Soft Bounces

A soft bounce is an email message that gets as far as the recipient's mail server but is bounced back undelivered before it gets to the intended recipient. A soft bounce might occur because the recipient's inbox is full. A soft bounce message may be deliverable at another time or may be forwarded manually by the network administrator in charge of redirecting mail on the recipient's domain.

Soft bounces result from several situations:

  1. Over Quota – These soft bounces occur when the recipients email inbox has exceeded its storage or email capacity.
  2. Blocked Content – These soft bounces occur primarily because your email's spam score is too high, and your emails are not delivered.  (For tips on how to improve your spam score, See:  “Tips to Improve Deliverability”).
  3. Remote Configuration Error – These soft bounces occur when the recipient’s email server is not configured correctly or is temporarily unreachable.

*Soft Bounces will convert to Hard bounces after soft bouncing five (5) times.  No management is necessary for soft bounces.  Contacts with soft bounces will continue to receive email.  After a contacts email bounces five (5) times, it is converted to a Hard Bounce status.

Hard Bounces 

These occur when the email address you are sending to does not exist, and an email you sent to such an address bounces back to you, the sender.  This is usually the result of an invalid email address, but could also be a result of poor data entry or invalid characters in these email addresses, or they may no longer exist.

Hard bounces result from several situations:

  1. Inactive – The recipients email address is not active at this time.
  2. Email Address Does Not Exist.
  3. Domain Does Not Exist.
  4. Relay Error – We were unable to route the email to the recipient.  This may include a temporary network issue along the path to the recipient, or the recipient’s email server routes are not configured correctly.
  5. Invalid Email – The email address is malformed (may have invalid characters)

*Contacts with hard bounces are flagged as such, remain in your contact list, but will no longer receive emails.  This includes those contacts that have had more than five (5) soft bounces.