When you send an email, it goes through various stages of the delivery process. Occasionally, an email may encounter temporary issues that prevent it from reaching its intended recipient. These issues are known as temporary email bounces. Understanding the causes and solutions for temporary bounces is essential for ensuring your email campaigns' success.

What Are Temporary Email Bounces?

Temporary email bounces occur when an email is temporarily unable to reach the recipient's mailbox. Unlike permanent bounces, which indicate a permanent delivery failure, temporary bounces suggest a transient issue that can be resolved. These issues may include full mailboxes, server congestion, or temporary delivery delays.

Causes of Temporary Email Bounces

Temporary email bounces can be caused by various factors, including:

1. Full Mailbox: If the recipient's mailbox is full, new emails cannot be delivered until space is cleared.

2. Server Congestion: Heavy network traffic or overloaded mail servers can cause temporary delivery issues.

3. Greylisting: Some email servers use greylisting techniques to combat spam. When an email is greylisted, the receiving server temporarily rejects it and requests retransmission after a specific interval.

4. Content Filtering: Emails containing certain keywords or attachments may trigger content filters, causing temporary bounces.

5. Temporary Server Issues: Server maintenance, software updates, or other technical glitches can lead to temporary email delivery failures.

Types of Temporary Email Bounces

Temporary email bounces can be classified into different types based on the response codes returned by the recipient's mail server. Here are some common types:

1. Soft Bounce: A soft bounce occurs when an email is temporarily undeliverable but has the potential to be delivered successfully in the future. Soft bounces are often caused by temporary issues such as a full mailbox or server congestion.

2. Transient Bounce: A transient bounce indicates a temporary delivery failure due to a specific issue. It could be a server timeout, connection failure, or other transient factors.

3. Delayed Bounce: A delayed bounce occurs when an email is not immediately delivered and is held in a queue for a certain period. This can happen due to various reasons, such as network congestion or greylisting.

How to Handle Temporary Email Bounces

Handling temporary email bounces requires a proactive approach to ensure successful email delivery. Here are some strategies to handle temporary bounces effectively:

1. Monitor Bounce Rates: Keep track of your email bounce rates to identify patterns or trends. Regularly monitor bounce reports and take appropriate actions based on the bounce types and frequency.

2. Clean and Update Your Email List: Maintain a clean and up-to-date email list to minimize bounce rates. Remove inactive or invalid email addresses to improve deliverability.

3. Implement Retry Policies: Configure your email server to automatically retry delivering bounced emails after a specific interval. This allows temporary issues to be resolved, increasing the chances of successful delivery.

4. Optimize Email Content: Avoid triggering content filters by optimizing your email content. Use relevant subject lines, avoid spam keywords, and ensure your emails comply with email marketing best practices.

5. Follow Best Practices: Adhere to email deliverability best practices, such as using double opt-in for subscriptions, sending relevant content, and honoring unsubscribe requests promptly.


Temporary email bounces are common occurrences in email communication. By understanding the causes and types of temporary bounces, you can take proactive measures to improve email deliverability and ensure your messages reach their intended recipients. Monitor bounce rates, clean your email list, and implement effective strategies to handle temporary bounces. By doing so, you can optimize your email campaigns and enhance your overall communication success.