A soft bounce is an email message that gets returned to the sender because the recipient's email server is temporarily unavailable. A soft bounce might occur if the recipient's email inbox is full. When an email server returns a soft bounce, it usually includes an error message explaining why the email couldn't be delivered. Common error messages for soft bounces include: "temporary failure," "mailbox full," and "user unknown." Soft bounces are different from hard bounces, which occur when an email is returned to the sender because the email address is invalid. An email can also be returned as a hard bounce if the email server detects that it's being used to send spam.