What is hard and soft bounce?

Many of you often hear the words hard bounce and soft bounce without knowing what it is. I will try to explain it as simple as I can.

When you send an email, this email goes to a specific address. Responsible for getting the email is a mail server. If this server cannot deliver the email to the specific person, then it sends the email back, saying that the email cannot be delivered. So the email bounces.

The reason why this email is sent back and bounced is the difference between soft and hard bounce.

Soft bounce:

Soft bounce means that the recipient’s email address exists but for some reasons the email is not delivered. Those reasons might be:

– recipient is on holidays and has set an auto reply mechanism,

– recipients mailbox is full,

– the message of the email is too large,

– the server of the recipient is down.

Our system will try to send the same email for 4 times and then if it continues to return it will be characterized as hard bounce.

Below there is a screenshot from the reports of a client, that was kind enough to share his reports.

Hard bounce:

Hard bounce means that the email address we are sending a message is permanently undeliverable. This can happen because:

– the email address is written wrong,

– recipient has deleted and changed his email,

– when recipients leave a job position they delete his job email,

– the recipients mail server has blocked your server.

In our platform when an email address is being characterized as hard bounced we automatically remove it from the mailing list and transfer the email into the bounced category. The screenshot below, from the same kind of client, is showing the bounces for the specific mailing list.