What is a soft bounce?

DSM Digital School Of Marketing - soft bounce

Our article on hard bounces reveals that – in the marketing world – a bounce is a bad thing. It implies that there was a problem of some kind with the delivery of the message; it was either undeliverable to the recipient, or it was of no interest to them. Drilling down into the reasons for a bounce (or multiple bounces if you’re really unlucky) is where a business learns how to improve their messages and optimise their operations for fewer bounces. This article gives examples of soft bounces on both emails and websites, why soft bounces are an issue, and a few tips on reducing your soft-bounce rates:

  • Email
    In the realm of monthly bulk emailer marketing, a bounce of any variety is a lost lead. Soft bounces can be caused by full recipient inboxes, server-side complications (thanks to a lot load shedding), and messages being too large to send between email service providers.
  • Website
    A website hard bounce happens when a visitor doesn’t get a chance to see the page (due to slow loading), or they land on the completely wrong website and immediately click out. Site soft bounces mean the visitor likes what they see, but they can’t find exactly what they need.

Why soft bounces are bad

  • Email

    The principal problem with soft bounces as they relate to emails is this: eventually. After many soft bounces, the sender’s emails will undoubtedly end up in the recipient’s spam folder. This is not great if you actually want people to read your informative mailers and other marketing material.

  • Website

    Soft bounces reveal that a website has not been optimised in terms of UI and informational offering. Visitors can’t immediately discern if it will serve their purposes, so they might click on the ‘services’ page to find out more. If they are unsatisfied and decide to exit, they’ve committed a soft bounce.

Ways to reduce soft bounces

  • Email

    Brands can reduce email bounces with a double opt-in. This can be the sending of a confirmation email once the person has subscribed to the mailing list. This confirms that the email address that was given is a valid one, and there’s a better chance the customer is invested in the brand.

  • Website

    Reducing soft bounces on a website involves overhauling the content and wireframe in order to clarify and simplify things. It should be clear on the very first page what the business is all about and how it can help its customers. Any vagueness causes doubt, which causes a soft bounce.

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