Email Deliverability

What is a Bounced Email? And Why Do They Occur?

June 21, 2024
7 min.

When an email server can’t deliver an email to a recipient, it returns it to the sender.

This process is called an email bounce.

After so carefully crafting your email outreach campaign, it’s the last thing you want to happen.

Here’s why:

Why You Should Try to Avoid Bounces ⛷️

Apart from the obvious reasons of wasted effort and resources…

Bounces can also hurt your future deliverability.


Well, Internet Service Providers associate having a high bounce rate with spam.

Spammers usually use bad email lists, spammy email copy, and have poor sender reputations. All these three things lead to more bounces.

If many of your emails bounce, ISPs will consider you a spammer and lower your sender reputation, which, just like a snowball, leads to even more bounces.

That’s why following email deliverability’s best practices is essential.

💡To protect your deliverability and email outreach ROI, keep your bounce rate under 2%.

The Two Types of Bounces and Why They Happen 🕑

The two types of bounces are:

  • Hard bounces
  • Soft bounces

A simple way to think about them is that hard bounces happen because of a permanent issue, and soft bounces are more temporary in nature.

A hard bounce usually happens due to an invalid email address, a non-existing domain, or the receiving server blocking your sending domain or IP (i.e., your domain is on some kind of blacklist).

A soft bounce is a temporary email failure, and the sending server may continue attempting to send your email.

💡When doing email outreach, leads that return any type of bounce should immediately be removed from your campaign. Bounces hurt your deliverability, so you want to minimize occurrences as much as possible. Email outreach tools like lemlist remove bounced leads automatically.

Soft bounces occur due to full mailboxes, too-large emails, or the mailbox reaching some other limit imposed by the email service provider.

Next Step: Reduce Your Bounce Rate ⏬

A high bounce rate is a massive problem for your outreach (or any email marketing, for that matter).

Time to do something about it!

Let’s lower your bounce rate to improve your deliverability and get more eyeballs on your emails.

Here are 7 ways to reduce your email bounce rate.


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