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What is the return path & how it works

Understanding Return-Path 

The word might sound intimidating, but brings with it an assortment of email adventure. The word return means “on its way back” usually back to the starting point. Since we are referring to Return Path in an email domain-we will stick to the email deliverability context. When an email is not able to hit the destined intended, the return path indicates a bounce notification or a non-delivery receipt…

On other occasions, the return path is also referred to as the reverse path, an envelope from, and commonly bounces address among other names.

The question is in the Return-path same as the sender’s email address?

For those seeking solutions, the email return path makes sense. A majority of corporate enterprises use the return path to stack thousands of bounce receipts that they have received from a certain email campaign meant to send emails to thousands of recipients. It is this stack of bunce receipts that are later analyzed to identify the issues and rectify them so the mails can be re-sent with a necessary amendment.

Email communication is the most important channel for exchanging information these days. The pandemic and unrest across the globe has mandated billions of people to work from home, exchange emails, and thus the return path indicates conversion and 

What is Return-Path?

Has the thought ever crossed your mind what happens when the email cannot hit the intended mailbox? How does it know where to redirect? Who processes the code?

This is where Return-path comes into action in a secretively hidden manner. Indeed, the return path is a header code that informs the failed email how and where it needs to land next. Is this header code visible to the recipient? The answer is no.

An email header consists of two addresses or destination locations. One the sender address that the recipient can read and see and the other a return path, which is not visible to the recipient. Simply the sender address bridges a connection between the sender and the recipient, the mailbox the sender wishes to reach, Contract to this the return path is not visible, but it recognizes the delivery process which runs in the background and indicates the bouncer mail the plan B delivery.

How does return-path work?

Why is the return-path used and who codes it?

Most of the email marketers and senders will incorporate the necessary identifiers rightly into the return-path address bus to facilitate managing the reply and bounce receipt this is also known as Variable Envelope Return-Path.

Can we customize the return-path and bring it into line?

It is a general trend for companies to use the header, which comprises a tailor-made return path and why they do so is very clear- they want email authentication and understand if the recipient’s mailbox filters emails based on certain criteria. The Most promising email authentication process called DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) was ideally conceived to prevent email deceiving and detain them. The vital task conducted by a Domain-based message is used to check if the name of the sender is the same as the name in the return path. 

It is, however, not mandatory to have the sender name and return-path name the same, email authenticators filter and check several other factors as well to make the final decision for the overall process. 

Will my chance of email delivery improve with a customized email return-path?

Well, the answer is might be. Every server we come across has a unique and distinctive way of construing the email address to establish authentication. The indications in your email message qualify the email better. The clearer it is easy it is to deliver. 

How can we amend our email headers to improve delivery ratios?

Every mailbox owner witnesses a jargon of emails which increases the attach risks, hence all internet service providers tend to be more protective for their device, hence even authenticated and reputable emails fall prey to scrutiny processes.

What is important is to double-check the email headers and validate the return path to get your emails a big go-ahead? 

However, having a clearly defined return path is vital for all email programs. It secures m safeguards the sender’s details and location for processing the bounce receipt. To maintain your repute, you must ensure to have an organized return-path that will in the long term improve your email deliverability ratio.


Steps to set-up the return path

If you wish to modify or alter the return-path of your email, you have to undergo 3 procedure /simple steps:

All you require is to conduct three simple procedures to initiate the redirection/return–path\


Generate a sub-domain in your principle domain using the precede “mnp3”. For instance, imagine any domain name e.g. You will have to create a sub-domain


It is mandatory to access the Domain name system zone and build a [CNAME; it is the abbreviated form and records, primarily used as an alias for a name.]

 Any association or business hosting a site must have an Internet address to connect to the internet. The Domain name system resolute the name of your site to its Internet address, although sometimes many names resolve it in the same IP address, and this is where the CNAME is useful. The record looks like this: IN CNAME

This will mean that your province will now point to Consequently, each one will see in the email header, but it will point to our mnp3.HandysSends…com and we will continue to receive bounce events and update your stats…


The concluding procedure is to connect to us {HandySends team} To apply, you can click access a permit with our technical team and share with us the information for us to activate your return path.

  1. Trigger the API key to initiate the return-path procedure 
  2. The CNAME data you collected: share a screenshot or simple text version will do the job

One API key permits only one return–path. 

Once the information and record are validated and verified, our team will notify you about the customized return path we created and you will be all set to start.

Ways to customize your return-path

HandySends is known to have this feature of setting up an automatic return-path for our clients; it validates and boosts our delivery. Return-path offers a secure, authenticated setup for a better experience.

Whilst you are all set to offer 100% deliverability to clients, make sure you have a clear–well-tested return path. This will largely improve email communication and deliverability.

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