To succeed in business today, you have to have an excellent, reliable app and website, and be able to reach your target customers. There’s no better way to do this than by using a healthy and well maintained email list, but undelivered emails can sink your marketing campaign.
Whether it’s a soft bounce or hard bounce, bouncing communications will impact your bottom line. Don’t panic; our handy guide will help you understand the difference between soft and hard email bounces, and show you how to reduce and prevent them.
What are Email Bounces?
Every business leader and entrepreneur should know the importance of effective communication with customers and potential customers. It’s essential to have a great product or service to offer, and to carry out regular and effective website and mobile app testing. It’s just as important to be able to reach customers and let them know about the great products you have for them.
Email marketing should be the cornerstone of all your marketing and sales campaigns, helping you engage with consumers and boost your conversion rate. That’s why it’s vitally important that your emails are read by as many people as possible. That isn’t always the case, though, and the prime culprits may be email bounces.
Put simply, an email bounce is when your email fails to reach a target inbox—it’s been rejected by the server. This applies to both soft and hard bounces, but just what is the difference between a hard and soft email bounce? It’s easy to remember: A hard bounce is permanent, but a soft bounce is only temporary.
Both varieties of email bounces are problematic. A 2021 study by Smart Insights found that the average business had a bounce rate in excess of 10%. By understanding what is a soft bounce and what is a hard bounce email problem, and taking appropriate action, you can achieve a much healthier delivery uptake.
Soft Email Bounces
You now know that soft bounces are a temporary problem, as opposed to the permanent difficulty presented by hard bounces. This means that the email server has been unable to deliver your email at that particular moment, but it may be able to deliver it at a later time.
The result of this can be a sales opportunity lost or missing an opportunity to connect with a potential customer in another way. That could mean waving goodbye to valuable feedback, an essential step in the CI feedback loop that ensures continuous integration, better customer understanding, and effective quality assurance throughout your business.
Understanding the cause of soft email bounces can help you overcome them. Here are their most common causes:
- Server outage
- Mailbox over capacity
- Verification problems
- Suspended email account
Server and Account Problems
Even the largest, most established email servers encounter problems from time to time. If your email bounces, it could be that the recipient’s server is down or temporarily unavailable due to maintenance or updates.
Alternatively, the email account itself may be temporarily suspended. In this case, sending the email again a day later can solve the soft bounce situation.
Another possible cause of email bouncing is that the server has been unable to verify your sending account. That’s why it’s important to follow the DMARC process and ensure that your email address passes the latest verification processes, whatever mass email services you use.
Hard Email Bounces
Soft email bounces can be bad for your marketing campaign, but hard email bounces can be even more disastrous for your business and your carefully crafted ecommerce sales content.
A hard bounce means not only that the server can’t receive your email, but that it will never be received. Here are the common hard bounce causes:
- Incorrect email address
- Email blocked by server
- Email address typos
Email Address Problems
There are a number of reasons why you may have an incorrect email address. The customer may have typed the address incorrectly or they may even have purposely given a false address. To combat this, always ensure that your email list is accurate and up to date: A QA process is just as important for your email list as it is for your products. Alternatively, you may have mistyped an address, a danger to be avoided at all costs.
Even if your emails pass the DMARC process they may still be blocked by the server, leading to a hard bounce. Some servers have strict rules over which email addresses are allowed to access the inbox, particularly if they belong to government organizations and the like.
Your Soft and Hard Email Bounce Solution
Both soft and hard email bounces are bad news, so do all you can to get your bounce rate below the 10% mark we looked at earlier. Hard bounces can be particularly damaging, as they can damage your email address reputation, resulting in even more bounces in future.
First things first; ensure that you and your staff always type emails correctly. Eliminating typos can do wonders for your bounce rate.
Secondly, get a little expert email verification help. You know how important it is to find the best accountancy software, the best inventory software, and the best ecommerce software – well, it’s just as important to have the best email verification solution.
A high-quality email verification system gives a deep clean to your email list, by verifying each email address one item at a time. Smart algorithms can detect which emails are valid, which are incorrect, and which contain a risk of bouncing. In this way, you can refine your email list and ensure that far fewer soft and hard email bounces occur.
In addition to invaluable email verification, it also pays to have a solution that automatically checks for duplicate emails, and emails that have no chance of being delivered because of typing and syntax errors.
If you don’t already use this kind of service, you’re sure to have duplicate and faulty email addresses on your list, costing you time and money.
The Advantages of Eliminating Email Bounces
Email verification solutions that cleanse your email list and keep it as up to date as possible can make a rapid difference to your bounce rate, especially if you also utilize a double verification process for those who sign up to your list.
A recent study showed that email communication is still the most effective method of digital marketing. 35% of respondents rated email marketing as a good solution, and 18% rated it as excellent, earning it the top spot.
That means that every received email is a step in the right direction, whereas every bounced email can be a sale that never happens.
Reducing hard and soft bounces by eliminating typos, double verifying sign ups, and using the best email verification solutions can make a real difference to your sales and profit margins. It can also boost the reputation of your email address, bringing discernible benefits today and tomorrow.
Felix Zoot Billson – Head of Marketing, Global App Testing
Felix Zoot Billson is the Head of Marketing for Global App Testing, a best-in-class business continuity solutions company that is founded on speed, impact and effort. Felix has become adept at growing businesses by focusing on creating optimized customer experiences to maximize business impact and revenue. On the weekends, you’ll find him reading his favorite novels and mountain biking. Here is his LinkedIn