Soft Bounce

Soft Bounce


A soft bounce is a temporary delivery failure of an email due to a temporary issue with the recipient’s email server or inbox.


A soft bounce is a temporary failure to deliver an email to the intended recipient’s inbox. It occurs when a temporary issue with the recipient’s email server or inbox prevents the email from being returned, such as a full inbox or a technical problem with the email server.

soft bounce & Hard bounce

Soft bounces are usually resolved automatically, and the email is typically delivered after a few attempts. However, if the problem persists, the email may eventually be classified as a hard bounce and permanently rejected.

Soft bounces are a common occurrence in email marketing. They can be caused by various factors, such as the recipient’s email server being down, the email being too large, or the recipient’s inbox being full. Email marketers can regularly clean their email lists, avoid using certain trigger words or phrases in the email content, and ensure their emails comply with the email service provider’s policies and guidelines to reduce the likelihood of soft bounces.

Importance of Soft Bounce

Soft bounces are important for email marketers to understand because they provide information about the health and deliverability of their email campaigns. Here are some reasons why soft bounces are important:

  1. Temporary issue: Soft bounces indicate that the email address is still valid, but a temporary problem prevents the email from being delivered. This means that there is still a chance for the email to be delivered in the future.
  2. Email hygiene: Soft bounces can be caused by invalid or inactive email addresses. By regularly monitoring soft bounces and removing invalid email addresses, email marketers can improve their email list hygiene and increase their deliverability rates.
  3. Engagement metrics: Soft bounces can also impact engagement metrics such as open and click-through rates. If an email bounces, it will not be counted as delivered, which can skew the metrics and make it difficult to accurately gauge the campaign’s success.
  4. Reputation management: Email service providers use bounce rates to determine the sender’s reputation. High bounce rates can negatively impact the sender’s reputation and increase the likelihood of future emails being marked as spam.

How to prevent Soft Bounce?

While soft bounces are typically temporary and resolve on their own, there are several steps that email marketers can take to prevent them in the first place:

  1. Use double opt-in: Implementing a double opt-in process can help prevent invalid email addresses from being added to your email list, reducing the likelihood of soft bounces.
  2. Regularly clean your email list: Remove inactive or invalid email addresses from your email list to reduce the chances of soft bounces caused by these addresses.
  3. Check email content: Certain keywords and phrases in the email content can trigger spam filters and increase the likelihood of soft bounces. Avoid using trigger words such as “free”, “buy now”, or “act fast” in your emails.
  4. Manage sending frequency: Sending too many emails to the same recipient in a short period can trigger soft bounces. Manage your sending frequency and consider using email scheduling tools to spread out your email sends.
  5. Monitor delivery rates: Regularly monitor your delivery rates and investigate any sudden drops in deliverability to identify and resolve issues that could lead to soft bounces.


An example of a soft bounce is when an email cannot be delivered to the recipient’s inbox due to a full mailbox, a temporary issue with the email server, or the email being too large to be accepted by the recipient’s server. In such cases, the email is returned to the sender with a soft bounce message indicating that the email could not be delivered then but would be retried later.


What is a soft bounce in email marketing?

A soft bounce is a temporary failure to deliver an email message to a recipient’s inbox. The email message is returned to the sender with an error message indicating that the message could not be provided at that time.

What causes a soft bounce?

Soft bounces are caused by temporary issues with the recipient’s email server or mailbox, such as a full mailbox, a brief outage of the email server, or a message too large to be accepted by the recipient’s server.

How is a soft bounce different from a hard bounce?

A soft bounce is a temporary issue that can often be resolved independently. In contrast, a hard bounce is a permanent failure to deliver an email message due to an invalid email address or a non-existent domain.

What are the implications of a high soft bounce rate?

A high soft bounce rate can negatively impact email deliverability and sender reputation, as it indicates to email service providers that the sender is sending to a low-quality email list. This can lead to emails being filtered as spam or blocked altogether.

How can soft bounces be prevented?

Soft bounces can be prevented by using a double opt-in process to ensure valid email addresses, regularly cleaning email lists to remove inactive or invalid addresses, checking email content for trigger words that may trigger spam filters, managing sending frequency, and monitoring delivery rates.


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