Email Marketing terms

Hard Bounce

Permanent delivery issues, such as an invalid email address. The email will never be delivered.

What is a hard bounce in email marketing?

Hard bounce in email marketing refers to an email that has been returned to the sender because it was unable to be delivered for permanent reasons. This could be due to the recipient's email address being invalid or non-existent, which could occur if the address was inputted incorrectly or if the account has been closed.

A hard bounce is a serious issue in email marketing as it can negatively impact a company's sender reputation. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) keep track of the number of bounced emails and if the bounce rate is too high, they may categorize future emails from the sender as spam. Therefore, it's crucial for businesses to regularly clean their email lists and remove hard bounce addresses to maintain a good sender reputation.

Why is a hard bounce detrimental in email marketing?

A hard bounce in email marketing is detrimental for several reasons. Firstly, it indicates that the email sent by the marketer is not being delivered to the recipient. This could be due to various reasons such as the email address being invalid or non-existent. This means that the marketer's message is not reaching its intended audience, leading to a loss of potential customers and sales.

Secondly, a high hard bounce rate can negatively impact the sender's reputation. Email service providers monitor bounce rates and a high rate can lead to the sender being flagged as a spammer. This can result in the sender's emails being blocked or sent to the spam folder, further reducing the effectiveness of their email marketing campaigns. Therefore, it's crucial for marketers to maintain a low hard bounce rate to ensure their emails are delivered and their reputation remains intact.

How can I reduce the hard bounce rate in email marketing?

Reducing the hard bounce rate in email marketing involves several strategies. Firstly, maintaining a clean email list is crucial. This means regularly updating your list and removing any invalid or non-existent email addresses. Using a double opt-in process can also help ensure that the email addresses you collect are valid. This process requires new subscribers to confirm their email address before they are added to your list, which can significantly reduce the number of hard bounces.

Secondly, consider using an email verification service. These services can check the validity of email addresses before you send out your campaigns, helping to prevent hard bounces. Additionally, avoid using purchased or rented email lists, as these often contain old or invalid email addresses. Lastly, ensure your email content is relevant and engaging to prevent recipients from marking your emails as spam, which can also lead to hard bounces.

What is the difference between a hard bounce and a soft bounce in email marketing?

In email marketing, a hard bounce and a soft bounce refer to two types of email delivery failures. A hard bounce is a permanent failure, indicating that the email cannot be delivered to the recipient. This could be due to various reasons such as the email address being invalid or non-existent, or the domain name not existing. When a hard bounce occurs, it's recommended to immediately remove these addresses from your mailing list to maintain a good sender reputation.

On the other hand, a soft bounce is a temporary delivery failure. It means that the email address is valid and the email reached the recipient's mail server, but it bounced back because the mailbox was full, the server was down, or the message was too large for the recipient’s inbox. Soft bounces don't necessarily require immediate action, but if an address continues to soft bounce in additional campaigns, it might be best to consider removing it from your list.

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