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What does it mean that a subscriber's email 'bounced'?
What does it mean that a subscriber's email 'bounced'?

A quick guide on how Flodesk handles bounced email addresses

Petra Molnar avatar
Written by Petra Molnar
Updated over a week ago

When you check how your emails performed, you'll see how many of your subscribers received the email, and who opened and clicked on links in your email. Also, you'll find additional information like who has unsubscribed, marked your email as spam, or whether an email address has bounced.

You know very well what unsubscribed means. And you probably have marked emails as spam yourself in the past.

But what is that mysterious bounced category?💁🏻

What does it mean when an email address 'bounces'?

When an email address bounces, it can be either a hard bounce or a soft bounce.

Both mean that your email couldn't be delivered to that email address. In case of a hard bounce, it's because of a permanent issue. If it's a soft bounce, it's only a temporary matter and your subscriber remains an Active subscriber and can still get emails from you.

Let's take a look at a few examples that could cause a bounce:

  • The email address doesn't exist (typo or the email account has been closed down)

  • The email can't be delivered ( the receiving email server is temporarily unavailable, e.g. under maintenance

  • The receiving mailbox is full (it can't receive more emails so they bounce back)

  • The receiving mailbox has auto-reply turned on (if the recipient is out of the office your emails to them can bounce)

How does Flodesk handle bounces?

First of all, before your email is sent, we have a technology that lets us check which emails will hard bounce and not send to those. So the hard bounces you're seeing won't affect your sender reputation (no action needed on your side).

Hard bounce

A hard bounce occurs e.g. when the email address is invalid like there's a typo or the email account doesn't exist anymore.

If a subscriber email address has hard bounced, you will find them under your Audience with greyed out records and listed as Bounced.

Soft bounce

Soft bounces, on the other hand, won't be removed because they could be anything from auto-replies to a mailbox full. The emails bounce, so they aren’t counted as delivered, but Flodesk will try resending again so we don’t remove them from your list. 

Email addresses that soft bounce are still listed as Active subscribers in your Audience.

Note: If an email address continues to soft bounce in additional campaigns, it will eventually be considered a hard bounce and removed from your audience as an Active subscriber.

We'll allow seven soft bounces for an email address with no subscriber activity and up to 15 soft bounces for contacts with previous subscriber activity before converting a soft bounce into a hard bounce.

What about if someone subscribes under multiple emails?

We exclude email addresses that hard bounce and we don't send them your campaign or workflow emails. We do the work, no action required on your side. You're protected.

If someone subscribed with multiple emails and some bounce and some don’t, the ones that did not bounce would be kept. We have no way of knowing if it’s the same person who signs up with different emails!

Let's sum it up

Bounced in your statistics means that your email campaign or workflow email couldn't be delivered to that specific email address and it has hard bounced.

Before your email is sent, we have a technology that lets us check which emails will hard bounce and not send to those. In case of a soft bounce, the subscriber remains as an Active contact on your list.

More to learn:

We'd love to hear about your recent experience when searching for solutions to issues in the Flodesk Help Center (Knowledge Base). With your feedback, we can improve our knowledge base with new and better ways to help you succeed!

Please do not submit support tickets and feature requests via this feedback form.

If you need technical assistance, please submit a support ticket via email at mentioning your Flodesk account login email with a detailed description of your problem.

Do you have an idea for a feature that will help improve Flodesk for you and other members? Our Product team would love to hear from you.

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