Hard bounce and soft bounce of email: what are they and how to reduce them?

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The concepts of hard and soft bounce bounce are among the most important in the entire glossary of Email Marketing .

The bounce directly impacts the success of an email campaign rates. Basically, a bounce occurs when an email is rejected because of an error, whether permanent or temporary. Ie the email does not arrive fired successfully to the inbox Lead .

But why does this happen?

There are 2 main reasons:

  • permanent error, such as missing or invalid email (hard bounce);
  • Temporary error, such as server down or full mailbox (soft bounce).

More than a campaign quality metric is a quality metric Leads base itself. If your campaigns had high levels of bounce means that the list is not good and needs to be sanitized .

Check detail below what is hard bounce, which is soft bounce and what to do when these errors appear.

Hard bounce

When you try to send an email and, for some reason, the recipient can not permanently receive your message, you get back a mistake, we call hard bounce.

A hard bounce might occur, for example, because the email address was entered incorrectly or because the address no longer exists.

The recommendation is that his campaign never have more than 3% hard bounce . This is because high levels of this type of error is a strong indicator that your email list is bought or very old, and send emails to these recipients is a very bad practice.

For this and other reasons it is very important that once an email back as hard bounce, you inactivate this address from your list immediately to prevent damage to its reputation as a good sender emails.

Note: the RD Station Marketing you do not have to worry about deleting email addresses returned as hard bounce. That’s because the very tool the automatically inactive Leads with this feature, avoiding any damage to its reputation.

hard bounce

soft bounce

Just as a hard bounce, a soft bounce is an error caused by some trouble of ESP ( Email Service Provider ) to deliver your email.

However, the soft bounce is a temporary error, ie, email can not be delivered at this time, but nothing prevents it from being delivered correctly in the future. This can happen, for example, because of your recipient’s email box is full or because his mail server is down for some temporary reason

As the soft bounce is a problem with less serious than a hard bounce, the limits for this type of error are more flexible, but still the recommendation is that your campaign has not more than 6% of this type of error . Moreover, in some cases, an email returned as soft bounce may actually be experiencing a permanent unavailability.

For example, if the error is received because the recipient’s box is full and the user never clear this box, whenever you send an email to this address you will receive a soft bounce error. For this reason, it is important to remove e-mail addresses that return repeatedly as soft bounce, so you have no deliverability problems in the future.

Note: as with the hard bounces, the RD Station Marketing you do not have to worry about removing its base the Leads returning repeatedly as soft bounce. The tool itself inactive all Leads that are experiencing transient errors in five consecutive campaigns.

soft bounce

What is the difference between hard and soft bounce bounce?

And then, you know what it means soft and hard bounce? To best summarize the concepts and their differences, check the illustration below:


If you do not know the RD Station Marketing, you can do here for a free trial and try out the tool .

And if what you need right now is more knowledge on the subject, we recommend reading the Deliverability Email Guide . Some topics that are covered in the material:

  • Tools authentication and security;
  • How to Create a list of healthy emails;
  • How to maintain a sanitized list;
  • Escape from the spam box.