What is Hard Bounce?

What is Hard Bounce?

Isn’t it annoying when your email gets bounced? When sending a large number of emails, bouncing is unavoidable. It could be hard as well as a soft bounce. We have already discussed the soft bounce previously and now we are going to explain what is a hard bounce.

What is hard bounce?

An email that cannot be delivered due to any reason permanently. There could be tons of reason behind a hard bounce but all are permanent reasons. A hard bounce is an important email metric and its reduction is the goal of every email marketer. A high hard bounce rate can blacklist the domain of the sender. That’s why they are the most critical bounces and the most occurring ones according to postmarkapp.com.

Why email gets hard bounce?

The case of hard bounce emails is entirely different from soft bounce emails. In soft bounce emails, there are chances of recovery but here, it is a permanent failure of email delivery. The email gets returned to the sender as a complete failure. There can be many reasons behind a hard bounce email like

  • The domain is invalid
  • Email addresses are incorrect.
  • The recipient has blocked the sender’s IP.
  • The mailbox of the receiver is full and cannot take more emails.
  • The sender’s email has been blocked by the receiver.

Why should you be worried about hard bounce?

In the world of marketing, bounce rates have a really bad reputation and can be a real pain for your campaign. You must know certain things about hard bounce:

  • Possibility of being labeled as spam: Email servers regularly monitor the bounce rate for your emails. A high rate can result your email marked as spam.
  • Blacklisting: Anti-spam organizations and ISP providers highly discourage spamming. Your IP could land on blacklist being of high hard bounce rate.
  • Bad Reputation: Email service providers monitor the IPs and give a reputation to every sender. High bounce rates cause tarnishing of your reputation.
  • Money and resource loss: It can result in loss of money and resources as you are putting effort and getting no output.

Hence, hard bounces should be managed immediately for it can cause huge losses.

What to do with hard bounce emails?

Handle your hard bounce emails regularly. You can use any service providers who can do the stuff for you. They might cost a little more than maintaining an email server all by yourself but they manage the thing better so you do not have to worry about maintaining a list of emails.


  • Keep the list up to date and keep removing the old, unresponsive email addresses.
  • Make sure your email list is well organized and clean. This minimizes the room for error.
  • Check spam mail database to see if your IP is there or not
  • Use test emails before sending them.
  • Include email management options in your service.
  • Monitor your bounce rate, responses daily.


Hard bounces are dangerous if not carefully managed. Serious steps should be taken to manage them accordingly. They are dead emails with no hope of coming back alive again.


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