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Hard bounce

What is a hard bounce?

A hard bounce is a type of email bounce that occurs when an email is permanently rejected by the recipient’s mail server. It typically happens because of an invalid or non-existent email address, or when the recipient’s server blocks the email. Hard bounces negatively impact email deliverability and sender reputation. The opposite of soft bounces, which are temporary delivery failures, hard bounces generate bounce messages. They indicate the reason for the failure and should be regularly monitored and managed in email marketing campaigns.

What is the difference between a soft and a hard bounce?

A soft bounce is a temporary email delivery failure, typically due to a temporary issue with the recipient’s mailbox or mail server. It’s caused by things like a full inbox, server downtime, or a message size limit. Soft bounces may be retried for delivery. On the other hand, a hard bounce is a permanent email delivery failure caused by a non-existent or invalid email address, recipient blocking, or other permanent issues. Hard bounces generate bounce messages, while soft bounces do not. Managing and reducing bounce rates is important for maintaining good email deliverability in email marketing campaigns.

How do I avoid hard bounces?

To avoid hard bounces, take the following steps:

  1. Ensure valid email addresses. Verify and validate email addresses to prevent sending emails to invalid or non-existent addresses.

  2. Use accurate and error-free email messages. Craft well-formed email messages with correct formatting and avoid common errors that trigger bounce responses.

  3. Keep recipient information up to date. Regularly update your email lists to remove inactive or outdated email addresses.

  4. Monitor and respond to bounce messages. Pay attention to bounce notifications and take appropriate action to address any issues.

  5. Maintain a good sender reputation. Follow best practices for email marketing, like avoiding spammy content and adhering to email regulations.

  6. Manage soft bounces. Monitor and address soft bounces, as they may lead to hard bounces if left unresolved.

  7. Optimize email campaigns. Enhance customer engagement and relevance of your emails to reduce the likelihood of emails being marked as spam or triggering bounces.

  8. Monitor bounce rates. Keep track of your bounce rates and identify patterns or trends that may indicate potential issues.

  9. Establish good relationships with ISPs. Build positive relationships with internet service providers to improve email deliverability and minimize bounce issues.

How do I fix a bounced email?

To fix a bounced email, first carefully review the bounce message received, as it usually contains valuable information about the reason for the bounce, including any error codes or specific instructions. Next, verify the recipient’s email address to ensure it’s accurate and properly formatted. This is crucial as invalid or outdated email addresses can result in bounces. Additionally, check if the email was flagged as spam by spam filters or blocked by the recipient’s internet service provider.

Adjusting the email content or the sender’s reputation can help address these issues. It’s also advisable to avoid using free email accounts for important email campaigns, as they may be more prone to bouncing. Consider using reputable email service providers for better deliverability and monitoring the bounce rate to track and address any ongoing issues.

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