Stat Central: Soft Bounce Speed Bumps

Stat Central is a mini-series that takes a look at interpreting the report statistics in your MyNewsletterBuilder account, and explores using them to improve your email marketing campaign.

Alright, we’re back with part three of our Stat Central series, and today we’re looking at one of my favorite report categories – bounces. Now, bounces come in two different forms, hard and soft. Hard bounces are permanent issues with deliverability, something like a deleted email address. Soft bounces, on the other hand, are temporary hang-ups with deliverability, like a full inbox – and that’s what we’re going to focus on today.

The most important word in that soft bounce description is “temporary”. When you encounter a temporary hang-up, there’s no reason you should see it as a loss. A friend of mine, when talking about problems that have relatively easy solutions, always says “it’s not a roadblock, it’s just a speed bump.” And, that’s exactly the case here; soft bounces are a very easy obstacle to overcome, they just take an extra few seconds to handle.

When examining the report data generated after your last email newsletter send, take a look at that bounce number. Click the linked number to see a full list of all the bounces from that send, then look up to the top left. You’ll see a button labeled “View Bounces.” Follow that link for detailed breakdown of each address to see which qualified as soft and which were hard. The first thing you’ll notice is probably that there are WAY more soft bounces than hard bounces. That’s great news.
If you again look up to the top left of this page, you’ll notice an “Export Soft” button. Click that link to download a spreadsheet document of all the soft bounces from that send. Once you’ve got it, head back to your subscriber management page, and simply re-upload that list of contacts into a new category (call it Newsletter 19 – soft bounces, for example). Next, make a copy of that same newsletter using the duplicate icon in your newsletter archive, and resend it. You should be able to get through to most of those soft bounces with your second send.

With just a couple of clicks, you can give yourself a second opportunity to reach out to those bounced email addresses. That soft bounce should never stop you from reaching your customers. It’s not a roadblock, it’s a speed bump.