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Email Marketing Hard Bounces Explained

Published: 14th August 2018

What are hard Bounces

When you send out an email marketing campaign, you will most likely have some hard bounces and soft bounces. A bounce is a failure, the message did not reach the recipient.

A hard bounce is a partial or temporary failure, a hard bounce is a permanent failure. In this video we are going to look at the different types of hard bounce.

When an email fails due to a hardbounce, the recipient’s server returns an error code. These codes will help to give a clearer picture of exactly why it failed to reach the recipient.

#551 Mailbox does not exist

When this code is returned, it means that the domain exists, for example; abc.com but the mail box doesn’t, so that could be bob@abc.com – Bob may have left the company and his mail box has been closed down.

Whilst these emails are often forwarded to a collection address by the recipient’s mail server – as the mail box of bob@ does not exist, this is classed as a permanent failure

#542 Subscriber's domain does not exist

This means that the subscriber’s domain name does not exist, for example, bob@abc.com – the domain name of abc.com does not exist, this therefore constitutes a permanent failure.

#5754 Accepts specific user's mail only

Some recipient’s have their servers set up to only allow mail in from specific users – anything outside of pre-specified domains or mailboxes will be returned as a hard bounce


OK, so there were are there’s a quick run down of the most common hard bounce reasons and the associated codes that may be returned.
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