What is a hard bounce?

A hard bounce is an email that cannot be delivered to the intended recipient. This happens when a user’s mailbox or domain is inactive or does not exist, meaning that the message cannot be successfully transmitted.

Hard bounces can also occur if there are formatting errors in the address or if the server is unable to deliver messages due to restrictions such as spam prevention measures.

Hard bounce vs soft bounce – what’s the difference?

A hard bounce is an email that cannot be delivered to the intended recipient. Hard bounces can occur if the address does not exist or if there are formatting errors in the address.

A soft bounce, on the other hand, is an email that could not be delivered due to temporary issues. Soft bounces can occur due to full inboxes, temporary connection problems between servers, or other transient issues.

How to fix hard bounces

The best way to fix a hard bounce email is to make sure the address is accurate.

Check for typos and formatting errors, such as incorrect domain names or missing “@” symbols. If you’re sure the address is correct, try to contact the recipient or their email provider to troubleshoot further.

Additionally, you can use a third-party validation service that can help verify if an email address is valid and deliverable.

What happens if too many emails bounce?

As a general rule, you should expect anywhere up to 2% bounce rate with your email campaigns (98% deliverability). If you see a bounce rate higher than that, it’s worth looking into.

What happens when too many emails bounce depending on your email marketing platform and email service provider. It’s common practice, however, for email marketing platforms to stop sending messages if a high bounce rate is detected. This is done to protect your sender reputation and deliverability.

Email marketing campaigns with Emarsys

Emarsys helps leading brands like PUMA, Klarna, Pizza Hut, and Nike to convert subscribers and drive repeat purchases with an AI-powered platform that sends the right content to the right people, at the right time – with up to 99% deliverability.