As a marketer, sending emails to your subscribers is a crucial aspect of your marketing efforts. However, not all emails are delivered to the intended recipient's inbox. Bounce rates can negatively impact your email campaigns, and it's essential to understand the different types of bounces, including soft email bounces.

In this article, we'll explain what a soft email bounce is and how it differs from a hard bounce. We'll also discuss the reasons for soft bounces and how to reduce their occurrence in your email campaigns.

What is a Soft Email Bounce?

email bounce

A soft email bounce occurs when an email is returned to the sender due to a temporary issue with the recipient's email address or server. The email is not delivered to the recipient's inbox but is returned to the sender with an error message indicating that the email could not be delivered temporarily.

A soft bounce is different from a hard bounce, which occurs when an email is returned to the sender because the recipient's email address is invalid or does not exist. A hard bounce is a permanent delivery failure, while a soft bounce is temporary.

Reasons for Soft Bounces

Several reasons can cause soft email bounces, including:

  • Mailbox Full: The recipient's mailbox is full, and no more messages can be delivered.
  • Server Issues: The recipient's email server is down or experiencing issues, making it temporarily unable to receive emails.
  • Message Size: The email message is too large for the recipient's mailbox or server to handle.
  • Content Issues: The email message triggers spam filters or other email security measures, preventing it from being delivered to the recipient's inbox.

How to Reduce Soft Bounces

To reduce the occurrence of soft bounces in your email campaigns, consider the following tips:

  • Monitor Your Bounce Rates: Regularly review your email campaign reports to identify any patterns or trends in your bounce rates.
  • Verify Email Addresses: Ensure that the email addresses on your email list are valid and up-to-date.
  • Segment Your Email List: Create targeted email campaigns for specific segments of your email list to reduce the likelihood of triggering spam filters.
  • Use a Valid Sender Address: Use a legitimate sender address that recipients can reply to if they have any issues receiving your emails.
  • Follow Email Best Practices: Follow email best practices, such as avoiding spam trigger words, using a clear and concise subject line, and providing a clear and visible unsubscribe link.


Soft email bounces can negatively impact your email campaigns' success rates, but they are a common occurrence that can be managed through proper email list management and email best practices. By monitoring your bounce rates and taking steps to reduce soft bounces, you can improve your email campaign's deliverability and reach your target audience effectively.