How to decrease the email bounce rate?

Email marketing is a complicated process where it is crucial to keep the email bounces as low as possible to make the whole email campaign successful. The message content and match, persuasion, analytics, and all such factors would make a difference only when the email reaches your targeted audience. Hence, an email marketer must pay close attention to the email deliverability and ensure a low email bounce rate.

An email bounce happens when the email is bounced back or returned from the subscriber's email server. The non-deliverability of emails can be due to many reasons, which may be temporary or permanent.

There are two categories of email bounces:

  • Hard Bounces:

These email bounces are the bounces due to permanent problems such as invalid email addresses or non-existent domain names.

  • Soft Bounces:

These email bounces are the bounces due to temporary reasons such as a down server, large content, or full mailbox.

In the former, you must identify those email addresses and stop sending emails to them while in the latter, you can try to send emails several times. However, if there is still no response, then you must delete those emails ids.

What is the bounce rate?

In email marketing, the bounce rate is the metric that measures the overall percentage of the email addresses from your subscribers' list that didn't receive the email because those recipient's mail servers returned them to you.

How to calculate the bounce rate?

You can follow these steps to calculate bounce rate:

  • Divide the total number of bounced emails by the total number of emails sent. It gives the total number of bounces per email.
  • Multiply the bounce per email rate, thus obtained by 100 to get the percentage of bounce rate.

The high bounce rate can have an adverse impact on your email deliverability. It may damage your sender reputation. Also, there are chances that you may get blacklisted.

What is an acceptable bounce rate?

The bounce rate of 2% or less is acceptable. However, the bounce rate above 2% leads to problems. It indicates that you must check the best email marketing practices and find our ways to reduce the bounce rate.

Ways to reduce email bounce rate

You can take the following steps to decrease the email bounce rate and increase the deliverability of your emails:

  • Maintaining a good list hygiene

You can maintain a good email list hygiene by keeping a track on different aspects. You should monitor the email bounce rate, opt-ins, and key metrics. Also, you must clean up things regularly, for example, hard bounced email addresses and old domains.

  • Make use of a permission-based opt-in list

It's always better to take the permission of the users to whom you are sending emails. In case the recipient didn't opt-in to be on your mailing list, then there are chances that they can mark your email as spam. It can damage your senders' reputation and further increase the email bounce rate.

Therefore, you must take permission beforehand by asking the user to register or subscribe to your newsletter. It helps in avoiding the email bounces from those who have not granted you permission to send emails.

  • Keep updating your subscribers' list

The subscribers' list must consist of relevant email addresses. The stale or cluttered list would only lead to a high bounce rate. You must update your email list from time to time. Also, you can provide your recipients, the option to unsubscribe and update preferences.

As an email marketer, you should clean the email list as and when necessary. However, you should not delete addresses just after your first email campaign. Otherwise, you may have to spend much time as well as resources to restore your email sender reputation. So, it's considerably better to update or clean the email list after every 6 months.

  • Email authentication

An email marketer should authenticate the domain name as it proves to be useful in the long-run. You can take the help of a good email service provider for ensuring the authentication and verification of your domain.

The verified emails give the email recipients, an idea that you are whom you claim to be and thus, not spamming them. It also prevents sending security alerts to your recipients.

Authenticating your domain has a positive impact on the deliverability rates and automatically reduces the email bounce rate.

  • The preference center

You should give your subscribers an option to choose and control the type of information they receive in emails from you. Consequently, they should be able to decide on how many emails they would like to receive from your side. It decreases the email bounce rate.

  • Verification of the email addresses

Verifying the validity of email addresses in your list is a must before you start the marketing campaign. Otherwise, the probability of a hard bounce rate can be very high.

You can make use of various tools and carry out this email addresses the verification process with ease.

  • Consistency decreases the email bounce rate

You must send the emails to your subscribers regularly and consistently. The higher subscriber engagement is essential to reduce the spam complaints and also the email bounce rate. In case you are too late in sending the email, then recipients might not even remember subscribing to your emails or newsletters, and they may send your email in the spam folder. You must keep sending emails regularly to avoid any such chances.

The email marketing campaign can be truly successful only when you take sincere efforts on your part and send consistent emails to develop good contact with your subscribers.

  • Avoid free sender domains.

There are chances that if you're using free email domains such as "," then your emails might end up being sent to the spam category by different filters. Also, those emails will not pass the DMARC policy check for Yahoo, Gmail, and AOL. It increases your email bounce rate and spoils your reputation.

You must avoid free sender domains and, instead, use a professional business domain for the email marketing campaign.

  • Quality Emails

The quality of your email content makes a big difference. The content should force the recipient to read and go through the whole email. For this, you can include visual content, compelling words, attractive subject line, and pictures.

If your recipients start putting your emails as spams or deleting without opening, then it would harm your sender's reputation. Overall, it can have an adverse effect on the email bounce rate and increase it, thereby putting you at risk of getting blacklisted.

  • Don't create spam-like emails

In any circumstance, you should avoid spammy words as filters would easily recognize them, and your efforts would go waste.

You should keep a check on the email templates, subject line, message, and other links to ensure that your email surpasses the spam filters.

  • Track the email deliverability and performance results

It is critical to have a close on the email deliverability and performance results, so no serious issue remains undetected. You can adopt different marketing practices to increase subscriber engagement in time.

You can't let go high bounce rate unnoticed for long as it can hurt email deliverability and your sender reputation.

  • Improvise your strategies

Testing your email list on a continuous basis is also essential. It is good to have a constant watch on the analytics of your email bounce rate.

You must keep an eye on the new emerging marketing practices. Accordingly, you should change and improvise your email marketing strategies. You should also know where you are going wrong by analyzing the results of negative email campaigns so you can understand which changes are necessary to succeed.

Using the steps mentioned above, you can decrease the email bounce rate, thereby ensuring that your emails are reaching the inboxes of your mail recipients'.

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