What Is A Hard Bounce In Email

Differentiating Between A Soft And Hard Bounce

Hard bounce or soft bounce? What to do about email bounces

At their core, the difference between a soft and hard bounce is their temporary or permanent undeliverable state, respectively.

Youll know which bounce youre dealing with by reading the content of the Non-Delivery Report or Receipt and decoding what your email delivery errors mean.

In addition to some of the codes addressed above, looking for keywords like permanent failure in your bounce message or NDR is a clear sign you have a hard bounce on your hands.

The Difference Between Hard Bounce And Soft Bounce

When an email bounces, it means the email can’t be delivered to a recipients inbox instead, it is bounced back to the sender.

Bounces, especially hard ones, are damaging to your sender reputation. For this reason, we always recommend growing and maintaining a high quality email list.

Bounces are divided into two different types: hard bounce and soft bounce.

Use A Preference Center

As your email list grows, it will be harder to manage your subscribers and ensure their information is up to date. At that point, you might want to add a preference center link to your emails.

A preference center is a place where your subscribers can add new information and update their email preferences. This ensures your data is accurate, and it gives your subscribers more control over the emails they receive and the information they share with you.

A basic preference center will give subscribers the option to update their email address, choose how often they want to receive your emails, and opt out of receiving emails. You can also add advanced options like the ability to include information about a users personal preferences.

Key takeaway: While email marketing offers many benefits to a small business, too many bounced emails mean your marketing list is unhealthy. Reduce your email bounce rate to improve customer engagement and successful outcomes.

Growing a healthy email list is an essential part of building your business. Email is one of the most effective marketing strategies available and has an incredibly high ROI.

However, you dont want to do the hard work of building an email list only to end up with a high bounce rate. Theres no way to prevent bounced emails entirely, but you can limit the number of hard bounces you experience.

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What Causes An Email To Bounce Back

Reasons for email bounce backs include full inboxes, servers that arent responding, sends to email addresses that no longer exist, and sends to fake email addresses.

There are many reasons you receive a delivery status notification that email bounced .

Those reasons can be temporary but others are permanent. You will know how to troubleshoot email bounce backs if you first understand the type of bounce category your email falls under.

The three types of bounce backs that disrupt the delivery of your email are:

  • Soft bounce emails
  • Your Guide To Understanding Email Bounce Rates

    What is a hard bounce?

    Have you experienced this email marketing conundrum? You upload your subscriber list, send off the email campaign, and your subscriber number drops.

    Where did they all go? Seasoned email marketers will go straight to their campaign report to find out whether their audience has been hitting Unsubscribe. If theyve stayed on top of their email list management, this is usually the only reason why subscribers disappear mysteriously.

    Sometimes, however, to find the real culprit you need to turn to your email bounce rate. If your bounce rate is increasing, fewer subscribers are receiving your emails for one reason or another, and they may be automatically removed from your email list to an inactive list.

    In this article, were going to walk you through:

    • What are email bounce rates

    • Average and acceptable bounce rates

    • The difference between soft and hard email bounce rates

    • Common reasons for high bounce rates

    • How to reduce high email bounce rate

    Lets hop to it and jump in !

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    Bounce From Forged Message

    Users may receive erroneous bounce messages about messages they never actually sent. This can happen in particular in the context of email spam or email viruses, where a spammer may forge a message to another user , and forges the message to appear from yet another user . If the message cannot be delivered to the intended recipient, then the bounce message would be “returned” to the third party instead of the spammer. This is called backscatter.

    Personalize Your Email Content

    People who get value from your email marketing campaigns are less likely to report your messages as spam. This reduces your spam complaints, lowers the likelihood of your IP address getting added to an email blacklist, and cuts down your email hard bounces.

    Segment your audiences based on demographics, interests, preferences, and others. Doing so allows you to personalize your content, making your email campaigns as relevant and engaging to your subscribers as possible.

    For instance, you can run personalized drip campaigns to your segmented contacts using this sample email sequence.

