Soft Bounce Failures

Soft bounce failures indicate email addresses are temporarily undeliverable.

Possible causes

Soft bounces occur for multiple reasons, such as inactive accounts or full mailboxes. Examine the specific failure types to determine the likely causes.  

Suggested actions

  • Resend records that fail for temporary conditions.

  • Invalidate the records if you receive the same error from subsequent mailings over at least 30 days.

  • Contact the recipient for replacement or corrected email address.

The recipient’s email account is inactive or temporarily disabled.

Possible cause: Delinquency or dispute

The recipient may not have paid their subscription fee or is involved in a dispute with the provider.

Suggested action

Resend and monitor acceptance.

Possible cause: Temporary condition

The recipient may not have checked email for a while, such as if they are on vacation or traveling.

Suggested action

Resend and monitor acceptance.

Possible cause: Infrequent use

The mailbox provider may have flagged the recipient’s account as inactive due to inactivity.  Watch for it to appear as a Hard Bounce/Closed in future mailings.

Suggested action

Consider inactive failures as a warning sign. Request a second or back-up email address or new or better one.  Attempt contact with the individual through alternate means.

Possible cause: Address change

The recipient may have abandoned this email address. Watch for it to appear as a Hard Bounce/Closed in future mailings.

Suggested action

Contact the recipient for a replacement email address if it's reported Closed in subsequent mailings.

The recipient’s mailbox is full or has exceeded its allowed storage.

Possible cause: Temporary condition

The recipient may have received unusually high email volume or has not checked the account for a while such as if they are on vacation or traveling.

Suggested action

Resend and monitor acceptance.

Possible cause: Infrequent use

Since individuals average three email accounts, a full mailbox may signify that you're mailing to one that's less important to the recipient.

Suggested action

Consider full mailbox failures as a warning sign. Attempt contact with the recipient through alternate means and request a new or better one.

Possible cause: Address change

The recipient may have abandoned this email address. Watch for it to appear as a Hard Bounce/Closed in future mailings.

Suggested action

Contact the recipient for a replacement email address if it's reported Closed in subsequent mailings.

 

The email was greylisted, which is a type of temporary block to combat spam.

Note: The mailbox provider is not refusing the email. You’re being tested to see whether you'll retry delivery. Spammers will not.

Possible cause: Greylisting

This is a technique used by smaller mailbox providers and corporate email systems.

Suggested action

Resend and monitor acceptance.