Email Bounce Back: What It Means and How to Fix It

Created On
July 16, 2022
Email Bounce Back

The bounce-back message is a common issue that can occur for several reasons. Whether we're sending a large mailing list or the mail copy is simply not reaching our recipients, understanding the meaning of bounce back and how to fix it is crucial for successful email marketing.  

In this post, we'll discuss bounce back and how to troubleshoot it, so our outreach messages get through to the subscribers. Let's get started!

What Does Email Bounce Back Mean?

It is a common issue that many marketers face today. A bounce back occurs when a cold message is undeliverable. Often resulting in a hard bounce, an email deliverability issue, or a spam report. It can indicate a problem related to the domain specified in the email addresses or matters associated with the sender's mail server being blocklist. 

Whether caused by flaws on the part of the sender or receiver, it can be frustrating when we send out a mass outreach campaign and get the most undeliverable mail count with a high bounce rate. 

And generally, two types of email bounces occur when we set up a cold campaign. Let us see the types of bounces in detail.

Soft Bounce: 

It is like a temporary issue or delay in sending the message. When we get a "soft bounce back email message" notice from the email provider, there's not necessarily anything wrong with the email sender or the recipient. Soft bounces can happen for many reasons, including full mailboxes, large file size, server issues, out-of-office status messages, etc. It is sorted in minimal time without spending any money. 

Hard Bounce: 

A hard bounce back is more serious than a soft return and requires direct attention. Hard bounces happen when a mail server can't find any route to deliver the message. It includes typo errors, invalid addresses, blocked mails, or non-existent spam mails. No one wants to receive a hard bounce-back, but this could mean that our mail copy gets caught in spam filters, and we lose our chance to communicate with the prospects.

What causes the bounced mails?

The most common reasons behind bounces are permanent or temporary issues with the email account, the sending to receiving mails, or the receiving server blocking our content. In some situations, we have to wait for some time after an error message until it's resolved by the user who blocked us, and also, there might be a permanent block.

Here are some reasons for bounce backs:

  • Invalid address: A missed typed email id by human error or a non-existent email address can cause a bounce back.
  • Spam filters blacklisting: Once our domain is added to the blocklist database, the sending process on that server status becomes permanently disabled. It becomes difficult to avoid these blocklists since they are frequently updated automatically by local ISPs and Search engines' databases. It destroys the sender's reputation.
  • Relevant content: Creating relevant messages is highly important. Otherwise, the mass mailing with repetitive and irrelevant content in bulk lands our messages in spam folders.
  • DNS Failure: It happens when the server-side issue has been raised. When we send a message, the domain is responsible for email deliveries. If the mailing domain and all the records are perfect, it will not cause any problem. Otherwise, the message will get bounced back.
  • Undeliverable emails: It may happen when the recipient-side email service provider has a server issue, maintenance issue, or is temporarily unavailable. But if it is frequent, the domain is permanently crashed or removed.
  • Large attachments: it will happen when the attachment size exceeds the email server limits. The recipient server blocks the sender domain.

Why do the bounce backs need to be resolved?

The bounce rate is why we should correct our mailing issues as soon as possible. An email bounce rate is an amount of outreach copies queued that do not reach their destination. It indicates how successfully our cold outreach campaigns are being sent out and if they need to change anything to keep up with demand.

And it plays a major role in campaign success and conversion rate. Also, the sooner a bounce back can be resolved, the less likely it will affect our campaigns. The bounce-back message is usually scary, but avoiding it helps improve the bounce rate and campaign success.

It is time to share how we can overcome the Bounced backs issue and achieve maximum conversion from our campaign.

How do we fix the bounce back email?

It sounds like you're experiencing some problems with your bounced back email, so we'll want to look at what might be going wrong and how best to approach this issue. First, let us explain two situations when sending out cold messages. One is before someone enters their information into our website, and the other is where they have already submitted but no active payment. So we need to ensure that our mail doesn't bounce back. Here are some effective ways to overcome bounce backs:

Verify the email list details:

Maintain the email list hygiene. If the client's contact address is invalid, stop the campaign immediately. Check the availability of the contact IDs first to avoid delivery failure. If available, try to resend the messages with a different mail address and improve the email bounce rate. And verifying the large customer base is quite easy nowadays with AI marketing automation tools. It allows us to verify the lead list in bulk and helps us to reduce the bounce rate. And the cold outreach messages to the potential list help us get more sales opportunities. 

Email List verification with Smartwriter

Try Double opt-in:

We recommend a double opt-in process to avoid bounces. It is done by asking users to confirm their contact IDs twice. Once on the signup page and again after clicking the submit button. It ensures that the user is fully aware of the subscription process and that the mail address is genuine.

Use double opt-out:

It is one of the common reasons behind bounce backs. We recommend using the double opt-out method to avoid bounces. In this case, the user needs to click on the unsubscribe link to stop receiving any further communication.

Optimized content:

Include relevant links in the email body. Make sure that the subject line is short, clear, and informative. Include images or videos in the content copy so recipients can see them easily.

Make sure that the message is sent to the right recipient:

If the bounce back occurs, we have to check whether the message is sent to the right person or not. If it happens because of an incorrect recipient name, send the same message again with the corrected recipient details.

Send the cold messages at the right time:

Don't send the messages too early or late. Send the email at the right time. According to statistics, marketers prefer to set up campaigns in the first three days of the week, which results in high conversions. So the earlier we send the messages, the better our chances of getting a response. But if you send it too early, it may result in the loss of the opportunity.

