Understanding quarantine management

About quarantines

An email address or a phone number can be quarantined, for example, when the mailbox is full or if the address does not exist.

In any case, the quarantine procedure complies with specific rules described in this section.

Optimizing your delivery through quarantines

The profiles whose email addresses or phone number are in quarantine are automatically excluded during message preparation (see Identifying quarantined addresses for a delivery). This will speed up deliveries, as the error rate has a significant effect on delivery speed.

Some internet access providers automatically consider emails to be spam if the rate of invalid addresses is too high. Quarantine therefore allows you to avoid being added to denylist by these providers.

Moreover, quarantines help reducing SMS sending costs by excluding erroneous phone numbers from deliveries.

For more on best practices to secure and optimize your deliveries, refer to this page.

Quarantine vs Denylist

Quarantine and denylist do not apply to the same object:

  • Quarantine applies only to an address (or phone number, etc.), not to the profile itself. For example, a profile whose email address is quarantined could update his profile and enter a new address, and could then be targeted by delivery actions again. Likewise, if two profiles happen to have the same phone number, they will both be affected if the number is quarantined.

    The quarantined addresses or phone numbers are displayed in the exclusion logs (for a delivery) or in the quarantine list (for the entire platform).

  • Being on the denylist, on the other hand, will result in the profile no longer being targeted by the delivery, such as after an unsubscription (opt-out), for a given channel. For example, if a profile on the denylist for the email channel has two email addresses, both addresses will be excluded from delivery. For more on the denylist process, refer to About opt-in and opt-out in Campaign.

    You can check if a profile is on the denylist for one or more channels in the No longer contact (on denylist) section of the profile’s General tab. See this section.

NOTE

Quarantine includes an On denylist status, which applies when recipients report your message as spam or reply to an SMS message with a keyword such as “STOP”. In that case, the profile’s involved address or phone number is sent to quarantine with the On denylist status. For more on managing STOP SMS messages, refer to this section.

Identifying quarantined addresses

Quarantined addresses can be displayed for a specific delivery or for the entire platform.

Identifying quarantined addresses for a delivery

Quarantined addresses for a specific delivery are listed during the delivery preparation phase, in the Exclusion logs tab of the delivery dashboard (see this section). For more on delivery preparation, refer to this section.

Identifying quarantined addresses for the entire platform

Administrators can access the detailed list of the email addresses in quarantine for the entire platform from the Administration > Channels > Quarantines > Addresses menu.

NOTE

The increase in the number of quarantines is a normal effect, related to the “wear and tear” of the database. For example, if the lifetime of an email address is considered to be three years and the recipient table increases by 50% each year, the increase in quarantines can be calculated as follows: End of Year 1: (1*0.33)/(1+0.5)=22%. End of Year 2: ((1.22*0.33)+0.33)/(1.5+0.75)=32.5%.

Filters are available to help you browse through the list. You can filter on the address, the status, and/or the channel.

You can edit or delete each entry, as well as create new ones.

To edit an entry, click the corresponding row and modify the fields as needed.

To manually add a new entry, use the Create button.

Define the address (or phone number, etc.) and channel type. You can set a status for being in the quarantine list and an error reason. You can also indicate the date when the error occurred, the number of errors, and enter the error text. If needed, select the last delivery that was sent to the address from the drop-down list.

Removing a quarantined address

If needed, you can manually remove an address from the quarantine list. In addition to this, addresses that match specific conditions are automatically deleted from the quarantine list by the Database cleanup workflow. (For more on technical workflows, see this section.)

To manually remove an address from the quarantine list, perform one of the actions below.

IMPORTANT

Manually deleting an email address from quarantine means that you will start again delivering to this address. Consequently, this can have severe impacts on your deliverability and IP reputation, which could eventually lead to your IP address or sending domain being blocked. Proceed with extra care when considering removing any address from quarantine. In case of any doubt, contact a deliverability expert.

  • Select the address from the Administration > Channels > Quarantines > Addresses list and select Delete element.

  • Select an address and change its Status to Valid.

    You can also change its status to On allowlist. In this case, the address remains on the quarantine list, but it will be systematically targeted, even if an error is encountered.

The addresses are automatically removed from the quarantine list in the following cases:

  • Addresses in a Erroneous status will be removed from the quarantine list after a successful delivery.
  • Addresses in a Erroneous status will be removed from the quarantine list if the last soft bounce occurred more than 10 days ago. For more on soft error management, see this section.
  • Addresses in a Erroneous status that bounced with the Mailbox full error will be removed from the quarantine list after 30 days.

Their status then changes to Valid.

IMPORTANT

Recipients with an address in a Quarantine or On denylist status will never be removed automatically, even if they receive an email.

The maximum number of retries to be performed in case of Erroneous status and the minimum delay between retries are now based on how well an IP is performing both historically and currently at a given domain.

Conditions for sending an address to quarantine

Adobe Campaign manages quarantine according to the delivery failure type and the reason assigned during error messages qualification (see Delivery failure types and reasons and Bounce mail qualification).

  • Ignored error: ignored errors do not send an address to quarantine.

  • Hard error: the corresponding email address is immediately sent to quarantine.

  • Soft error: soft errors do not send immediately an address to quarantine, but they increment an error counter. For more on this, see Soft error management.

If a user qualifies an email as a spam (feedback loop), the message is automatically redirected towards a technical mailbox managed by Adobe. The user’s email address is then automatically sent to quarantine with the On denylist status. This status refers to the address only, the profile is not on the denylist, so that the user continues receiving SMS messages and push notifications.

NOTE

Quarantine in Adobe Campaign is case sensitive. Make sure to import email addresses in lower case, so that they are not retargeted later on.

In the list of quarantined addresses (see Identifying quarantined addresses for the entire platform), the Error reason field indicates why the selected address was placed in quarantine.

Soft error management

As opposed to hard errors, soft errors do not send immediately an address to quarantine, but instead they increment an error counter.

Retries will be performed during the delivery duration. When the error counter reaches the limit threshold, the address goes into quarantine. For more on this, refer to Retries after a delivery temporary failure.

The error counter is reinitialized if the last significant error occurred more than 10 days ago. The address status then changes to Valid and it is deleted from the list of quarantines by the Database cleanup workflow. (For more on technical workflows, see this section.)

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