Hard/Soft Bounces and Unsubscribes – Improve Your Email Marketing

The best way to get to know Agile CRM is to launch an email campaign, but how do you know if your campaigns are working? Agile now includes a number of stats to help you improve your campaigns, get to know your customers and increase your email ROI. Today we wanted to highlight three key metrics that any email marketer should be checking regularly: Unsubscribes, Hard Bounces and Soft Bounces.

Hard Bounce Stats


Email marketing has evolved for over a decade, and while some email campaigns are awesome, useful and productive, the crowded email marketplace has unfortunately become noisy and spammy. People are sensitive to spam and when someone receives an email that feels spammy – even if they know that they signed up for emails from your company – they will probably unsubscribe from your email campaign. Email marketers need to respect this and make sure they are sending useful and informative content to interested people. The ‘Unsubscribed’ statistic in Agile CRM’s email campaigns helps you to maintain a set of interested subscribers and grow a solid reputation for your company. Regularly check your Unsubscribes from the campaign stats to see how particular contacts are responding to each campaign.

Tips for Reducing Unsubscribes

  • Create separate email campaigns for new users, paying users, users who haven’t actually onboarded yet, and users interested in particular feature sets
  • Send emails at regular intervals, and start with a reasonable goal such as one email newsletter or two new-feature emails per month
  • Use feedback web grabbers on your site or app to find out what kind of information your web visitors would like to see in email campaigns
  • Surprise your readers with emails containing time-sensitive discounts or free upgrades
  • If your hottest leads are unsubscribing, follow up with them to find out why; the personal touch can make a huge difference

Hard/Soft Bounces

Email marketers know that bounces (automatically returned emails) take a heavy toll on the reputation of your domain with your email sending service. An email bounce is any email that cannot be delivered, and it’s important to know the difference between hard bounces and soft bounces.

  • Hard Bounces happen when there’s a permanent reason an email address is rejecting/returning your email message. A common reason for a hard bounce is that the email address or the domain associated with it (eg. gmail.com) doesn’t exist anymore. A hard bounce can also happen if your emails are being blocked. Check your hard bounce stats to see if you should check with a particular domain or email service to correct the issue. If you simply have an out-of-date email address for a contact but have their phone number or another way to contact them, reach out immediately and correct the issue – don’t continue attempting to send emails to a hard-bounced email address.
  • Soft Bounces basically include every other reason an email might have been returned. A recipient’s email inbox might be full (this happens less than it used to in the old days of email, but it’s still a possibility), your email message might have been too large (did you accidentally include a huge image or file?), or the recipient’s email server might have been temporarily down or offline. It’s a good idea to regularly check your Soft Bounces in Agile’s email campaign stats to resolve these issues.

Agile CRM’s email campaigns include a ton of marketing automation features to help you scale the smart way, and we’re constantly adding and updating features. Don’t have an Agile CRM account yet? Sign up today.

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Manohar Chapalamadugu

With over ten years of entrepreneurial experience in SaaS/Mobile/Telephony, Manohar Chapalamadugu has founded many successful product companies like InVox, MantraGroup (acquired) and ClickDesk (more than 125,000 businesses). He has held VP, Product Development at Corsoft and Director, Product Development at Veratron. He has a Masters in Computer Science from SUNY, Stony Brook and Bachelors from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani.



about 6 years ago

Hi, If hard bounce occurs is there an automated mechanism in Agile CRM to prevent to send e-mails to this address in the future? Is there a rule or mechanism to convert soft bounces after several tries to hard bounces mails in Agile CRM? Thanks. Ozgur


Radhika Roy

about 6 years ago

Hi Ozgar, thanks for your query. 1. You can set up a hard bounce trigger which would run a campaign where you can add a tag to the contact (say Hard Bounce) and later filter the contact and remove or create a task to find out the real email. 2. No, there is no rule or mechanism to convert soft bounces after several tries to hard bounces mails in Agile CRM, currently. For any future questions, please feel free to write to care@agilecrm.com


Jennie Gorman

about 5 years ago

Hi, I am always having a soft bounce to my email campaigns, I understand the reason behind the bounces but my question is how can we effectively address hard/soft bounces emails? Thanks in advance.



about 4 years ago

In our agile campaign we sent an email to a member and they have received and opened emails in the past, now they just hard bounced and Agile won't let us send to them anymore. Any ideas?


Saketh Rasakatla

about 4 years ago

They might have hard bounced for the following reasons - if the recipient's address was invalid, the domain name doesn't exist or because the recipient was unknown. Also, you would lose email credits and scoring too.


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