Deconstructing Return-Paths

Overview

Let’s deconstruct the example SMTPProvider Application generated Return-Path (bounce address) below:

return-a31-271-272-recipient=customer.com=4@example.com

It consists of eight parts:

  1. return – The localpart of the bounce mailbox that SMTPProvider Application used.
  2. a – The prefix that SMTPProvider Application prepends to ListIDs. This prefix is used to distinguish SMTPProvider Application generated messages from messages that were generated from other sources. This field is set equal to a by default.
  3. 31 – This is the ListID that the message was sent to.
  4. 271 – Stat ID – This is an internal value that we use to determine where to put the stats for this bounce.
  5. 272 – Stat Slice ID – This is an internal value that we use to determine where to put the stats for this bounce.
  6. recipient=customer.com – The VERP encoded email address of the subscriber that this message was sent to. This example Return-Path is from a message that was sent torecipient@customer.com.
  7. 4 – Indicates that this is Return-Path was generated by SMTPProvider Application.
  8. @example.com – The domain name portion of the bounce mailbox that SMTPProvider Application used.

Web Interface Lookups

Once you’ve identified the subscriber ID and ListID, you can lookup information about the mailing list or subscriber.

To lookup information on the mailing list, go to the following URL:

  • http://HOSTNAME/ga/mailing_lists/LISTID/

The following replacements will need to be made:

  1. Replace HOSTNAME with your SMTPProvider Application server’s hostname.
  2. Replace LISTID with the ListID.