What's the difference between a Soft and Hard bounce?

Soft bounce

A soft bounce is an email message that gets as far as the recipient's mail server (it recognises the address) but is bounced back undelivered before it gets to the intended recipient.

A soft bounce might occur because the recipient's mailbox is full, the server is down or swamped with messages, the message is too large or the user has abandoned the mailbox. Most email service providers will attempt to deliver the email regularly for a few days.

Hard bounce

A hard bounce is an email message that has been returned to the sender and is permanently undeliverable. Causes include invalid addresses (domain name doesn't exist, typos, changed address, etc.) or the email recipient's mail server has blocked your server.

What happens to hard bounces in the Swift Digital Suite?

Hard bounces are automatically "suppressed" from your mail groups, ensuring that when you send your next campaign you will not incur any email credits on bogus email addresses.

How can I clean up my bounces?

Soft bounces are temporary problems and do not need to be removed from your mailing lists. Hard bounces are permanently undeliverable and are better removed from your mailing list to keep it clean and effective. It is best that you download the hard bounces and manually go through and clean them.

To export hard bounces:

Go to the edition report - click on the hard bounce drill down and export the list to CSV. You can also get a full bounce report from the export area of the Mail House by using the export from report data function.


More information on bounce codes:

Hard and Soft bounce: Subcategories of Codes and Definitions

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