I have installed the Cividesk Sparkpost extension and am able to send mass mailings with CiviMail via my Sparkpost account (REST API).

However, CiviCRM apparently doesn't process bounces. Would I have to configure something else, besides the SparkPost extension?

Any Cron Job to run?

Many thanks Ton


All you need to do is follow the documentation, as suggested by Karin.

When you save the API key in the setup screen, the extension will make API calls to SparkPost and create a callback. Whenever a bounce occurs, SparkPost triggers this callback and CiviCRM can then process the bounce event accordingly.

As also indicated in the documentation, only CiviMail bounces are currently processed.

The cron job processes bounces produced when you have a return loop (ie. setup a specific SMTP mailbox to collect bounces) - it is not needed in the case of SparkPost as callbacks are much more reliable and efficient.

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  • Thank you for clarifying. I followed the docs. CiviMail sends mass emails via SparkPost. SparkPost has 1 bounced email and 3 delayed emails. This bounced email does not show up in CiviCRM. How often are those callbacks made? Will it need a cron job to initiate the callback? Thx ! – TonV May 19 '17 at 18:19
  • The callback is made as soon as the bounce happens, no need to run a cron job. The extension only registers bounces for emails sent though CiviMail, so your bounce will not register in CiviCRM if sent otherwise (ie. Send email action, or transactional email). It might also be a 'soft bounce' (ie. mailbox full, out of office autoresponder, etc), in which case CiviCRM will not immediately put this email address on hold. Finally, the delayed emails are not considered a bounce and will not trigger any changes in CiviCRM - you just have to wait for these emails to be successfully sent. – Nicolas at cividesk May 20 '17 at 20:39
  • Thank you for your clarifications. Everything seems to work now. – TonV May 24 '17 at 13:23

Start here for background reading: https://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/Bounce+Handling

I found all I had to do was to just follow the Documentation: https://docs.civicrm.org/sparkpost/en/latest/install/

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Update Bounces are processed through a callback (no need for an email account dedicated to bounce processing), but CiviCRM only processes bounces for CiviMail-originated emails. CiviDesk is planning to extend bounce processing to transactional emails in the future as well.

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  • Hi Karin, Yes, I executed that cron job several times. Result according to the cron log was successful, but still no bounces recorded in CiviCRM. Would I need this cron job running for the rest api as well? Got the impression that communication of bounces was done using this rest api – TonV May 19 '17 at 16:21
  • Oh, I also set up a bounce domain in SparkPost. Would that make any difference? – TonV May 19 '17 at 16:22
  • That's exactly what I did. What kind of API key did you generate at Sparpost website? – TonV May 19 '17 at 17:00
  • See my note - it can only register CiviMail bounces at the moment (not Transactional email) – KarinG - Semper IT May 19 '17 at 17:03
  • I created an API key with all permissions granted (as suggested in the doc) – KarinG - Semper IT May 19 '17 at 17:06

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