Email Marketing terms

Soft Bounce

Temporary delivery issues, such as a recipient's mailbox being full. The email might be delivered later.

What is a soft bounce in email marketing?

Soft bounce in email marketing refers to an email that gets as far as the recipient's mail server but is bounced back undelivered before it gets to the intended recipient. This can occur for a variety of reasons, such as the recipient's mailbox being full, the server being down, or the email being too large.

Unlike a hard bounce, which indicates a permanent reason an email cannot be delivered, a soft bounce is generally a temporary issue. If the issue is not resolved and the email continues to soft bounce after several attempts, email servers may eventually consider it a hard bounce. For email marketers, managing and reducing both soft and hard bounces is crucial for maintaining a healthy sender reputation.

Why is a soft bounce important in email marketing?

A soft bounce in email marketing is important for several reasons. Firstly, it provides valuable feedback about the status of your email list. When an email soft bounces, it means that the email was delivered to the recipient's email server but bounced back undelivered before it got to the intended recipient. This could be due to a variety of reasons such as the recipient's mailbox being full, the server being down, or the email being too large.

Secondly, understanding soft bounces can help improve your email marketing strategy. By monitoring the rate of soft bounces, you can identify potential issues with your email campaigns and make necessary adjustments. For instance, if you notice a high rate of soft bounces due to full mailboxes, you might want to consider sending your emails at a different time when recipients are more likely to have space in their inbox. Additionally, consistently high soft bounce rates could indicate a problem with your email list, such as outdated or incorrect email addresses, which you would need to clean up to improve deliverability.

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

Reducing the soft bounce rate in email marketing involves several strategies. Firstly, ensure that your email list is clean and updated. This means removing any email addresses that have previously resulted in a soft bounce. Regularly updating your email list can help to reduce the number of soft bounces you experience.

Secondly, avoid sending emails at peak times. This is because email servers can often become overloaded during these periods, resulting in a higher number of soft bounces. Lastly, ensure that your emails are not too large in size. Emails with large attachments or high-resolution images can often result in a soft bounce. Therefore, try to keep your emails as small and as simple as possible.

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

In email marketing, a soft bounce and a hard bounce refer to different types of email delivery failures. A soft bounce is a temporary issue, often related to the recipient's mailbox being full, the server being down, or the email being too large. The email might still be delivered once the issue is resolved, or the email system may attempt to resend the email after a certain period of time.

On the other hand, a hard bounce is a permanent failure to deliver the email. This could be due to various reasons such as the recipient's email address being invalid or non-existent, or the recipient's server has blocked delivery. Unlike soft bounces, hard bounces are not resolvable and the email will never be successfully delivered. It's important for email marketers to regularly clean their email lists to remove addresses that cause hard bounces, as these can negatively impact their sender reputation.

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