What is Soft Bounce?

What is Soft Bounce?

A soft bounce is a frequently used term in email marketing. It means that the emails that are not delivered to the recipient due to some problems on the other side. The soft bounce emails tell us that emails are still useable but are not available because of some reason.


Emails that are returned as undeliverable often have a code that shows the bounce type. After the bounce code is interpreted, it is marked either soft or hard bounce. But it is not necessary for an email to have a bounce code. There are certain emails without any code and identifying them is not easy.

What causes soft bounce?

Soft bounces indicate that the email is accurate and it can be used but is currently unavailable. For example, the inbox of the recipient is full. In such a case, your email will soft bounce and it will not be delivered to the recipient.

There are many other reasons, including:

  • The server is down because of some technical error.
  • The email is huge and the server cannot handle it.
  • User has temporarily disabled his account.

In the situation of soft bounces, the email marketer tries sending the message. A number of attempts are fixed until the email is delivered. In MailChimp, this is an automated process and if the email is not delivered, it is marked as a hard bounce. Once it is marked as a hard bounce, the email will be removed from the list. In the manual sending of emails, it is best to remove these emails by yourself and reaffirm the email list.

How do I stop soft bounce?

Bounced emails are annoying and the user will not get your well-crafted email. It is possible that your email gets stuck in the spam folder and you never know. Marketers use many tricks to minimize the short bounce in the emails. These tricks are listed below:

  • Correct the email formatting as your email list can have wrong punctuation or wrong domain suffixes.
  • After a user signs up to your email, make sure you send the confirmation email for verification. This can make your email list verified and have the correct email addresses.
  • On the websites include a profile management tab where users can update their email address.
  • Test your email before sending it to the people. This can prevent the email from going into spam if the email is too large.
  • Always have update your email option in the checkout process.
  • Avoid buying email lists from people. It is best to make your own email list.
  • Don’t forget to include an easy unsubscribe option in the email as it builds trust.
  • Avoid putting things like long subjects, image stuffing, keyword stuff, etc as this would result in your email in the spam folder.

There are many email marketing platforms like MailChimp, ElasticEmail, etc that provide tools for monitoring your emails.

Why should you care about soft bounce?

Soft bounce can be good and bad. Sometimes, resending emails work for marketing because, at times, the person is busy and does not show activity. There are chances that he might reply or engage after a few emails. But in some situations, emails don’t get any reply and hence are listed as hard bounce emails. It is necessary to remove such emails because keeping them on your list is a waste of resources. Your bounce rate should be less than 2% for a successful email campaign.


Understanding soft bounce can help you in the campaign. Soft bounce can be tackled with some effort making your email campaign effective. Therefore, soft bounce emails are valid for use before they turn in to hard bounce. Keep updating your email list to avoid resource wastage.


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