Get to know the 9 different email delivery events

Here at beehiiv, we know that understanding whether your emails are reaching recipients and how they're interacting with them is essential for the success of your newsletter.

Below, we've provided a quick breakdown of nine key email delivery events that shape your email's journey once it's sent. By getting to know these beehiiv email events, you can tailor your publications effectively and make data-driven decisions to enhance your success. 

  1. This marks the beginning of your email's journey. When beehiiv receives and prepares your email for delivery, the "processed" event is triggered. Each email sent through our system generates a processed event, except for dropped messages.

  2. Occasionally, emails may not reach recipients for various reasons. The "blocked" event occurs when emails are dropped, experience failed deferral, or are rejected by the recipient's server for any number of reasons.

  3. When an email cannot be immediately delivered but hasn't been rejected, a "deferred" event occurs. We'll continue attempting to deliver the email for 72 hours before it turns into a block. This is also known as a soft bounce.

  4. A "bounce" event is triggered when a server refuses or fails to deliver an email. Several factors can cause this, including non-existent email addresses, full inboxes, server outages, poor sender reputation due to spam complaints, flagged content, or restrictive DMARC records.

  5. The "delivered" event indicates that the receiving server has accepted an email. However, this doesn't guarantee placement in the recipient's inbox. The remaining events provide further insights into the email's final destination.

  6. An "open" event occurs when an email is viewed with images enabled, marking the initial step toward achieving your desired recipient action. Like other email service providers, beehiiv employs transparent image beacons to track opened messages.

  7. The "click" event signifies peak email engagement, occurring when the recipient clicks a link in your email.

  8. If a user marks an email as spam, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) forwards the complaint to Email Service Providers (ESPs) like beehiiv. Upon receipt of a complaint, a "spam report" event is triggered, enabling appropriate action to prevent future emails to that address.
    However, it should be noted that Gmail does not send spam complaints back to ESPs, so we do not have visibility into any Gmail users that mark emails as spam.

  9. The "unsubscribe" event occurs when a recipient opts out of your mailings, indicating they no longer wish to receive email communications from you.
Tech Note: Every email sent through beehiiv is subject to these delivery events. For example, even someone who has subscribed via a welcome email can still have future emails bounced due to a variety of reasons. Understanding and monitoring these events is crucial for maintaining email deliverability and optimizing performance.

Was this article helpful?