked, or that bounced-back.

Failure to deliver an email results in what is called a bounce-back. A bounce-back is a case where an outgoing email fails to arrive at its destination, and ends up in the sender's inbox instead. Bounce-backs fall into two categories, hard and soft.
  • A hard bounce-back typically indicates that the email address to which you sent the message is not valid. When an email that is sent to an address results in a hard bounce-back, any further attempt to send an email to that address will always result in a hard bounce-back.
  • A soft bounce-back can be caused by some event or situation that is typically considered temporary. For example, if an email cannot be accepted due to a restriction on the size of a customer's inbox, this bounce-back is considered a soft bounce-back. Resending this message to this email address later might result in a successful delivery.

By determining which recipients failed to receive emails due to hard bounce-backs, you can consider removing the addresses for those users from mailing lists. For emails that recipients failed to receive because of soft bounce-backs, you can change how emails are resent to those users. For emails that were delivered, but not opened or clicked, business users can change the email template to encourage recipients to open future emails.


  • View the email delivery statistics for dialog activities, such as how many emails were opened, clicked, bounced, and failed to be delivered. To view these statistics, query the EMLRPTEVTS database table and review the results for each activity. This database table records the email events for each email recipient.
    Note: To view the statistics for email activities to see how many emails were opened, clicked, bounced, or failed to be delivered, you can use Management Center. For more information, see Viewing statistics for an email activity.
  • View the details for each email address and recipient ID to see which email addresses failed to receive an email. To view this information, query the EMLBOUNCED and EMLBADADDR database tables. The EMLBOUNCED database table records information about each bounced email for email activities. The EMLBADADDR table stores information about invalid email addresses for potential recipients.