How do I tell the difference between soft and hard bounces?

Bounce Types

The type of bounce is recorded for reporting purposes. Both email and SMS bounce reporting record two types of bounces: Hard and soft.

Bounce TypesDetails
HardThe reason for non-delivery is due to a permanent error that signals the contact or email domain is unknown or doesn’t exist. A hard bounce can also mean a spam block. When you first send to your mailing list immediate bounces, such as a non-existent email address, are recorded and the contact is immediately set to ‘Bounced’, as there’s no point trying to send to these contacts.
SoftA temporary error that signals a full mailbox, temporarily unavailable domain or receiving server issues.
Policy related Generally related to company policy where staff are not allowed to receive messages with certain wording, images or attachments. The receiving server is likely to block this type of mail.

Bounce Reports

The Email Recipients Report includes a Bounced tab which lists bounces and auto-responders.

If you’d like to dig deeper and see which were soft bounces, click the Export button below the graph. The exported list contains details about the bounce type and reason.