Return Path: what it is and why you should customize it

When doing email marketing,  one of the first objectives to achieve is to ensure that the messages reach the recipients’ inbox and do not end up in the SPAM folder or are directly returned. Thanks to  Return Path we can have greater control over the bounce rate of sent emails and make decisions to reduce it.

What is Return Path

The header or Return-Path header is an address that indicates the origin of the email and is used to process bounces of emails sent from it.      

It appears in the header of each message, and for it to work properly, there must be a single such header. If there is more, something has gone wrong in the SMTP configuration (the address from which the email came).  

What is the Return Path for?

The Return Path header is added by your email provider and is intended to track bounces . If the email you sent could not be delivered and your email does not have such a header, then the servers will not be clear where to send the bounce notification.      

This can be a serious problem for your marketing campaigns , because you will not be aware of the bounce and, therefore, you will not be able to remove that email address from your list, which gives rise to two problems. 

On the one hand, you will be spending time and effort trying to sell your products or services to a potential client who is not receiving the information. On the other hand, if many of your emails are bounced because you are unaware that certain addresses are not working (known as a hard bounce) , this will negatively affect your sender score, making you even more difficult to overcome anti-spam filters and get your emails to your recipients’ inbox.

How you can customize your Return Path

In email marketing, the deliverability rate is closely related to reputation. The better the reputation of the sender, the more likely it is that your emails will arrive directly in the recipients’ inbox.   

Email validation and authentication systems are designed to detect phishing , and therefore look for a correlation between the sender name and the name of the Return Path header.

The increase in phishing cases through emails in which cybercriminals impersonate companies that consumers trust has caused validation controls to be further intensified even for senders who are already classified as trusted.  

So that there are no problems with delivery, it is best to clean the email header and customize the return route . At Acumbamail we make it very easy for you to personalize and protect your reputation. Set up the CNAME record and we’ll take care of the rest.     

Knowing what the Return Path is and customizing it will make your mailing strategies much more effective. By positioning yourself as a trusted sender, your bounce rate will be reduced and your emails will end up in recipients’ inboxes, increasing the chances of them opening them.