What's the Difference Between an Email Hard Bounce and an Email Soft Bounce? When it comes to email marketing and email verification, there is a lot of fuss over email hard bounces and email soft bounces. But if an email bounces that just means it wasn't delivered, right? Practically, this is true. A bounce, regardless of what kind of bounce, just means the email was undeliverable. However, there are a ton of reasons why an email could be labeled "undeliverable," and these reasons are broken down into two categories: hard and soft bounces.