Check the delivery status:

Checking the delivery status of the campaign is very important. It would be best if we always verify the delivery status of the emails. If it did not reach the inbox, try to resend it again. As a sales professional, maintaining reputation is important. It helps in getting high opens and deliverability. The email automation tools allow us to track the campaign delivery status.

Email delivery status check

Domain Authentication:

Authenticating the email domain will improve trustworthiness among the service provider, which will help us increase the deliverability rate and mainly reduce the email bounce rate. It's a simple way to improve how people receive mail from their customers and boost the sender's reputation.


To land in an email client's mailbox, the structure of our message copy matters the most. The spintax check helps us send our message directly into customers' inboxes, avoid spam emails and achieve a maximum reply rate. 

In fact, as per our research campaigns with spintax achieve a higher reply rate, with an increase ranging from 17% to 28%.

Campaign Performance Track with SmartLead

Set email marketing campaign with Dynamic IP address:

When we send bulk emails many times from the same IP address, the chances of our domain getting a blocklist are high. Because some servers may consider our messages as unsolicited emails, to help us with this, the AI cold outreach software comes to the rescue. Its extraordinary features allow us to set different Ip addresses for each and help us land in prospects' inboxes.

Plan according to the types of email bounce messages:

The soft bounces like a full mailbox and temporary server downs are sorted immediately by suggesting old blog removal or waiting helps to overcome the situation. If it is a hard bounce message, then something might be wrong with our copy, so it's important to optimize and follow standards like no typo errors, avoid using special characters, and using recommended-sized files. It will help save bandwidth.

How does Smartlead handle the bounces?

Smartlead is the Best AI marketing tool to automate your campaign. The exciting feature of the tools helps us reduce the bounce rate and improves campaign performance. Here are a few ways Smartlead can handle email bounces.

  • It allows us to send unlimited emails with auto-rotating mail IDs as options to enhance sender reputation.
  • To directly land in clients' inboxes, it helps with its dynamic IP address per campaign and boosts our ROI.
  • It provides spintax checks and helps to avoid spam folders. It also improves the reply rates.
  • It helps to achieve 97% of deliverability with email warm-up options and scale up our reputation. 
  • Providing the spam trigger check feature avoids the spam blocker and massively improves the deliverability and far more.
SmartLead to avoid Email Bounce Backs


Bounce backs are a common issue caused by many things such as an invalid email address, a full mailbox, or server problems. So don't need to panic when you get a non-delivery report as a response. Because there are ways to fix bounce backs and ensure your outreach copies are delivered to your subscribers' inboxes. To avoid bounces and keep your customer base healthy, ensure accurate subscriber data, use confirmed opt-in, test your content before sending it out, and monitor the deliverability. Have you ever experienced bounced emails? What solutions did you try? Let us know!

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

  • dfbvrsg
  • svsv

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Author’s Details

Nandhini C

Nandhini is a Senior SEO Analyst at the Smartwriter. She's always on top of new trends and technologies to stay ahead in this ever-changing industry. Her strengths are SEO, Lead generation, email campaigns, website optimization for search engines, link building, and making search better.


Edited by:

Charu Mitra Dubey


Frequently asked questions

General Questions

What are active leads?

Active leads are the contacts you upload in Smartlead, similar to contacts in HubSpot; if you upload 1000 leads to a campaign, they are considered 1000 active leads. If you upload similar leads to a new campaign, they are not considered a “new active lead” as they already exist in our system.

Do you provide mailboxes, or do I need to connect my own?

We don’t offer mailboxes yet. You need to get your own dedicated list of mailboxes using popular providers like Gmail, Outlook, Zoho, and others that exist in the market. Once you get them, follow our detailed guides to connect them quickly.

Do you offer guides and articles on succeeding with cold emails?

Absolutely, one of our most popular guides can be found right here. It's been used by a large percentage of users to go from zero to cold emailing experts. Covering all topics from email infrastructure to copywriting and lead sourcing.

Is another tool needed for warmups?

No, Smartlead has over 200,000 highly reputed mailboxes connected. The advantage you get along with naturalized AI conversations is access to aged domains you will never find in any warmup tool.

What is the API commonly used for?

It is used popularly by agencies to automate their entire lead generation process as well as to connect Smartlead to external tools to push and pull data from. You can also connect to 1000s of apps using Zapier.

What type of businesses sees the most success with Smartlead?

Anyone that can close deals from demos will succeed with Smartlead. It works for Sales companies, Marketing agencies, SaaS businesses, Recruitment, and offline companies (like construction).

Do you provide me with lead sources?

We do not provide you with leads. You will need to use other data providers. These leads can be automatically added to Smartlead using our API or bulk uploaded via our CSV upload system.

Do you integrate with any CRMs?

We're building native integrations with Hubspot, Salesforce, Close, Pipedrive, and many more. The best part, due to our open API and Webhook infrastructure, you can connect to any CRM in the world without an issue.

How many team members can I add?

You can add an unlimited number of team members, as well as assign them roles and authority access.

Do you have custom plans beyond the Pro plan?

Yes, it's common for many people to move to Custom plans after a few weeks. You can view all the options for up to 10M leads on the subscription page once you sign up for free.

Powerful Automated Email Marketing that Drives Sales.

  • All Features Included
  • No Credit Card Required
  • Free Warmup Included