Digital Marketing Dictionary

What is Hard Bounce?

Hard Bounce happens when it is impossible to deliver an email to a recipient, permanently. If this happens, the message is returned (or bounced) to its sender.

Have you ever sent an email and received another one back indicating the inability to deliver it to its recipient? If the answer is yes, then you have already experienced a hard bounce. Do you want to know what this rebound is due to and what its consequences are?

Causes of Hard Bounce

Here are the main causes of hard bounce:

  1. Invalid email addresses: This may be because the address no longer exists, has expired, or your user has changed address. Sometimes, it also happens because there is a spelling error in the email we have registered in our database. This explains why the recipient will never receive our messages.
  2. Non-existent domain name: The part of the address that goes after the “@” symbol is the domain, and sometimes it happens that, although we have written it correctly, simply this site has ceased to exist.
  3. The recipient’s email server has blocked delivery: In this case, the provider’s anti-spam filter has completely blocked our emails.

Consequences of Hard Bounce

It is clear that hard bounces can be extremely detrimental to your best email marketing campaigns. If your recipients do not receive your emails, they will not be aware of your offers and news, so you will hardly have results.

In addition, the bounce can significantly damage your reputation as well as reduce the deliverability of your upcoming campaigns. If your emailings bounce today, tomorrow’s mailings will be affected as well. That’s why it’s important to take steps to reduce your hard bounce rate.

Tips for controlling the Hard Bounce

  • Optimize your contacts’ database: A high hard bounce rate is an indication that there are many wrong addresses or that they no longer exist in your email database.
  • Include the double opt-in or double validation system in your emailing campaigns: In this way, users will have to add their email and confirm it later when subscribing, for example, to your newsletter. The advantages of this method is that you can check that the address exists and that it is not false as it has been confirmed a second time. Consequently, you will make sure that your recipients really care about your emails and you will have a quality database. However, there is a disadvantage that many of your subscribers may not receive the validation email or simply forget to open it.
  • Use an online email validation tool: You will be able to analyze your emailing list massively before sending your email campaigns.

Hard Bounce vs Soft Bounce

Unlike hard bounce, whose consequences are permanent, the soft bounce rate refers to a temporary problem with a valid email address. In this case, the recipient will be able to receive the emails once the problem has been solved.

For example, the soft bounce may be because the receiver has a full inbox or because our message is too large and therefore cannot be delivered. Other causes of soft bounce include technical issues such as Internet or server failures. Either way, soft bounces are always temporary delivery issues with a valid address.

Importance of the bounce rate

It is really important that you analyze and closely monitor these email marketing metrics, as the effectiveness of your campaigns depends largely on them.

If you notice that there is a high hard bounce rate, you need to update your database and make sure your subscribers are quality. Otherwise, if you continue to maintain a high bounce rate, your emails will be more and more likely to end up in the SPAM folder. This will also impact your open rate.

Therefore, the best thing to do is to take action as soon as possible and have a program for mass emailing. For reference, the average acceptable bounce rate is around 2%. If you are getting more than 8% it is very likely that your account will be blocked until you can justify that the origin of your database is legitimate.