Digital Marketing

Hard Bounce vs Soft Bounce in Email Marketing

February 21, 2023

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Hard bounces are bad. There’s no other way to put it. They’re a sign that your email marketing efforts aren’t resonating with customers, and they can lead to a number of issues, including lost sales and unhappy clients. If you want to avoid these problems in the future, it’s important that you understand what hard bounces are and how they happen so that you can make changes within your business or organization that will help reduce them over time.

The differences between hard and soft bounces in email marketing.

Hard bounces are when the email address is invalid, while soft bounces are when the email address is valid, but the recipient’s inbox is full or their spam filter is too aggressive. Hard bounces are more serious than soft bounces because they can lead to your emails being marked as spam by Google and other email service providers (ESPs).

Hard bounce emails will be reported back to you via a report in your MailChimp account so that you can view which IP addresses were responsible for sending these bounces. Soft bounces will not show up on reports because they’re not considered “bounces” under MailChimp’s system—they’re just sent straight from your ESPs instead of being processed through MailChimp first.

What is a Hard Bounce?

A hard bounce is when a server rejects an email message, usually due to a problem with the sending server or the recipient’s mailbox. In other words, it’s when you send out an email and it doesn’t get through. Hard bounces can be caused by many things:

  • The recipient’s mailbox may be full or empty
  • Their system may not allow emails sent from certain domains/domains they don’t trust (like
  • Your own hosting provider might have banned your domain name

What is a Soft Bounce?

A soft bounce is when a recipient has opened and read your email but hasn’t clicked any links. The email address is still valid, so it’s not an error on your part.

What causes this? There are several possible reasons:

  • The recipient may have simply forgotten to click through one of the links included in their email (e.g., a list of events).
  • They might not have had enough time to finish reading the message before they were interrupted by another task or another person who needed attention right away and was more important than you were at that moment in time (this usually happens on weekends when we’re busy with family activities).
  • They may have accidentally closed out of your message without reading all of it because they didn’t realize that clicking anything would open up other applications such as social media apps like Facebook Messenger or Instagram which also require authorization from users before being able to send messages over those platforms.*

Why You Should Care About Hard Bounce Rates

If you’re new to email marketing and you’re getting a lot of hard bounces, it’s important to know why. A hard bounce can be an indication that your list is no longer active or that there are problems on the backend with your email provider (or both).

If you get a lot of hard bounces, it means that some people have unsubscribed from your lists because they don’t find anything useful in them anymore—and if this happens over time, it could cost you money! You also run the risk of losing credibility as a result.

How to Reduce Your Email Marketing Hard Bounce Rates

There are a few things you can do to reduce your hard bounce rates:

  • Make sure your list is clean. You should be using the correct contact information for each person on your list, and if there’s an issue with their email address or phone number (or both), you may want to contact them directly instead of relying on bounce rates as a metric for quality.
  • Use double opt-in processes for lists where it’s appropriate; this will increase conversions by nearly 50 percent!
  • Use a clean list of contacts so that recipients don’t have multiple contact options in any particular area; this helps improve conversion rates while also making sure they feel less spammy when opening emails from you again in the future.

Understand what a hard bounce is and how to avoid them.

When you send emails to people who have unsubscribed from your list, it’s called a hard bounce. It’s a good idea to know how many hard bounces you’re getting and how to avoid them.

If you’re not familiar with what a hard bounce is or why they matter, let me explain:

  • A hard bounce occurs when someone clicks on the link in your email but then doesn’t take action within 24 hours (or whatever time period is set by MailChimp). The result? You get no email opens and no conversions because there’s no way for them to buy anything right away!
  • You can reduce your total number of hard bounces by making sure that all links work properly before sending out an email campaign; otherwise, these people won’t open any emails at all—which means no conversions!


If your bounce rate is too high, you might want to take a look at how well your subscribers are receiving your messages. The best way to do this is by sending them fewer emails over time and sending them more often. This will help you reduce hard bounces in both cases—if there’s too much junk in the inboxes of your subscribers, or if they don’t respond because they hate getting marketing emails from companies they don’t know!

Thanks For Reading !

Author - Rithik Valsan


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