Gmail’s 69585 bounces and what they mean

Have you ever gotten a bounce after sending an email from Gmail with a 69585 bounce code that references a URL? Specifically, a bounce message that says:

Your message to john@smith.com has been blocked. See technical details below for more information. LEARN MORE

The response was:

Message rejected. See https://support.google.com/mail/answer/69585 for more information.

Here’s a screenshot:

Gmail 69585
The mysterious 69585 Gmail bounce means that Gmail has stopped your outbound email in its tracks.

Gmail provides a broken URL and little information

You might notice that the URL that Gmail gives for more information about the 69585 bounce is a broken URL. In fact, it redirects to a webpage that has nothing to do with the 69585 bounce:

https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6596?visit_id=1-636469950368928843-4158290028&rd=1

It doesn’t explain the 69585 bounce at all. So what’s the deal? We’re not sure why Google removed the explanation page for the 69585 bounce code, but in the past, it meant that Google blocked the email on its way out of Google’s network. The email never reached the server for the particular email address. Whereas most blocks are blocked by the receiver, a 69585 bounce is a preemptive block by Google, because they think the email you’re trying to send is spam.

Surprisingly, there’s almost no good information on the web about this bounce code. The best explanation we can find directly from Google is here:

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/gmail/uH2hN6S5OyM/lzdteH-ifvYJ

The relevant part of the explanation is:

To clarify: the issue discussed on this thread is when @gmail.com users are attempting to send an email to multiple recipients (in some cases, a large number of recipients) and their outgoing mail is getting blocked by our system and is never delivered. If you’ve arrived at this thread and this is not your issue, please try using the search bar at the top to find a more relevant thread. 

With that being said, this behavior will still occur in certain instances. The free version of Gmail was not intended to be used as business email or to regularly send to large groups of people. If that is what you are attempting to do, we recommend using Google Groups or Google Apps for Work (if you’re a business). Google Groups allows recipients to opt-in, so you can ensure you’re not sending unwanted mail, and Google Apps for Work will allow you to more professionally and reliably communicate with your customers. 

While I agree with this statement, it’s worth noting that in most cases, it is possible to send a mail merge or a group email to multiple recipients from a regular Gmail account, especially if the Gmail account being used has a long history with Google and is established as a legitimate account belonging to a real person. The history and age of the account is one of the factors in determining its sending limits and general mass email sending ability.

What should you do if you’re sending a mail merge and you get 69585 bounces?

  1. Try to isolate the content issue that’s resulting in the 69585. Play around with your content, and then send the email to one of your recipients, and see if you get the same bounce. If you don’t, you’ve probably happened upon the solution.
  2. GMass will categorize these bounces as “blocks”, meaning you can send a follow-up to all the “blocks” with just a couple clicks. You don’t have to manually go through all the 69585 bounces to determine who received your email and who didn’t.
  3. You can also get around Gmail’s limitations altogether by connecting your account to a third party email sending service like Sendgrid or JangoSMTP. If you do that, you can send virtually unlimited emails, and you will never be in danger of getting a 69585 bounce or an over-limit bounce.

12 Replies to “Gmail’s 69585 bounces and what they mean”

  1. Foster

    You have no business stopping any email I want to send. I am sending a report of suspicious msg to a legitimate address in order to address a phishing scam and you are blocking my message. That means to me that you are supporting the scam.

    • Guillermo laignelet

      Desde hace años envio correos masivos. Últimamente Gmail los devuelve como error 69585. Como solucionar este problema?

  2. Jinks

    So what does it mean if you’re getting a 69585 message when you’re /not/ sending a mail merge, or a message to many people? I got it when I sent information about a library book to a friend.

      • Marvin Quinsaat

        Hi Jinks/Someone,

        Unfortunately, that’s a Google error message and we’re unsure what exactly causes it. The answer provided by Google found at the Google Forums does not discuss what may be causing this error message when sending to a single recipient.

  3. JoAnn Love

    Is this a new thing that Google is doing? The other comments here are pretty fresh too. I’ve been sending mass emails since I’ve had my account and now hours later I’m still getting blocked. Sad part is I’m trying to reply back to an email. Seems a little fishy to me that their snooping on emails! Maybe everyone should know what Google is up to these days.

    • Marvin Quinsaat

      Hi JoAnn,

      We’re unsure what causes these blocks. It appears to be a pre-emptive block with the exact reason not given a clear explanation by Google.

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