What’s the Difference Between Hard & Soft Email Bounces?

What’s the Difference Between Hard & Soft Email Bounces?

What is an email bounce?

An email bounce simply means your email message was unable to be delivered to a constituent. When an email is sent through GAIL and a bounce occurs, the Constituent Management team (records@uga.edu) will receive an automatic notification of the delivery failure. This failure can occur for a number of different reasons and is classified into two categories.

soft bounce means that the email address was valid and the email message reached the recipient’s mail server. However, it bounced back because:

  • The mailbox was full
  • The server was down
  • The message was too large for the recipient’s inbox

Typically soft bounces are only temporary and resolve themselves, which means that the Constituent Management team does not tag the email address as being invalid.

hard bounce occurs when the sent email has been permanently rejected either because:

  • The email address is invalid
  • The email addresses doesn’t exist

When the Constituent Management team sees that an email has hard bounced, they will tag the email as invalid. This let’s GAIL know going forward not to continue sending emails to that address.

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