    • Send a welcome email as soon as your prospect signs up for your monthly email newsletter. Its the perfect opportunity to introduce your products, services, and offers to give your contact a good idea of your emails and companys value.
    • If your prospect doesnt reply or act on your first email, send a follow-up. Remind them of your offer and explain why youre sending them newsletters.
    • If you dont get a response or a conversion after the second email, send irresistible deals, such as exclusive offers and time-limited discount codes to entice your prospect to take action.

    Segmented and personalized emails make your campaigns relevant and engaging. This increases the likelihood your messages will reach your recipients inboxes, boosting your email deliverability rate.

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    Scrub Your Mailing List

    Not every address in your email list will remain active or engaged forever. Your subscribers might change their email addresses or delete the email they used to receive your messages, among other reasons.

    Clean your email list at least every six months to ensure youre sending your emails to valid and active addresses, reducing potential hard bounces.

    Scrub your mailing list to identify contacts who are no longer interested in receiving your messages. This lowers potential spam complaints because of messages you send to contacts who are not interested in engaging with your emails.

    The fewer spam complaints and hard email bounces you have, the better your sender reputation will be.

    Tips to remember before cleaning your email list:

    Win back inactive subscribers with personalized re-engagement email campaigns. Image source: Author

    Keep An Eye On Your Bounce Rates And Watch For Spikes And Changes #

    Hard bounce and Soft bounce in Email Marketing explained

    Its hard to give firm benchmarks on what bounce rate is fine vs. when you need to worry. If youre sending important transactional emails like password resets or payment failure notices to existing users, even a few bounces can be troublesome but if youre collecting email addresses at an event for your newsletter, you can expect to see some typos and invalid email addresses that will need to be removed.

    No matter what emails youre sending, your bounce rate should never exceed 10%. If youre seeing a bounce rate close or above that 10% threshold, thats a sign that theres something seriously wrong with your emails.

    But dont just look at the total numbers: Sudden changes or spikes in bounces can be an indicator of an issue tooand if you spot them early, you can fix them before they do more damage.

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    Use A Verification Or Double Opt

    One way to keep your email lists disinfected from invalid emails is to offer your customers or subscribers a verification or double-opt-in method when they sign up for your services.

    With a double-opt-in method, a potential customer will receive a confirmation email when they sign-up for your list. Thats if they input the correct email address, anyway.

    This way, the onus is on the consumer to verify the accuracy of their email address. Once it reaches your list, youll know its legit.

    How To Find Subscribers Who Hard Or Soft Bounced In A Specific Campaign

    You can find hard and soft bounces in an individual campaign report by following these steps:

  • Navigate to the Campaigns page.

  • Select the Sent tab.

  • Check out our blog for an in-depth understanding of hard and soft bounces.

    When an email bounces, it means the email can’t be delivered to a recipients inbox instead, it is bounced back to the sender.

    Bounces, especially hard ones, are damaging to your sender reputation. For this reason, we always recommend growing and maintaining a high quality email list.

    Bounces are divided into two different types hard bounce and soft bounce.

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    Soft Bounce Email Definition

    A soft bounce email is an email that failed to deliver due to a short-term issue. There is usually no need to remove soft bounce email addresses from your recipients because them being undeliverable is usually only a temporary problem.

    Here are a few common reasons for soft bounced emails:

    • The recipient’s mailbox is full

    • The recipient’s email server is down

    • Your message is too large for the recipient’s inbox

    • The receiving email service blocked the email due to its content

    MailerSend tries to deliver emails a few times before marking them as soft bounced.

    Reasons For Hard Bounces:

    email bounces, how do they impact your email marketing?
    • Email address does not exist: The most common cause of hard bounces is invalid emails. This occurs when the recipient’s address contains a typo, or when the address has been disabled and/or changed providers.
    • The following email address was rejected by the recipient’s server: Some business, government, and institutional domains have more stringent inbox filtering policies.

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    Ready To Make Hard Bounces A Thing Of The Past

    The only thing that needs to be bouncing is youwhen you head home after a long day at work.

    Grooming your email lists and eliminating the dead weight of unused and invalid emails can help you avoid hard bounces while keeping your sender reputation in good standing.

