Resources Hub » Knowledge base » What Is a Soft Bounce in Email Marketing?

It takes time and effort to grow an email list. However, it’s worth it to take the time and grow your list the right way, which means building a list with quality subscribers. Ultimately, your email marketing list is a vehicle for growth and should form the base of your digital marketing strategy.

Building your list, mapping out your email marketing campaign, and finally putting it into action is a great feeling for any marketer. But what isn’t such a great feeling? After you’ve gone to all the effort to building your list and designing your messages, you never want to see that a number of emails weren’t delivered.

Usually, these undelivered emails are a result of one of two kinds of bounces: soft and hard bounces. In this post, we’ll look at what a soft bounce actually is.

Soft bounce definition

A soft bounce in email marketing refers to an email that gets as far as your recipient’s mail server but bounces back undelivered before it gets into the inbox. A soft bounce is a temporary deliverability issue as opposed to a hard bounce which is a permanent deliverability problem (and these contacts should immediately be removed from your list).

There are many causes for a soft bounce, some of which include:

  • The recipient’s inbox is full.
  • Email file size may be too large.
  • The server may be down.

An email that soft bounces may be deliverable at another time. With most email clients, re-sending is automatic, with 72 hours being the standard time cap for trying to resend the email.

Both soft and hard bounces are harmful to your email deliverability and, as such, should be looked into immediately.

How to reduce soft bounces in email marketing

To reduce the number of soft bounces when you run an email marketing campaign, you will have to take specific measures that will help your email’s chances of landing in inboxes.

Use double opt-in.

Always send a confirmation email to new subscribers requesting that they confirm their willingness to be on your email list. This helps make sure that your recipient’s email address is valid.

It also ensures that you are building a list of subscribers who will engage with your emails.

Watch out for spam triggers.

In designing and crafting your emails, make sure to avoid spam triggers, as these can very easily cause soft bounces in emails. Spam filters are designed to protect inboxes from malicious or unsolicited emails.

This is why it is important that your emails be designed in such a way that they pass the spam filters.

Send engaging content every time.

But the best way to ensure your emails get delivered is to create content that readers love. When subscribers open and engage with your emails, it tells email clients your messages are valuable.

If subscribers don’t open your emails, they may end up in the spam folder.

Manage your sender reputation.

Sender reputation is a score that ISPs use to determine the trustworthiness of an organization that sends emails. The higher your score, the more likely your emails will reach your subscribers’ inboxes.

Does it really matter?

Keeping track of your bounces, both soft and hard, is very important to your email marketing. If your bounce rate is too high, it will drastically affect your email deliverability, leading to ineffective email campaigns.

By using analytics and tracking tools, you can easily manage your bounce rates to ensure that your campaigns run at optimum levels.

What now?

If you haven’t been monitoring your soft bounces, now’s the time to start. If you are a Campaign Monitor customer, you can easily get a bounce report under the “campaigns tab.” For more tips, check out our post on improving email deliverability.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

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