What Is Soft Bounce in Email Marketing?

We all know that email marketing is one of the most effective ways of communicating with potential customers. The statistics speak for themselves: 58% of people have received an email from a brand they know and trust, and 66% open email communication from brands. Furthermore, email marketing is pretty cheap; around £1 per lead generated is considered average. However, sometimes this form of marketing can backfire. What is soft bounce? Why do I need to know about it, and what can I do about it? Let’s look at each question in turn.

What Is Soft Bounce?

Soft bounce is when a person clicks on a link in an email, but doesn’t actually make it to the destination page. Instead, their browser just sits there saying “loading,” or they get an error message when they click the link. This is normally caused by a few things, such as:

  • an incompetent email marketing manager
  • an overloaded hosting server
  • malicious software on the end user’s computer (e.g. a keylogger)

Let’s take a closer look at each of these reasons why the email might not have worked.

Incompetent Email Marketing Manager

If you’re looking to send out a large amount of emails, and don’t have the time to manually monitor them, then it’s probably best to hire a competent email marketing manager. They can check all of your open and click-through rates, deliverability, and conversion. Furthermore, they can ensure that your emails reach the right audience. If you’ve ever tried to build an email list by yourself, but found that it wasn’t going well, then it’s time for a change. Hiring a professional to do this for you is the best option. Moreover, they can help you set up automated email campaigns, so that you don’t have to think about this aspect of marketing every single day. Incompetent email marketing managers are the root of most problematic soft bounces. When you work with a professional email marketing service, this type of issue simply doesn’t exist. You’re getting the best of both worlds: expert email management and the ability to scale with the demands of your business.

Overloaded Hosting Server

If you visit an entirely too many websites that throw errors when accessed via web browser, then it’s simplest to just deal with the overloaded hosting server. This could be due to too many people using the site, or too many people trying to access the site at once. When your hosting server is overloaded, you’re going to start seeing a lot of errors when people try to visit certain websites, or see them in their browser’s error logs. Why? It’s simple enough: too many connections slow down the server, and it can’t process all of the requests made by users in a timely manner. This is why you need to scale back the number of websites that you have hosted on your server; otherwise, you’ll start seeing errors when people try to access your websites. You should look for a shared hosting plan from a reputable web host that can handle your audience’s needs. If you’re looking for a free web host, then you should consider using a VPN to encrypt your connection to prevent third parties from viewing your data while online. This way, you’re secure in knowing that no one but you can access your personal identifiable information.

Malicious Software On The End User’s Computer

There are several instances where software on a user’s computer can cause issues with email delivery. The most common example is keylogging software, also known as a log analyzer or session hijacker. With a keylogger, the bad actor sets a special cookie in the user’s browser, which then tracks all of the activity that takes place on that computer while it’s running. This, in turn, allows the bad actor to see what was typed on the keyboard, and more importantly, who is visiting which websites. When users get a notification from their email provider that their account has been accessed from an unauthorized device, then it’s normally because a keylogger was installed on their computer without their knowledge. Since we now know what a keylogger is, let’s examine some of the threats associated with this type of software:

  • They can see what websites you’re visiting
  • They can see what emails you’re sending and receiving
  • They can know what keywords you’re using
  • They can install tracking cookies on your computer
  • They can access your personal identifiable information

The bad news is that keyloggers are quite easy to install; all you need to do is enter your computer’s BIOS settings and set a password for the management console. The good news is that they’re quite easy to uninstall as well. If you suspect that your computer has been infected with malware of this nature, then your best bet is to contact your computer’s manufacturer and have them install a factory reset disk. This way, you can ensure that every speck of software on your machine is removed and cleaned from memory. Sometimes it’s necessary to do this several times before the system is back to its pre-infection state. This may take some time, so be patient.

Why Do I Need To Know About Soft Bounce?

In most cases, soft bounce doesn’t pose a threat to your overall email marketing strategy. However, it’s good to know what this particular type of error is, so that you can identify and eliminate the sources of these issues. Why? Well, when you start seeing lots of errors in your browser’s error logs when accessing certain websites, then it’s normally because these sites have been flagged by web security systems as a threat, due to the presence of malware, viruses, or otherwise. When this happens, it’s normally best to just ignore these emails, or mark them as spam. This is because most email clients have spam filters that are set to automatically scan and delete emails that they think may be spam. You may also want to consider hiring a professional email marketing service, instead of trying to tackle this issue yourself. The cost of doing business will eventually be mitigated by the savings you make from not having to manage spam on your own. This is also why you should get a professional email marketing service: they’ll have the technical expertise needed to keep your email address safe, and they can ensure that your emails get delivered to your subscribers’ inbox.

What Can I Do About Soft Bounce?

There are some instances where soft bounce can be a problem. If you suspect that this is the case, then you need to take several steps. First of all, you need to make sure that your website isn’t hosted on a server that’s been specifically designed to prevent emails from being delivered. You also need to make sure that the email you’re sending contains a valid link that will result in a connection being made to the intended destination, or that an error doesn’t display after sending the email. Sometimes it’s necessary to wait a few days after sending an email before checking the results, to ensure that any temporary glitches have been fixed. In other cases, it’s necessary to wipe out the contents of the affected user’s email account and start from scratch, to ensure that they can’t retrace their steps and find your emails. Once this has been done, you can check whether or not your email sends without any errors to this day. Finally, if you’re absolutely sure that your email has caused harmful issues, then it might be necessary to remove the email address from your mailing list. In these cases, it’s usually best to contact the email service provider and have them remove the email address in question. This is to prevent further issues down the line.

As you can see, there are a few different ways that soft bounce can crop up. However, once you know what this error is, you can easily identify and eliminate the causes of these issues. Do yourself a favor and learn what this particular type of error is, so you can take the correct steps when necessary. Or, if you’re really keen, then you can contact the email service provider and have them fix this issue for you. Either way, you’re sure to be happy you did.

Scroll to Top