Iubenda logo
Start generating


Table of Contents

The Ultimate Guide to Hard Bounce in Email Marketing

As an email marketer, there’s nothing more frustrating than a hard bounce. Not only does it prevent your message from reaching its intended recipient, but it also hurts your email deliverability and can damage your sender reputation. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the main reasons behind email servers’ hard bounces and what to check to avoid them.

Want to learn about the difference between hard bounce and soft bounce? 👀 Check out our article here →

Hard Bounce

What is a Hard Bounce?

A hard bounce occurs when an email is returned to the sender because the recipient’s email address is invalid or does not exist. Here are the main reasons behind hard bounces:

  • Invalid email address: This is the most common reason for a hard bounce. If the email address is mistyped or no longer in use, the email will be returned as a hard bounce.
  • Blocked email address: Sometimes, email addresses are blocked by the recipient’s server. This can happen if the recipient has marked your emails as spam or if their server has flagged your email as suspicious.
  • Non-existent domain: If the domain in the email address does not exist, the email will be returned as a hard bounce.
  • Email size limit: Some email servers have a limit on the size of emails they can receive. If the email you’re sending exceeds this limit, it will be returned as a hard bounce.

What causes a Hard Bounce?

A hard bounce is caused when an email message cannot be delivered to the recipient’s email address. This can happen due to several reasons, including an invalid email address, a blocked email address, a full mailbox, a server error, a spam filter, or a domain name issue. 

To prevent hard bounces, it’s essential to ensure that your email list is up-to-date and accurate, use reputable email service providers, and avoid sending spammy or irrelevant content.

How to Avoid Hard Bounce in Email Marketing?

So, how can you avoid hard bounces? Here are a few things to check:

  1. Verify email addresses: Before adding email addresses to your mailing list, verify that they are valid and in use. You can use email verification tools to help with this process.
  2. Keep your list clean: Regularly remove invalid or inactive email addresses from your mailing list to avoid sending to non-existent email addresses.
  3. Monitor your sender reputation: Your sender reputation is crucial to your email deliverability. If your emails are marked as spam or suspicious, your sender reputation will suffer, and your emails will be more likely to be blocked.
  4. Check email size: Before sending an email, check the size to ensure that it is within the limits of the recipient’s email server.

By taking these steps, you can reduce the number of hard bounces you receive and improve the effectiveness of your email campaigns. 

🚀 Want more tips and tricks? See our Essential Email Marketing Checklist – 3 Steps Only!

Did you know online shoppers abandon their cart 88% of the time before making a purchase?

Why not try our Abandoned Cart Email Templates