Bounce! Return-Path! Complaints!

I used to send the newsletter through Simple Email Service (SES) on Amazon’s cloud thing, AWS.

I found SES when I looked for alternatives to services like Constant Contact and MailChimp.

We have thousands of subscribers, so whether a service charges by subscriber or per message, I found the costs like 10x more than we collect per month in donations… so no. I’m not exaggerating much.

If you’re leasing a server instance on Amazon Web Services, they’ll send like 60,000 messages per month for free per server, and they don’t mess with subscribers — so no charge there.

26,795 subscribers to Karen’s Free Power Tools Newsletter, August 30, 2023.

I moved away from AWS when I had trouble paying a bill last year. I’ve refused to switch back because I don’t like being dependent on any one provider. I decided to parse the bounces myself.

That was last year.

I’m finally writing the software to automate the processing of newsletter email failures.

Hard bounces are Permanent failures are like:

  • Email address no longer valid
  • User clicked Spam or Junk button

Soft bounces are Transient failures like:

  • Vacation or Out of Office notices
  • Delivery attempt continue (trying again)

I’m using PHP Mailparse

Mailparse is an extension for parsing and working with email messages. It can deal with » RFC 822 and » RFC 2045 (MIME) compliant messages.

More later.


It’s later! It’s tomorrow. Still working on it.

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