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What is a Hard Bounce vs a Soft Bounce?

Q: I just noticed that my email received a hard bounce and I was marked as a bad email. We had a temporary issue with our email, but it was quickly resolved. I'm wondering why emails with one hard bounce would be marked HB. Also, is it possible to have contacts marked HB, but not marked "bad email." I fear that we have many subscribers whose emails might not be permanently bad, but who have issues with in-boxes being too full or some other temporary issue that would cause emails to bounce.

 

A: Here is some information to understand with regard to what registers a HB or a SB

A Hard Bounce is registered when someone's email address was undeliverable (no message was delivered) and the message we received from their email server indicated the reason was permanent. An example would be that they closed this email account. After a single Hard Bounce, a member's Contact Preference for Email will be set to Bad Email. This is standard procedure for us and many other bulk email programs.

An inbox being full does NOT register a Hard Bounce, it registers a Soft Bounce.

A Soft Bounce is registered when someone's email address was undeliverable (no message was delivered) but the message we received from their email server indicated the reason may be temporary. After three consecutive Soft Bounces, the email address will be marked as bad. An exception to this rule is if the soft bounce is due to a content block (cb).

If a member opens an email which generated a soft bounce, such as a vacation auto-responder, the system will remove that soft bounce from their record.

You are welcome to do a search of who has their email set to Bad Email and reach out to them personally via phone to determine an updated email address to send communication to.

Read our support article about PowerMail results for some more info.

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