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What is a Bounced Email?

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A bounced email is any email message rejected by a recipient's mail server and returned to the original sender. A bounced email means that your message has not been delivered, and when this happens the mailer receives a notification of non-delivery. There are two different types of bounced emails: hard and soft.

Soft Bounce

There are several reasons why an email might result in a soft bounce. These bounced emails are typically due to temporary delivery issues such as:

  • The recipient's mailbox is full.
  • The email was too large.
  • The email account you are sending to has been temporarily suspended.

With soft bounces, some email marketing platforms will continue to resend to the email address to see if the email can be delivered after the issue is resolved. After a certain number of attempts, the email marketing platform will automatically remove the email address from your list. If you are sending your emails manually and receive soft bounces repeatedly from the same email addresses on each send, it is best to remove the email address from your list.

Hard Bounce

Whereas a soft bounce is a bounced email due to a temporary issue, hard bounces are bounced emails due to a permanent reason. These bounces can be caused by issues such as:

  • The email address no longer exists.
  • The email address is invalid (typo, etc).
  • The domain doesn't exist.

Hard email bounces are very important to remove right away as there is no "fix" to the delivery issue. Email marketing platforms will do this for you. But, if you are manually maintaining your list, be sure to remove the email address right away.

It is important to note that having a few soft/hard bounces is normal for most email marketing campaigns. It's nearly impossible to send a large email blast without having one or two full email boxes or an email address with a typo. So, don't take bounced emails personally, just remove them and move on to your next send.

Email marketing providers like SimplyCast take care of the management of hard and soft bounced emails for you. With SimplyCast, hard bounces are automatically added to the suppression list (so they cannot be sent to) and soft bounces are attempted five times. If after five consecutive sends if the email address continues to soft bounce, SimplyCast flags it as a hard bounce and adds it to the suppression list.

To see how SimplyCast can help with your email delivery, bounced email management, and more, sign up for a free 14-day trial.

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Keywords:

bounced emails

soft bounce

hard bounce

email delivery

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