Soft Bounce

What is a Soft Bounce?

A soft bounce is an email delivery issue in which an email message is returned to the sender as undeliverable. Soft bounces occur when there is a temporary issue with the recipient’s email account, such as an overfilled mailbox or a server issue.

Why Do Soft Bounces Happen?

Soft bounces are usually caused by one of the following:

  • The recipient’s mailbox is full
  • The email server is down or offline
  • The recipient’s email address is invalid
  • The email message is too large to be delivered
  • The email message was blocked by a spam filter

What is the Difference Between Soft and Hard Bounces?

The main difference between soft and hard bounces is that soft bounces are temporary issues, while hard bounces are permanent. In other words, soft bounces can usually be resolved by making adjustments to the email message or the recipient’s email account, while hard bounces cannot. For example, if the recipient’s mailbox is full, the sender can resend the email message once the mailbox has been cleared. However, if the email address is invalid, the sender will not be able to deliver the message and will receive a hard bounce.

How to Handle Soft Bounces

When dealing with soft bounces, it is important to take the following steps:

  • Check the bounce message to determine the cause of the issue
  • Resend the email after making any necessary adjustments
  • Monitor the recipient’s email account and resend the message if necessary
  • Update your contact list to remove any invalid email addresses

By taking these steps, you can reduce the number of soft bounces in your email campaigns and ensure that your messages are being delivered successfully.


Soft bounces can be a frustrating issue for email marketers, but they don’t have to be. By understanding the cause of soft bounces and taking the necessary steps to resolve them, you can keep your email campaigns running smoothly. For more information about soft bounces, see What is a Soft Bounce? and How to Reduce Soft Bounces in Your Email Campaigns.