Welcome to our comprehensive guide on understanding email bounces in Mailchimp. As an expert in email marketing, I will provide you with valuable insights and strategies to address bounced emails effectively. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind email bounces, how to view bounce reasons in Mailchimp, differentiate between soft and hard bounces, and answer common questions related to this topic. By the end, you'll have a thorough understanding of email bounces and be equipped to optimize your email deliverability.

What are Email Bounces?

When you send an email campaign using Mailchimp or any other email marketing platform, some emails may not reach their intended recipients. These undelivered emails are referred to as email bounces. An email bounce occurs when the recipient's email server rejects the email, preventing it from being delivered to the inbox.

Types of Email Bounces

There are two main types of email bounces: soft bounces and hard bounces. Let's examine each type in detail:

Soft Bounces

A soft bounce is a temporary delivery failure. It occurs when an email cannot be delivered to the recipient's inbox, but there is a possibility of successful delivery in the future. Common reasons for soft bounces include:

- Recipient's mailbox is full

- Temporary issue with the recipient's email server

- Message size exceeds the recipient's mailbox limit

- Auto-reply or out-of-office messages

2. Hard Bounces

A hard bounce is a permanent delivery failure. It occurs when an email cannot be delivered due to a permanent reason, such as an invalid or non-existent email address. Hard bounces indicate a more serious issue that requires attention. Common reasons for hard bounces include:

- Invalid or non-existent email address

- Blocked or blacklisted email domain

- Email server or domain does not exist

Viewing Bounce Reasons in Mailchimp

Mailchimp provides features to help you view and manage bounce reasons for your email campaigns. Here's how you can access this information:

Campaign Reports

In the Campaigns section of your Mailchimp account, select the specific email campaign you want to view. Navigate to the Reports tab, where you can find detailed information about the campaign performance, including bounce reasons.

Member Profiles

If you want to view bounce reasons for individual subscribers, you can access their member profiles in Mailchimp. Simply search for the subscriber's email address and open their profile. The profile will display bounce details, including the reason and type of bounce.

Addressing Email Bounces

While some bounces can be temporary and resolve themselves, it is essential to address them to maintain a healthy email list and maximize deliverability. Here are some best practices to handle email bounces:

1. Clean Your Email ListRegularly review and clean your email list to remove invalid or inactive email addresses. Use Mailchimp's list cleaning features to identify and remove subscribers with repeated hard bounces.

2. Update and Validate Email Addresses

Encourage your subscribers to update their email addresses if they have changed. Additionally, use email validation tools to verify the accuracy and validity of email addresses before adding them to your list.

Monitor Bounce Rates

Keep a close eye on your email campaign bounce rates. High bounce rates may indicate issues with your list quality or sending practices. Take appropriate actions, such as improving list hygiene or reviewing your content and sending practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I re-send emails that bounced in Mailchimp?

A: Mailchimp does not automatically retry sending emails that have bounced. However, you can create segments for bounced addresses and send targeted campaigns to them after addressing the bounce reasons.

Q: How can I prevent my emails from bouncing in the future?

A: To prevent bounces, focus on maintaining a clean and engaged email list. Regularly update and validate email addresses, provide a clear unsubscribe option, and follow best practices for email marketing.

Q: Is it necessary to remove all bounced addresses from my list?

A: It is recommended to remove hard bounced addresses from your list as they indicate permanent delivery failures. However, you can keep soft bounced addresses and attempt to deliver to them in future campaigns.


Understanding email bounces is crucial for maintaining a healthy email list and optimizing deliverability. By differentiating between soft and hard bounces, viewing bounce reasons in Mailchimp, and implementing best practices, you can effectively address email bounces and enhance the success of your email campaigns. Remember to regularly clean your email list, update and validate email addresses, and monitor your bounce rates. With these strategies in place, you'll be on your way to achieving better email deliverability and engagement.