At some point, every email marketer experiences a high number of email bounces. While some bounces are easy to handle, others can be frustrating and lead to confusion. Bounces occur when an email cannot be delivered to the intended recipient, and they can be categorized as either hard bounces or soft bounces. In this article, we will dive deep into the differences between these two types of bounces and how they can impact your email marketing campaign.
What is a hard bounce?
A hard bounce is a type of email bounce that occurs when an email cannot be delivered to the recipient because the email address is invalid or does not exist. Hard bounces are considered permanent and cannot be resolved by sending another email to the same address. They typically result from a typo in the email address, a domain that no longer exists, or an email address that was never valid.
Causes of hard bounces
There are several reasons why an email may result in a hard bounce, including:
- Invalid or non-existent email address
- Domain name does not exist or is no longer active
- Email server is blocking delivery
- Recipient's email account has been closed or suspended
Impact of hard bounces
Hard bounces have a negative impact on your email deliverability and sender reputation. When your email bounces back as a hard bounce, it signals to the email provider that your email address is sending spam or fraudulent emails. As a result, email providers may start to block or filter out your emails, which can result in lower open rates and overall campaign success.
What is a soft bounce?
A soft bounce is a type of email bounce that occurs when an email cannot be delivered to the recipient temporarily. Soft bounces are usually caused by issues that are temporary and can be resolved, such as a full mailbox or a temporary issue with the recipient's email server. Unlike hard bounces, soft bounces are not permanent, and the email can be resent to the same address at a later time.
Causes of soft bounces
There are several reasons why an email may result in a soft bounce, including:
- Recipient's mailbox is full
- Temporary issue with the recipient's email server
- Email message is too large to be delivered
- Email server is experiencing high traffic
Soft bounces are caused by a temporary issue with the recipient's email account, such as a full mailbox, an invalid address, or a server issue. Other possible causes of soft bounces include an email being blocked by the recipient's server due to spam filters, an attachment that is too large for the recipient's mailbox, or the recipient's server being down.
Impact of soft bounces
Soft bounces do not have as much of a negative impact on your email deliverability and sender reputation as hard bounces do. However, if you experience a high number of soft bounces, it can still impact your email marketing campaign's success. When email providers see a high number of bounces, they may begin to filter out your emails, which can result in lower open rates and overall campaign success.
How to reduce the number of email bounces
Reducing the number of email bounces is critical for your email marketing campaign's success. Here are some tips to help reduce the number of bounces:
- Use double opt-in to ensure that email addresses are valid
- Regularly clean your email list to remove invalid email addresses
- Use a reputable email service provider that monitors email deliverability and sender reputation
- Monitor email bounces and remove hard bounce email addresses from your list
- Personalize your emails and segment your email list to ensure that your emails are relevant to your recipients
Understanding the difference between hard and soft email bounces is crucial for any email marketer. Hard bounces are permanent and have a negative impact on your email deliverability and sender reputation, while soft bounces are temporary and can be resolved. By reducing the number of email bounces and monitoring your email list regularly, you can improve your email marketing campaign's success and ensure that your emails are being delivered