Brian Cliette

Fix ActiveCampaign Bounces: Hard vs. Soft Email Issues

Ever had an email bounce back like a rubber ball in a tiny room? It’s frustrating, right? Well, when you’re using ActiveCampaign, understanding email bounces is crucial to maintaining a healthy email list and ensuring your messages hit the mark.

I’m diving into the nitty-gritty of what it means to be ‘bounced from list’ in ActiveCampaign. We’ll explore the types of bounces, how they can impact your email marketing efforts, and the steps you can take to reduce them.

Types of Email Bounces

When you’re sending out emails through ActiveCampaign, you’ll likely encounter two primary types of bounces: Hard Bounces and Soft Bounces. Understanding the distinction between these is crucial for maintaining a clean email list and optimizing your campaign performance.

Hard Bounces

Hard bounces are the email world’s dead-ends. They happen when the email can’t be delivered for permanent reasons. This might be because:

  • The recipient’s email address doesn’t exist.
  • The domain name doesn’t exist.
  • The recipient’s email server has blocked delivery.

Here’s why hard bounces are a red flag:

  • They can harm your sender reputation.
  • ISPs track the number of bounces you generate.
  • High bounce rates can lead to your account being flagged or even suspended.

When a hard bounce occurs, it’s important to remove these emails from your list immediately. ActiveCampaign does this automatically, helping you maintain list hygiene.

Soft Bounces

Soft bounces, on the other hand, are temporary delivery failures. These can occur due to a variety of reasons such as:

  • The recipient’s mailbox is full.
  • The email size exceeds the receiver’s limit.
  • The recipient’s email server is down or offline.
  • There’s a temporary issue with the recipient’s email account.

Soft bounces aren’t as critical as hard bounces, but they still require attention. If an email address continues to soft bounce in subsequent campaigns, it may eventually be classified as a hard bounce. Generally, ActiveCampaign will try resending the email for up to 72 hours before considering it undeliverable.

By keeping an eye on these bounces and understanding their implications, I can take proactive steps to improve my email deliverability and the overall health of my email campaigns. With tools like ActiveCampaign, much of the process is automated, but it’s my responsibility to review and act on the bounce information provided.

Understanding Bounced From List in ActiveCampaign

When managing my email lists with ActiveCampaign, one of the critical metrics I pay attention to is the bounce rate. Bounce rate is a key performance indicator that shows the percentage of emails that weren’t successfully delivered to recipients’ inboxes. A high bounce rate could be a red flag, indicating issues that need to be addressed to maintain a healthy email marketing strategy.

ActiveCampaign classifies bounces into categories, and understanding these is vital for list hygiene. List hygiene is the practice of regularly cleaning your email list to remove inactive or unengaged subscribers, which includes those that are bouncing. My approach involves segmenting the bounces to identify whether they’re hard or soft bounces and taking the appropriate action.

For instance, with hard bounces, I’ll immediately remove those email addresses from my ActiveCampaign list because these addresses are no longer valid. This action isn’t just about cleaning up; it’s about protecting my sender reputation. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) monitor bounce rates as one of the indicators to determine if I’m a reliable sender. A high number of hard bounces can trigger ISPs to categorize my emails as spam, or worse, I could be blacklisted.

On the other hand, soft bounces don’t necessarily call for immediate removal. These are often tied to temporary issues like a full inbox or a server that is down. I monitor these addresses because if they keep bouncing, they might indicate a deeper problem. I set a rule in ActiveCampaign to categorize an email address as a hard bounce after it soft bounces a certain number of times. This automation helps maintain the health of my email campaigns and efficiency in reaching my audience.

In addition to setting rules for bounces, I also make it a habit to look for patterns or trends that signify a common issue. For example, a high number of bounces from a particular domain could mean that I need to adjust my sending practices or check for content that triggers filters. Insight into these trends helps inform my content strategy, email list segmentation, and overall approach to maintaining a strong sender reputation.

Impact of Bounces on Email Marketing Efforts

Understanding the impact of email bounces on marketing efforts is crucial for any campaign’s success. When an email bounces, it doesn’t merely stop at the loss of one recipient. Rather, it can start a chain reaction affecting several facets of your email marketing strategy.

Deliverability Rates plummet with each bounce, as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use these events as indicators of your credibility as a sender. A high bounce rate can signal ISPs that your sending practices are not up to par, potentially causing your future emails to land in the spam folder or, worse, not be delivered at all.

