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How to avoid email bounce backs

After running email campaigns, performance metrics start flowing in. There is a gratifying feeling in seeing open rates and click-through engagement. But there are other metrics that indicate the success, or even lack of success, of your email campaigns; yes, I am talking about bounce rates. High bounce rates are the bane of any email marketer’s existence, but they are very common.

So, how you can reduce bounce backs and see better ROI from your email marketing campaigns? The answer may be simpler than you think. 

What are email bounce backs?
As the name suggests, email bounce backs occur when emails do not make it to the recipient's inbox and "bounce back" to you. This means that the time taken to come up with email copy and set up sending logic was wasted, and you could have lost out on potential revenue opportunities.

Why do email bounce backs happen?
Bounce backs can happen for a variety of reasons, but bounces can be categorized into two main categories: hard bounces and soft bounces. Let’s take a look at the difference between them.

Soft bounces: These bounces are temporary. Reasons include: The recipient's inbox was full, the server was down, they had auto-responders on, or your message size was too large. These issues do not cause long-term harm to your email marketing practice.

Hard bounces: These bounces are permanent and can cause long-term harm to your email marketing health. Hard bounces occur when the email address or domain name is invalid, or when the recipient has blocked you directly. These can all impact deliverability rates and limit your ability to reach your recipients effectively.

There are numerous ways emails can result in a bounce. The most common reasons for emails to bounce back include:

  • Undeliverable/invalid email
  •  Non-existent email
  •  Full mailbox
  •  Auto-responder/vacation email
  •  Blocked email

A high bounce rate not only impacts the performance of your current email campaigns; it can affect the deliverability of future campaigns as well.

The more your emails bounce back, the more signals it sends to ISPs (Internet Services Providers like Verizon and AT&T) that your sender reputation is subpar. If your sender reputation is subpar, your emails are more likely to be screened and passed through to spam folders. In fact, repeatedly sending to email lists with high percentages of hard bounces can even wind up getting you blacklisted, which will block any of your emails from reaching the intended inboxes.

How do I reduce my email bounce rate?
The best way to combat a high bounce back rate is to make sure you have accurate email data. And the easiest way is to collect valid email addresses in the first place. That is where email verification software comes in. Email verification allows you to validate an email address is real and accurate without sending an email. It can either work in real-time, validating emails at point of entry, or it can be done in bulk on existing email information. If you already have existing inaccurate email data, a quick fix to reduce email bounce rates is to do a list cleanse. A list cleanse will identify and correct inaccurate email data, which means that overnight, you can immediately reduce your bounce rate and improve your sender reputation.

Reduce my email bounces