Email marketing terms

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Hard Bounce

A hard bounce is an email that has failed to deliver for permanent reasons, such as the recipient’s address is invalid (either because the domain name is incorrect, isn’t real, or the recipient is unknown.)

Having a high volume of email addresses on your list which are hard bounces can be dangerous to your deliverability—spam filters can view these as a red flag. With Campaign Monitor, hard bounces are automatically removed from your subscriber list so you don’t pay to send to them again.

While hard bounces are more damaging to your sender reputation than soft bounces, maintaining list hygiene is still an important step of email marketing.

You can remove inactive subscribers to keep your list healthy and metrics accurate, but first. try sending a re-engagement campaign. A re-engagement campaign attempts to once again interest those inactive subscribers who are no longer engaging with your emails.

Your re-engagement email should explain why your subscriber is receiving the email. Ideally, the email will encourage the subscriber to decide if they want to stay on the list or unsubscribe altogether.

Your re-engagement or reactivation email campaigns should fit sensibly into your email cadence. For example, if you send a daily newsletter, you may try to re-engage those who haven’t opened in 30 days. But if you send a monthly newsletter, then re-engagement may be a quarterly campaign.

You can automatically remove hard bounces, review your metrics, and create re-engagement campaigns through an ESP like Campaign Monitor. You can learn more about our features here.


The email delivery failed because because the email address was for a false domain, thus producing a hard bounce.

Related terms
Bounced EmailSoft Bounce
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