Bounce back meaning : Bounced back emails from your email marketing campaign are what the iceberg is to the Titanic. 

You think you can dodge emails that bounce back, but it’s going to hurt your email marketing campaign until it drowns in the Pacific ocean. 


What is bounce back meaning anyways?

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In this article Bounce back meaning, we discuss emails that bounce back, bounce back meaning, quick fixes, and how to handle bounce-back emails.

Here is why emails that bounce back happen and how you can turn that around. 

What is email bounce back meaning?

Bounce back meaning is when your emails don’t get to be delivered.

Bounced back emails can happen for one reason or another. 

Bouncing emails are bad news for your email deliverability and can get you blacklisted. 

email bounce back meaning picture

Why do email bounce back?

1. Invalid Email Address

There is a huge chance that the email address you’re trying to reach is expired or invalid.

Solve this by using a cleaning email service like Email Inspector. 

2. Blocked Sender’s IP address

There is a chance the email service providers blocked the IP addresses you’re trying to reach.

It’s the why behind your emails bounce back meaning. 

Avoid using free email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Zoho, Outlook, and AOL because they share a single IP address with many users.

When any shared user is suspected as a spammer, the other email users with shared IP addresses will get labeled as spammers. 

3. Email blocked by receiving server

The receiving server could have blocked you for the possibility of being a scammer. It’s the why behind your emails bounce back meaning. 

4. Receiving server is overloaded

If the receiving server is overloaded, your emails will be soft-bounced.

This means the server won’t be able to receive any incoming requests. 

5. Receivers inbox is full

If the recipient has not cleaned up his mailbox and it already reached its storage limit. 

It’s the why behind your emails’ soft bounce back meaning. 

6. Low sender reputation score

The sender’s reputation score impacts your email deliverability and bounce-back rate.

A low sender reputation score will send your emails towards the SPAM filters or bounce back.

7. The recipient has added an auto-reply

If a recipient sets an auto-reply to all the incoming emails, your emails cannot land in their inbox.

However, this type of email bounce does not affect email deliverability or sender reputation score.

8. Email size is too large

Some email service providers set a limit on the size of the email.

Meaning, that one of the reasons why your email got bounced back can be due to the size of the email you sent. 

These reasons could be your emails’ bounce back meaning.

Hard bounces versus soft bounces

bounce back email meaning picture

Soft bounces:

Soft bounces are temporary and usually indicate an overloaded email server. Soft bounces are not as nice as they seem.

Your email service provider will try to resend the email campaign five times before giving up.

In most cases, soft bounces will turn around to a successful delivery after multiple attempts.

Hard bounces:

Hard bounces are more serious because they’re permanent failures.

Hard bounces occur when the domain is no longer valid or the email contains a typo.

You have to remove all email addresses with hard bounces as soon as you find them.

Campaign Monitor and other ESPs will usually automatically suppress any and all email addresses that result in hard bounces.

Email bounces are really bad news for your email marketing campaigns.

The distinction between soft and hard bounces could give you a better understanding of bounce back meaning.

How do you know if an email is bounced?

The message of your email’s bounce back meaning will tell you the causing issue and the recommendations on how to fix it.

The email bounce back message looks like this:

“Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently”.

The email bounce back message will also contain: 

  • A message ID that’s unique to your email send
  • The date and time that the email bounced
  • Your email service provider (ESP)‘s IP and hostname
  • The error message
  • The SMTP error message

How do you handle a bounced email?

Use a double-opt-in

Double opt-in for new subscribers is a solid healthy measure.

Double opt-in means you won’t receive invalid or inactive email addresses in your email list for your email marketing.

Be careful with sign-ups

Use a captcha system to verify sign-ups.

A captcha system quickly identifies bots or spam accounts that sign up for your email list.

Use a reputable email service provider

A reputable email service provider should help you authenticate or verify your domain.

Some Email Service Providers integrate with email validation tools like Email Inspector.

Authenticate your domain

You have to use a professional domain in your email marketing campaign rather than free email domains like Gmail. 

