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I've set up to use Sparkpost in Outbound email settings.

If I don't use one of the two Extensions for Sparkpost and simply enter the Sparkpost settings into Outbound e-mail settings, what are the disadvantages? Will bounces and track throughs not show in Civi, or not work correctly? Other disadvantages?


2 Answers 2


With sending emails there is always the sending, and the return path. If you configure the Sparkpost SMTP server settings in CiviCRM you've resolved the sending, but not the return path. So you will not get the bounces and might end-up in trouble with Sparkpost or on blacklist because of repeated mailings to bouncing email addresses. You will still get click-through and unsubscribe as Sparkpost will forward to CiviCRM all links that users click, even if it intercepts these.


So these are the advantages of the PESC extension, taken from the blog post:

  • Now processes bounces for Transactional and Bulk (CiviMail) emails
  • Adds a tag to all outgoing CiviMail messages. The civi-generated return-path is added as a SparkPost tag, because like most SMTP services, SparkPost strips out the return-path header for its own.
  • Adds a scheduled job that uses SparkPost API to fetch bounce events and processes their bounces in CiviCRM. I use the hash included in the SparkPost tag
  • Adds Bounce type and Pattern that helps with marking emails on hold in CiviCRM that SparkPost has added to it's suppression list

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