Why Does Email Bounce, Bounce Back, or Error?
This article explains why an email bounces, how to understand common email bounce-back error messages and codes, and the typical steps that can help fix email issues.
Usually we can find all the information we need in the email bounce-back message or error code. There are some primary reasons why these bounce-back error messages pop up, such as the server’s or your ISP IP address being blocked, the receiving server using Greylisting, the server sending limitations being exceeded, the user’s mailbox being full, or an email account not being created.
Why Does Email Bounce Back?
A bounce-back message occurs once your sent email fails to reach the receiver. In this case, you will get a bounce-back message generated either by your mail server or the recipient’s server.
Bounce-back messages are used to inform the sender that something happened to disrupt the delivery of your email. It is a default method of providing information regarding an error on all email servers.
In the email world, we use something called an MTA (Mail Transfer Agent) to manage email deliveries to the server. This agent checks and sends bounce-back messages to you with a specific email error message which explains why the message could not be delivered this time, for example, if you mistype something in the recipient email address or a temporary delivery problem occurs on your or the recipient servers. In that case, the MTA agent will inform you about it by a bounce-back message.
There are a couple of bounce types, such as soft and hard bounces.
Suppose the recipient has exceeded the email quota or a temporary issue has occurred on the server ( e.g., the server is unavailable). In that case, your mail server will keep trying to deliver your message, periodically repeating attempts. You will get a soft bounce message from the server telling you that the message could not be delivered, usually with a specific reason indicated.
A soft bounce is usually a temporary issue, and you receive a bounce-back message from the recipient’s mail server informing you about the issue. In this case, you can try to send your message again later.
A hard bounce is normally related to a permanent issue on the remote mail server. Suppose that the user you are trying to deliver the email to does not exist on the server. For example, you have made a mistake in the recipient’s email address, and the message was delivered to another remote server that does not handle email for your recipient.
A hard bounce is usually related to a permanent issue, for example, when the remote mail server tells you that the user you are trying to deliver the email to does not exist on the server. One of the reasons may be that you have made a mistake in the recipient’s email address and the message was delivered to another remote server that does not handle email for your recipient.
Blacklisted Bounce Back Messages:
A mail server is mostly blacklisted when it is known to be a source of spam. If your email was blocked due to the server being blacklisted, you will need to submit a request to have the it delisted.