This article contains instructions on the old version of Elastic Email dashboard. If you would like to see the new dashboard version of this article, please use the following link

What is a bounce domain

A bounce domain will enable you to set an email address to which bounce information will be sent. Having a separate bounce domain will help with establishing a positive reputation with your recipient servers.

There are various names for a bounce domain that you might encounter which are used interchangeably in the industry, like:

  • Return path, reverse path, envelope from, envelope sender

Default bounce domain and how to change it:

By default your Elastic Email account's bounce domain points to

In order to set up your own custom bounce domain, log into your account, click on your profile name in the upper right corner and select Settings>Domains:

Here, click the three dot menu beside your domain name and select Set Bounce Domain:

Managing your bounce domain

After accessing Set bounce domain, a pop up will appear on the right side of the dashboard. In here, by default the Use default bounce domain option is selected, which will set either or a custom domain that has been set to be shared between all domains (See the Share custom bounce domain with all available domains checkbox below).

Another option is to Turn off bounce domain. This will not set any bounce domain and uses your Mail From address as the bounce address instead.

If you wish to set up a custom bounce domain, select the Use custom bounce domain and click Continue.

Another screen will appear, on which you will be able to choose a name for your custom bounce domain:

This screen will also allow you to choose an option to share this bounce domain with all the domains you have verified on your account. If any of your other domains do not have a custom bounce domain provided, they will use this domain instead.

Please note that a bounce domain has to be a subdomain. We strongly recommend using a name such as - using a bounces.(...) prefix for the  bounce address is the most common practice in the email marketing industry.

When your custom bounce domain is set, click the "Save changes" button. This will take you to one last pop up with information about a CNAME record you will have to set on your domain's DNS settings before finishing the process - this record will have to point to the bounce domain you have just set up in order to work correctly:

Host name: bounces(or

When the appropriate CNAME record is set up on your domain's DNS settings, get back to the Manage Bounce Domain screen and click the blue "Verify" button at the bottom.

If you are using Cloudflare as your host, you need to disable it for that particular record by clicking the "cloud" icon.

Troubleshooting - SPF Neutral

When you successfully set up and use your custom bounce domain, there might be instances where Google might rank your SPF record as "Neutral". This means that hosting is neither permitted nor denied by your custom bounce domain - it should not affect your deliverability. However, if you'd still like to get rid of this soft warning, one simple step might help you.

Just add an Elastic Email SPF record to your custom bounce domain, just as you would do with your regular sender domain.

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