Why does Email bounce?

Email bounce is nothing but undelivered email which never reaches its destination. When an email is sent, it passes through multiple servers, if there are any issues with the recipient’s mail server or with email address, email is sent back to sender with reason why it is not delivered. This is the common issue among the email marketers who send to large set of email addresses.
Two types of emails bounce:

  • Soft Bounce
  • Hard Bounce

Soft Bounce: Soft bounce appears when the recipients email address has temporary delivery issue. This might occur when the recipient’s server has issue like the recipient’s mailbox may be full or the sending email may be unable to process due to high traffic. In most of the cases the email server re-attempts to send the email over a period of time and the message is considered as undeliverable only when the retry period expires without a successful delivery.

Hard Bounce: It’s a permanent problem, appears when the email is permanently undeliverable which means that the email address is no longer available or the mail address may be blocked by the recipient’s mail server. Email address which generates the hard bounce should be deleted from the database as it should not cause the same issue further.

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Let’s understand the reasons for Email bounce:

  • The recipients’ email address may be blocked by the server.
  • The sending IP address which you are using may be blocked.
  • The recipient server may be overloaded or temporarily unavailable.
  • The recipient mailbox may be full.
  • The recipient has activated an auto responder or vacation reply.
  • The sending email size may be too large.
  • An email address may be inactive or no longer available.

How to control bounce backs?

  • In the case of soft bounce, you can try to resend the email but if your receiving bounce even after many tries you need to assume the email address is no longer available
  • In case of hard bounce, it always better to immediately remove the email address from the list, in most of the email deployment platforms it will be automatically removed. Bounce back can be avoided when you frequently cleanse your email list.

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