    Our team of experts at Kickbox can help you clean your email list with our real-time verification API. With over a decade of experience in compliance and the anti-spam industry, our team will become your team, there to guide you on your way to over 99% message deliverability.

    Its free to . Let hard bounces and a bruised sender reputation be a thing of the past.

    Maintaining Your Email Reputation

    As mentioned, you are bound to have bounced emails in your email marketing campaign for a variety of reasons. Generally speaking, it is good to have a bounce rate below three percent. Anything above this value will be detrimental to your sender reputation, and it may cause your emails to go straight to recipients spam folders.

    Over 30.000 marketing professionals rely on us for their news. Shouldnt you?

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    Prevention Is The Best Medicine

    A good way to prevent hard bounces, and keep your bounce rate low, is to take steps to ensure that customers provide the correct email address when they sign up for your service. For example, you can:

    1. Include a “confirm email address” field in sign-up forms.

    2. Include a reCAPTCHA checkbox on your sign-up form to prevent sign-ups via automation.

    3. Enable double opt-inthis means users must click a link in a confirmation email to validate their email address.

    4. Use a real-time email verification tool, like MailerCheck.

    Die Unterscheidung Von Soft Bounce Hard Bounce Und Block Bounce

    Email Marketing Hard Bounces Explained

    Der Oberbegriff für Mails, die nicht zugestellt werden können, ist Bounce. Bounce steht für Abpraller, und wer eine solche Mail zustellen will, erhält als Antwort in aller Regel die Meldung Non Delivery Notification, kurz: NDN. In der Folge wird bestimmt, ob es sich bei der Mail um Soft Bounce, Hard Bounce oder Block Bounce handelt. Die Unterscheidung ist wichtig für den richtigen Umgang mit unzustellbaren Mails.

    Bei Soft Bounce handelt es sich normalerweise, wie beschrieben, um technische Fehler, oder um eine falsche Eingabe des Absenders. Denkbar ist auch ein überfülltes Postfach, was zu einem temporären Fehler, also die vorübergehende Nichtzustellbarkeit führt. Wurde das Postfach des Empfängers geleert, erübrigt sich das Problem von selbst. Die meisten Newsletter sind so eingestellt, dass sie nach einem missglückten Zustellversuch zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt einen erneuten Zustellversuch unternehmen. Wird dieser Versuch jedoch zu oft wiederholt, besteht die Gefahr, als Hard Bounce und somit SPAM eingeordnet zu werden.

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    Reducing The Number Of Bounces

    A powerful software solution supports your email marketing by automatically excluding hard bounces from sending further emails. There are also a few thing you can do yourself:

    1. List hygiene: Ensure correct data entry when manually adding new recipients. Often subscribers enter their e-mail address themselves, for example, if they subscribe via an online form. Avoid typos by asking users to enter their address twice.

    2. Use a double-opt-in procedure: Send subscribers an email in which they must confirm the subscription. This is the only way to get addresses from real prospects. This interaction with your sender domain also reduces the risk of ending up in users’ the spam folder.

    3. Good content: From the subject line to the content of your mail, you have to deliver convincing content. In the context of deliverability, the choice of words is particularly crucial because certain words draw the attention of spam filters.

    4. Continuously monitor the delivery rates and, if necessary, make adjustments.

    What Hard Bounces Mean For Your Email Marketing Campaigns

    Spam filters and email servers flag high volume hard bounce rates as potential spamming. This leads to your messages getting blocked and your IP address added to a blacklist, harming your email deliverability.

    Poor deliverability means your email marketing campaigns wont reach your recipients inboxes, which can impact your sender reputation and prevent you from achieving your email campaign goals and ultimately, your sales and revenue goals.

    Manage your email list by practicing good list hygiene. Remove inactive subscribers when necessary to help keep your list healthy and get more accurate email marketing metrics and data insights to refine your campaigns.

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    Let Users Reactivate Delivery

    Its not uncommon for hard bounces to occur because of unusual and temporary circumstances. Lets imagine a new employees email address wasnt correctly configured. It may bounce, but that bounce serves as a motivator for the user to make sure the issue is rectified. You should be notified that its okay to try again if the email address works.

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