Email Performance Insight: High Soft Bounce Rate

This email had a high soft bounce rate when compared to the emails sent in the last 30 days.

A soft bounce is a temporary bounce, meaning while the delivery of your current message was unsuccessful, you may be able to deliver another email to that address at a later date. It could be bouncing because:

  • Too many people have marked your emails as spam.
  • You’ve been put on a blocklist.
  • The recipient’s mailbox is full.
  • The email account has been temporarily suspended.
  • Unforeseen errors or outages at the receiving mail server.
  • A high number of recipients had an out-of-office auto-responder turned on. Soft bounces due to auto-responders tend to increase during peak holiday seasons.

Our recommendations for managing soft bounces: 

  • Temporary bounces may not need immediate attention because they usually resolve on their own, but they should be closely monitored. 
  • Similar to Hard Bounces, after three bounces, it’s time to remove the email from your list as part of your list hygiene practices. Doing this removes the possibility that you’ll accidentally send to email addresses you know will bounce. Just make sure the interval in which those bounces happened was not too short, like over the course of a day.  
  • Be sure to ask your ESP what they do about soft bounces to ensure a process is in place for all key elements. Do they automatically attempt to resend your message? When and how many times until they give up? At what point do they convert a soft bounce to an undeliverable email address on your suppression list?
  • Actively manage the data quality of your list to reduce bounce rates.
  • Read more about managing bounces on our blog.

Email Performance Indicators in Litmus’ Integrated Insights Report (available in a Litmus Enterprise plan) automatically surface emails that are performing well - or not - and what you can learn from them. With visual identifiers and suggested next steps, you can say goodbye to tedious data analysis and focus on driving results. To learn more about how these indicators are calculated, visit the Email Performance Indicators Overview.

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