Email Markiting: Hard Bounces And Soft Bounces, How To Anaylze Them?

Email Markiting

As part of your Inbound Marketing strategy , you will certainly realize emailing campaigns. For this purpose, you have surely noticed the presence of “bounces” in your email marketing reports … Some are referred to as “hard” and others as “soft”.

So what does that mean? What are the differences between Hard Bounces and Soft Bounces? Markentive answers these questions!


The concept of “bounce” is easy to understand. The bounces indicate that your emailing could not be delivered to the recipient. It is then returned to you via a provisional or error message.

To find out the “bounce” rate for an emailing campaign , simply calculate the total number of error messages received as a result of your mailing.

Nevertheless, in order to refine your analysis, it is essential to distinguish  soft bounces  from  hard bounces  . Until you make this distinction, you will not be able to analyze the results of your email marketing strategy.


Soft bounces and hard bounces have different importance in your statistics. Let us look at the definition of each notion to understand their main differences.


The soft bounce corresponds to a temporary rejection of the message by the recipient’s server. This may be due to an email that has too much content, a full inbox, or a server crash of the recipient.

But the email address you filled is correct, it does exist! You can try again later.


When it comes to a hard bounce, the emailing is sent back to the sender permanently . This one is indelivrable. Hard bounces can be caused for various reasons like an invalid email address or the blocking of your email by the recipient.

In this case, there is no need to retry a message, your message will never arrive at your destination. Hard Bounce email addresses must be removed from your emailing database.


Note the presence of some bounces in the results of your emailing campaigns is not alarming, as soon as you give yourself time to study the scores you have obtained for the different rates. According to a study by Mailchimp , on average:

  • The soft bounce rates range from 0.34% to 2.82%
  • Rates of hard bounces between 0.33% and 2.62%

From this data, the interpretation of your results will be much more relevant. If your performance is below these averages, it means that your email marketing strategy is efficient .

On the other hand, if not, you must implement corrective actions. The negative impact of hard bounces is important on your emailing strategy, especially on your deliverability rate . It is therefore essential to focus, initially, on the latter.

The only solution available to you is to remove all hard bounced email addresses from your client database. This is justified for two reasons:

  • Hard bounces impact the return rate, so the results of your campaigns are mixed.
  • As soon as your hard bounce rates are high and this happens in each of your campaigns, you can be assimilated to a spammer. Eventually your email will be blocked by your server.

For soft bounce, since the problem is temporary, you can retry a shipment and keep it in your database. On the other hand, if they generate an error message three times in succession, delete them.

To reduce your rates of soft bounces and hard bounces, put in place several preventive actions:

  • Regularly update your customer database
  • Adopt a double opt-in strategy
  • Give the opportunity to unsubscribe from your emailing
  • Ensure your advertiser reputation

To ensure that your Inbound Marketing generates a ROI that meets your expectations, monitor your hard and soft bounces to take the necessary action quickly. By regularly analyzing the performance of your emailing, you can optimize your campaigns and the impact of your strategy.

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