The hard or soft option?
Hard bounces and soft bounces are regular email industry terms but what do they really mean and which would you rather have?
Hard bounces and soft bounces are a reflection on your data and your recipients. They are messages that dotMailer gets back from the ISPs to let you know that there has been a problem in delivering your message to the intended recipient.
A hard bounce message is received when the email address is no longer a valid email address.
Often this is due to spelling or typing errors during data input but can also be because the user has closed the account or the email account never existed.
Hard bounces occur most often when you're sending for the first time to new data but they should be carefully monitored all the time as people move and change jobs.
Find out where those people have gone and who's replaced them.
Check and correct obvious spelling mistakes and amend sign up forms to make sure users confirm their email address, ensuring they get it right
A soft bounce means that the email address you've sent to does exist but the email was unsuccessful in delivery.
There are a range of reasons for a bounce.
dotMailer breaks these reasons down into soft bouncers, Challenge replies and Auto replies, allowing you to manage your bounces and either resend the campaign again, or with the case of Challenge replies, follow the instructions sent by the Sender Verification tool to deliver your campaign to the inbox.
You can set the number of times you'll attempt to deliver to a given contact before that email address is unsubscribed in order to keep your list clean and to maintain a good sending reputation.
Your bounce reports are a clear and true indication of the quality of your data.
If you do have a high percentage of soft bounces maybe lessen the frequency you send to those contacts for a while to allow them to manage their inbox or send them an email to re-engage with them and re-opt them in.