9 Phenomenal Strategies to Reduce Email Bounce Backs

email marketing

In the contemporary business world, email marketing is a thriving trend and businesses are looking to make the most of it. In fact, brands are now getting quite aggressive with their email marketing strategies. However, one major roadblock to the success of email marketing campaigns is the phenomenon of email bouncebacks.

To elaborate, according to Constant Contact, 10% is the average email bounce back rate that is faced by email marketing campaigns. To define, bouncing back in the email refers to the situation in which you send your email but the email is not delivered to the intended recipient. In these cases, you usually get an automated reply to the email that a particular address was not found or the message was not delivered.

There can be multiple reasons for emails bouncing back including full recipients with full inboxes or sending emails to incorrect email addresses. To make email marketing campaigns far more successful, marketers need to identify the major reasons for bouncebacks and find ways around them. Essentially, there are three types of email bouncebacks that need to be looked into.

  • Soft bounce emails – Soft bounces occur in emails when there is a temporary problem in the server of the recipient or sender. It can be due to multiple reasons such as big sizes of images attached to an email or the receiver’s inbox being full.
  • Hard bounce emails  – Hard bounce of emails happens when the receiver’s addresses are permanently blocked or are not available. This can happen due to different causes such as incorrect or fake email addresses. In most cases of hard bounces, the bounced email addresses are removed and cleaned automatically by the server.
  • Pending bounce – This bounce occurs due to some temporary technical glitch from the sender’s side in which the message does not get delivered. Businesses can fix the pending bounces by resolving the technical issue.

Besides, some businesses domains get blacklisted because of sending exploitative content to the receivers and are directly added to the spam folder. This can happen due to bad content quality or a high number of soft or hard bounce rates.

However, the key questions remain, “how can marketers enhance the outreach of the marketing emails by minimizing the instances of email bouncebacks?

So, what are the most effective strategies that marketers need to implement for greater success in email marketing?

To answer all these questions, this article will cover some of the effective strategies that can be adopted by individuals or businesses to reduce the bounce rate of emails and deliver the message to your target audience efficiently.

9 Effective Strategies to Reduce Email Bounce Rate

Update your email lists constantly

People often change their email addresses or deactivate their old emails after creating new ones. However, due to being busy with other operations, businesses often forget to update their email addresses and due to this, sometimes soft bounces transpire while sending emails. Hence, it is crucial for businesses to keep updating their email lists periodically in order to remove all the accounts that are now not being used by the receivers.

To continue, one effective way for businesses to quickly update their email lists is by sending action-oriented emails. They can be either simple confirmation emails or can include a game or exclusive offer which can compel the receiver to take action. After analyzing the click-through rate, emails can be effectively sorted out and non-required emails can be eliminated.

Once the list is sorted out, a business will only send emails to the actual active target audience and eventually, the chances of emails bouncing back will be reduced. 

This will also enhance the probability of generating leads because the emails will be directly pitched to the audience who is action-oriented toward your brand or the company.

Use professional domains

Let’s understand this through an example – You get two emails from a company with a domain name:  and another with a domain name: name@companyname. Now out of both of them, which one are you likely to actually open and read?

The answer is obvious, the second one because it sounds more professional than the first one. On the other hand, to avoid receiving emails from strangers using free domain names, recipients of your emails may add the first address to their spam list. That’s how the bounce rate of the company gets affected.

Hence, even if you are a small business, in order to reach and engage the right audience, it is always advisable to use a professional domain name. The reason is, not only are free domains unprofessional but there is a very big possibility that free domains won’t catch attention and receivers might directly add the same emails into spam. 

Image: Example of email address using professional domain name

Segment your email lists

Businesses often collect the email addresses of their target audience for multiple purposes such as newsletters, sending recommendations, etc. Now assume that you sent the list of recommendations to the subscribers who were expecting the newsletter at the end of the month. It will not only disengage them but can also irritate them. As a result, they can either unsubscribe or add your email to spam.

This will not only affect the bounce rate of the email but will also impact the reputation of the company negatively. In such situations, segmenting the email list is the best possible solution.

Segmenting the email lists can assist you in delivering the right email according to the preferences of the target audience. This will engage your audience more and will also lower the hard bounce rate of the emails.

Moreover, subdividing your email lists can also give you clear insights into key areas that need more attention based on the segmented lists. This can further assist in strategically planning and attaining the objectives of the business successfully.

Utilize double verification

To lower the email bounce rate, it is crucial to cross-verify that you have the correct email address of the target audience. A good method to make that possible is always to go for double verification of email addresses. For instance, if any person subscribes to your newsletter, you can send an email again to confirm the action.