Another aspect to consider is Engagement Metrics. Solid engagement rates are a testament to a healthy email list and content strategy. Unfortunately, email bounces skew these metrics, making it hard to accurately measure how well your audience is responding to your campaigns. This misrepresentation of engagement can lead you astray, pushing you to make incorrect strategic decisions based on flawed data.

Campaign Costs also rise indirectly due to bounces. Although a single email may cost fractions of a penny to send, this adds up when you’re sending to thousands, if not millions, of subscribers. Sending to invalid addresses effectively means your marketing budget is being wasted on emails that serve no potential for conversion or engagement.

In line with financial costs, there’s the Time Investment. Email marketing requires ample time for creating content, structuring campaigns, and segmenting lists. When a significant amount of that effort is rendered ineffective due to bounces, your ROI takes a hit. It’s not just money you’re losing; it’s the valuable time that could have been spent engaging with valid, interested subscribers.

To maintain a strong email marketing program, it’s paramount that I address these issues head-on. By managing bounces proactively with tools like ActiveCampaign, I can safeguard my sender reputation and ensure my messages reach the people who matter most to my business. Keeping a close eye on my email list health, utilizing segmentation, and promptly removing problematic addresses will undoubtedly help maximize the impact and efficiency of my email marketing efforts.

Reducing Email Bounces in ActiveCampaign

When managing email lists in ActiveCampaign, it’s crucial that I take proactive measures to minimize the number of bounces. The first step is to ensure that I’m only sending mails to a clean list. This means consistently removing inactive or unengaged subscribers who can negatively impact my overall bounce rate.

One effective strategy is to implement a double opt-in process. This requires new subscribers to confirm their email address before being added to my list, drastically reducing the likelihood of incorrect or fake emails. Additionally, regular list hygiene practices, like scrubbing out duplicate and outdated emails, help me maintain a healthier list.

Email validation tools are also a vital asset in preemptively detecting problematic email addresses. Before I even send out a campaign, these services can flag emails that are likely to result in bounces. ActiveCampaign’s robust integration capabilities allow me to implement these tools seamlessly within my email marketing workflow.

Another key aspect is to monitor the engagement levels of my subscribers. By segmenting my list based on engagement, I can tailor my content to re-engage inactive users or further engage active ones. A targeted approach not only increases engagement but also prevents sending emails to those who are likely to bounce.

It’s not just about avoiding bad email addresses; it’s also about sending quality content. I make certain that my subject lines are clear, engaging, and relevant to my audience, as this encourages open rates and interaction. Consistently delivering valuable content ensures that my subscribers are less likely to mark my emails as spam, which is another factor that influences bounce rates.

Moreover, staying compliant with email laws and regulations such as CAN-SPAM is key to avoiding bounces and maintain a respectable sender reputation. By following these guidelines, I’m able to sidestep potential issues that could lead to an increase in email bounces.


Mastering the art of bounce management in ActiveCampaign isn’t just about reacting to issues—it’s about proactive prevention. I’ve shared how vital it is to keep your email list polished and your content engaging to maintain a robust sender reputation. Remember, implementing a double opt-in process and regular list hygiene practices are your first line of defense against bounces. By staying vigilant and adhering to best practices, you’ll not only reduce bounces but also enhance the overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. Let’s keep those emails landing where they should—in the inboxes of engaged subscribers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the two main types of email bounces?

Hard Bounces are permanent delivery failures due to invalid email addresses or other permanent issues. Soft Bounces are temporary delivery issues, such as a full inbox or a server being down.

Why are hard bounces detrimental to sender reputation?

Hard bounces can damage a sender’s reputation because they indicate that the sender is emailing invalid or closed accounts. Frequent hard bounces can lead to account suspension by email service providers.

How should you manage soft bounces?

While soft bounces are less severe, they should not be ignored. Review and monitor them regularly as they may become hard bounces if the issue persists, such as a continually full inbox.

What strategies can help reduce email bounces in ActiveCampaign?

Reducing email bounces in ActiveCampaign involves maintaining a clean list through regular hygiene, using a double opt-in process, validating email addresses, tracking subscriber engagement, sending quality content, and complying with email laws.

Why is it important to understand email bounces in email marketing?

Understanding email bounces is crucial in email marketing to maintain a good sender reputation, ensure high deliverability rates, and ultimately improve the success of your email campaigns.

Category :

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About me

My name is Brian Cliette; I help brands and entrepreneurs find sustainable paths to sales growth on the social internet.

Recent Post


Grow Your Business Today

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

brian cliette

Do You Want A More Direct Contact With Our Team?​