Articles on: Emails

Understanding the Difference Between Soft Bounce and Hard Bounce in Sales Emails

In the realm of emails, two terms frequently arise: soft bounce and hard bounce. These terms are pivotal for marketers to comprehend as they directly influence the success and effectiveness of email campaigns. Understanding the disparity between soft bounces and hard bounces is crucial for optimizing email deliverability and maintaining a healthy sender reputation.

What is a Soft Bounce?

A soft bounce transpires when an email is temporarily undeliverable to the recipient's inbox. This could occur due to reasons such as a full inbox, server downtime, or a message that exceeds the recipient's size limit. In essence, a soft bounce suggests a temporary issue that may be resolved upon subsequent delivery attempts.

Common causes of soft bounces include:

Temporary Server Issues: Sometimes, the recipient's mail server might be experiencing temporary problems, leading to a soft bounce.
Recipient Full Mailbox: If the recipient's mailbox is full, it cannot accept new messages, resulting in a soft bounce.
Message Size Limit: If the email size exceeds the recipient's limit, it might bounce back temporarily.
Sending Domain Failed: Sometimes, the sending domain is not authenticated.

Soft bounces do not typically indicate a problem with the email address itself and may resolve with subsequent delivery attempts.

What is a Hard Bounce?

In contrast, a hard bounce denotes a permanent failure in delivering an email to the intended recipient. Hard bounces occur due to reasons that are typically irreversible, such as an invalid or non-existent email address, domain issues, or the recipient's server blocking incoming messages.

Key reasons for hard bounces include:

Invalid Email Address: If the email address is misspelled or no longer exists, the email will hard bounce.
Domain Issues: Sometimes, the recipient's domain might be invalid or inactive, leading to a hard bounce.
Blocked by Server: In some cases, the recipient's server might block incoming messages from certain senders, resulting in a hard bounce.

You can authenticate your emails by following the below actions

Authenticate Your Emails: Verify that your emails are properly authenticated using DKIM and SPF. You can read here about how to setup the same. In case your DKIM is not able to pass the set standards, you can refer to the below links to get it fixed.

For Gmail
For Outlook

Maintain a Positive Sender Reputation: Review your email practices to ensure compliance with Gmail's guidelines. Avoid practices that may harm your sender's reputation.

Use DMARC: Implement DMARC to protect your brand and enhance email authentication. More information is available on this link.

Outplay provides an option to retry failed emails once in 24 hours. After the retry, if the email still got failed, then user can manually retry those emails by filtering on the soft bounce reasons.

Updated on: 10/06/2024

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