> My list has 1500 and I get about 5-10 bounces a day also. At first I had
> the auto-delete function (listserv) on, but I found that too many of the
> bounces were not real (just like you). Now I just dump bounces in a folder
> and every few days check to see which addresses are habitually bad. Mostly
> bounces from "service unavailable" errors are temporary, while "user
> unknown" errors are usually true (about 3/4 of the time).
> The system works well enough at this point that only about 1 in 20 times
> is a valid user removed. I know it's labour-intensive, but good relations
> with my subscribers are worth it.
When I ran my mailing list manually, without list software, I used to
actually keep a set of index cards and record the number of bounces
for each address. 20+ bounces in 2 days would get one removed from
the regular list, and 4 consecutive digest bounces would get a
subscriber removed from the digest.
Now that I use Smartlist, I'd never go back to processing bounces
manually. Ugh. I even switched ISPs when one removed permission for
me to use SmartList -- a move that is involving moving a 25MB web
site, complete with cgi scripts, to a site running a different server
and different UNIX flavor. But that is much less trouble than having
to read bounces.
SmartList does exactly the same sort of bounce processing I did. It
keeps track of the number of recent bounces from each address. You
set a limit and it removes the address when the limit is reached.
Just like I was doing manually. It's not perfect, I still have to
actually look at about 4% of the bounces. I can live with that. :-)
Michelle Dick artemis @
net East Palo Alto, CA
Owner, FATFREE Vegetarian Mailing List