Soft Bounces vs Hard Bounces

We the digital marketers are effectively involved in email marketing services. One of the advantages of using Mail Goes email marketing service is its ability to provide valuable information to the customers; this is the positive interaction data which allows you to see the effectiveness of your campaigns. But it is necessary for you to know the negative rates of your campaign to know your caliber and to improve the desired results.

One particular metric to be concerned from the negative track list is Bounces. The rate of your bounces gives you an idea about the quality of work done. Having a high bounce rate will indicate that you have failed to reach your readers mind.

The Definition of an Email Bounce:
When an email message cannot be delivered to an email address, it is reported as a bounce. There are lots of different reasons why emails bounce. So when it happens, a "return to sender" message is sent from the recipient's mail server to explain why. It's a good idea to keep a close eye on your bounce numbers to be sure your campaigns are reaching your subscribers and that you're abiding by spam laws.

Explanation and Contents of a bounce message:
The subscriber's email server either accepts or rejects an email newsletter when it is sent. If the email newsletter is accepted, then the subscriber’s status remains active in your designed application. If the email newsletter has been rejected, then the subscriber’s status changes to Bounced. It is thus important to understand what bounces are and what types there are.

Generally the bounce message will help you to identify the cause for an email delivery failure. These are following reasons,

1) The date and time the message was bounced,
2) The identity of the mail server that bounced it,
3) The headers of the bounced message, and some or all of the content of the bounced message.
4) The RFC code and the reason that it was bounced (e.g. user unknown or mailbox full),

Once we receive a bounce message from a mail server, we use the bounce code to determine if the bounce is a hard bounce (permanent failure) or a soft bounce (temporary failure)

According to the RFC code, bounces are described by a three digit code. Hard bounces are represented by a 5XX code and Soft bounces are represented by 4XX code. However not all the ISPs follow this rule, there are exceptions.

Generally, there are two types of Bounces: a soft bounce and a hard bounce

Differences between Soft bounce and a Hard bounce:
Soft bounces typically indicate a temporary failure to an email address. When an email addresses soft bounces, it will immediately display as a soft bounce in the campaign report or at the senders list. While there are many reasons an email address may soft bounce, below are some common reasons this could happen.

1) Mailbox is full (over quota).
2) Recipient email server is down or offline.
3) Email message is too large.

At MailGoes, we will continue to attempt to deliver the email over the course of three days. If the email still soft bounces after we've attempted delivery for those three days, it will remain logged as a soft bounce on the campaign report. If the email can be delivered during the three-day period, we'll remove it from your list of soft bounces for that campaign. If an email address continues to soft bounce, then that address will be blocked.

A Hard Bounce indicates a permanent failure of an email cannot be delivered. Hard bounced email addresses are removed automatically and immediately from the active subscribers and placed in the Cleaned portion of your list. While there are many reasons an email address may hard bounce, below are some common reasons this could happen.

1) Recipient email address does not exist or invalid
2) Domain name does not exist.
3) Recipient email server has completely blocked delivery.

Bottom line: Soft bounces can be changed into active subscribers by checking delivery status in next attempt, since it is short term issue which can be taken care of but the hard bounces are need to be permanently cleaned from your list, as they are invalid and non-existent addresses.

Reducing your Bounce Rate:
Less bounces means more reach-ability, which may convert into more revenue, and a stronger connection with customers. An unusual high bounce rate is also a signal of poor user experience, so it is worth decreasing it to a point where you’re sure that your users are 'good bounces', not bad ones. So how can we lower our bounce rate? Below are some tips that will help you get started.

Update your outdated list:
Regularly clean your hard bounce list or the invalid customers from your database. It affects your sender reputation, so keeping your list hygienic will lead you to achieve higher delivery rates. MailGoes allows you to manage your bounce lists right from your panel and here you can block hard bounces after a certain period.

Be Responsive:
Once you come across a subscriber, send a confirmation mail along with a warm greeting. This way you can make sure that the email id is not only valid, but the readers have shown interest in your email newsletter.

Regularly check your email delivery status:
Regularly monitor your email delivery rates by paying close attention to your bounce rates as well as your subscribers list. With this you can reduce permanent failures before they cause severe damage to your reputation.

Achieving high email delivery rates or less bounces is not at all a big task if you know where to tie the ropes. For more tips subscribe us. MailGoes Email Marketing is ready to help you for all success at all times.


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