Your emails will not pass the DMARC policy check for Yahoo, Gmail, and AOL if you are using a free send-from domain. 

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Should I delete bounced emails?


If you consistently keep on receiving bounced back emails from the same email address. Your email bounce back meaning could be an invalid or blocked email address.

Consistent bounced emails are a hard bounce. 

You should remove the email address from your email list. 

This way you take an action about it rather than wonder about the bounce back meaning.

How to prevent email bounce back?

1. Use double opt-in

A double opt-in is when you set a two steps authentication via a confirmation email.

This means new subscribers can only enter your pipeline once they’ve clicked the confirm button or link in your confirmation email.

Automated double opt-ins help to increase the success rate of email campaigns and keeps mail servers healthy.

Once a new subscriber with your mailing list, ask them to verify their account.

This assures the authenticity of the new subscriber’s email address.

Double opt-in helps you to filter invalid or inactive email addresses in your email list for your email marketing.

This way, you avoid putting yourself in a situation where you’re wondering about the bounce back meaning.

2. Maintain a clean list

Email addresses expire with time, they either become invalid, or inactive.

Therefore, verify your email list before scheduling any email marketing campaign.

Regular email list clean-ups can provide you with better deliverability and a decrease in bounces.

For this task, you can rely on email verification services like Email Inspector.

Email Inspector does a scan test of your email address list.

Email Inspector checks email syntax verifies its email domain (MX record) and validates the email addresses from the email service providers.

No more wondering about the bounce back meaning.

3. Double-check for typos

To avoid typos, the double-opt-in method is the way to go.

This way, you don’t have to manually check email address typos.

4. Authenticate your email account

Authentication protects your sender’s reputation, reduces the email bounce-back rate, and improves your email deliverability.

Authentication processes have three types:

Authentications help the receiver’s server to check the authenticity of the email received.

last night took an l but tonight i bounce back meaning picture

5. Don’t spam your content

Your email’s content can be spammy for one reason or for another.

Here are a few tips to follow to build non-spammy email content:

  • Avoid *spam-triggering* words in your email content. Spam triggering words get can you blacklisted by various Email Service Providers. Spam triggering words can be like FREE, OFF, or 50%,… words like these make the receiver’s ESP assume your email has promotional content.On frequent usage of these words, the emails bounce back.
  • Avoid adding 5 links tops to your emails. otherwise, your email can look like an act of phishing activity. The receiver server will make the email bounce.
  • Maintain 60:40 text to HTML ratio. This mixed ratio between the text and HTML will create dynamic and avoid coming on as boring.
  • Avoid caps, bold, and exclamation marks. Content that has caps, bold, or exclamation marks can be considered spammy.

6. Maintain time frame between consecutive emails

Keep a timeslot of 90 seconds between sending two consecutive emails.

Otherwise, what happens when you send multiple emails at once, the algorithms assume it is a non-human activity. This makes your emails bounce.

Use an email outreach tool for your email outreach email marketing campaign.

This way, you can set the time gap automatically rather than doing it manually.

7. Keep an eye on your sender reputation score

As the title says it, keep an eye on your sender’s reputation score.


If your sender’s reputation is low, it makes your emails bounce back, considered as spam, and worst-case scenario, block your account.

You can keep an eye on your sender’s reputation score by many free tools that allow you to check your score.

8. Send emails consistently

You should be consistently sending emails.

This way, you can maintain an engagement with your email subscribers.

Your subscribers will stay aware of your email activity and reinforce your account from falling into small bounces.

9. Avoid Free Sender Domains

The downside of using free email sender domains like or,… you cannot authenticate your email account.

This helps prevent your emails from bouncing back when sending out an e-mail campaign.

Use an authentic business domain when sending emails to get the most out of them.

10. Don’t exceed your daily sending limit

Every email service provider has a definite email sending limit.

If you try to surpass the daily email sending limit, you risk your emails getting bounced.

To protect yourself, schedule sending emails during the week.

if you keep exceeding your daily sending limit, you risk getting your account booked.

Check regularly your email service provider to follow the record of your daily sending.

This way you take an action about it rather than wonder about the bounce back meaning.

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