By implementing this strategy, you will get the right target audience who is active and is also interested in knowing more about your company. Your verification email does not have to be complex, it can just be a simple click confirmation email.

By implementing double verification, firstly, you can lower the bounce rate because you will be sending the emails to the correct and active addresses. Secondly, by targeting the right audience, your chances of lead conversion increase which can contribute to the overall growth of the company.

Image: Email double verification – Source

Avoid triggering spam filters

In the era of digital marketing, we all are very well aware of the fact that with technology, people are also getting smarter. People nowadays are not interested in seeing triggering keywords. Moreover, the technology is also getting smarter, email operating engines are now applying various filters before forwarding the mail to the receiver. If you add anything that does not cope well with the updated filters of email, your brand email might directly land up in the spam folder.

This will not only dilute your message into millions of spam but will also increase your bounce rate. It will not affect your email delivery rate, but the click-through rate and open rate will be severely affected.

There are multiple criteria under which technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are used to create certain filters. Triggering words or phrases such as “earn money”, “get rich” or “earn extra bucks” in the subject line are often blacklisted by spam filters.  Along with this, adding multiple exclamation marks in the subject also triggers a spam filter and will directly send your email to the spam folder.

Using such words and phrases in the subject line not only triggers the spam filter but also irritates the audience you are targeting. If the emails carry inappropriate lines or words, people will directly report the email as spam and will blacklist the sender. To validate,  as per HubSpot, 69 % of email receivers report email as spam by reading just the subject lines.

Triggering spam filters, again and again, will not only affect the bounce rate but will impact the reputation of the company.  Hence, it is crucial to identify some of the things that trigger spam filters like this and design your email templates accordingly.

Send emails consistently

Sending emails consistently does not mean bombarding the inbox of your target audience. It means that you must send high-quality content emails with the specific period gaps because this will assist in staying in touch with the target audience.

If the audience constantly engages with your brand, it will eliminate the risk of emails landing in spam. Moreover, it will also assist in checking that the member of the audience is active and is engaging with your content.

Having an engaging audience and valid email addresses will reduce the risk of email bouncing back. Moreover, never forget that an engaged audience increases the chance of converting potential leads into sales.

Never buy your email lists

When businesses are in the excitement of delivering a message to the target audience, they often look for ways to get the work done as soon as possible.

With the same intent, many businesses often get connected with agencies that provide already created email lists of different users all across the globe. This is not only unethical but is also illegal in some cases.

To elaborate, when these email lists are prepared, the users are not informed that their data is being sold and used by another party. This not only invades their privacy but is also bad for the reputation of the company.

Moreover, there is no guarantee that this data is correct and updated and usually includes inactive or fake addresses.

Using such lists to deliver the email to the target audience will increase the bounce rate. Along with this, if found guilty, your company can be charged heavy fines by multiple supervising bodies.

Hence, it is always advisable that you should never take help from any such agencies and should never buy email lists.

Never use too many images

For a number of reasons, bad connection, slow Internet, security, there can be issues with images loading. Sometimes attached images with emails may not load or take a long time to load which may irritate the user or may only load as white blank spaces. Hence, it is always crucial to limit the number of images attached to each email.

Along with this, adding large images can also create a problem for the sender as it may also increase the load time. Moreover, using large images can also send your emails directly to the spam folder. Hence, using multiple or large images will eventually lead to higher bounce rates. To avoid this, it is recommended to use a limited number of images and also compress them before attaching them.

Image: Example of email image not loading – Source

Authenticate your email domains

In a world full of privacy and cyber security issues, all people are demanding is authenticity. They are ready to share their personal information with businesses that are reliable and trustworthy, but they have their guard up, so it’s in your court to prove it.

Hence, verifying and authenticating your email domains will make it easier for your target audience to trust your company. It can be done through methods such as SPF and DMARC which can be used to authenticate your domain effectively.

Making the domain authentic and reliable will lower the bounce-back rate and can also assist in increasing the deliverability and click-through rates of the emails. On the contrary, without an authentic domain name, your target audience may consider you a spammer and can also blacklist your emails.

This will benefit the reputation of the company and the receiver will be able to rely on your company for purchasing products or services.

To summarize, it does not matter whether you are a small business or a big organization, having a high bounce rate is not good for the business. Hence, it is really crucial to constantly invest your efforts in lowering your email bounce rate. Moreover, the given above strategies will effectively assist you in lowering your bounce rates in order to deliver the right message to your maximum target audience.

2 Responses

  1. These are all such great tips. Never buy subscribers. Grow your list organically. One human who wants your content beats 100 numbers-subscribers mindlessly purchased.

    1. So true. Buying subscribers leads to lack of results and can even lead to you getting banned from certain email platforms.

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