Doesn't it sound like a nightmare for your emails to bounce?
For an email marketer, there's nothing worse than bounced emails. Because bounced emails inflict your sender reputation and email deliverability. With each email that bounces, you're bleeding a valid recipient's mail server. The truth is that… Email bounces happen to everyone, they are a common part of email marketing. People change their email addresses without notifying the mailing lists they are on, their accounts remain inactive for years before being disabled. It's important to understand hard bounces and why they happen. In this article, we talk about What is a bounce email? What causes an email to recover? Types of hard bounces? And how can you reduce your bounce rate? Read on!
What is Email Bounce Back?
Email bounce is when an email you send cannot be delivered to its recipient's mailbox due to a certain problem. Email bounce occurs when you send an email and it is rejected by the recipient. This is what is called a bounced email. There are other causes for servers to reject emails, all of which can be traced back to invalid emails and inactive email addresses. The number of emails returned per number of emails sent is what's called a bounce rate. A high bounce rate on growth can have a negative impact on your email marketing, sender reputation, and campaign reach. A sender reputation is a score that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) assign to an email sending IP address. Your sender score is what determines whether your email will recover or end up in spam. In fact, many email service providers (ESPs) like Gmail and Outlook can penalize a sender's reputation if the bounce rate is above 5%. As a rule, you should maintain a bounce rate below 3%. This can be achieved by following ethical tactics called "white hat".
Why are your emails recovered?
Here are some of the most important reasons why your emails are recovered.
The recipient's inbox is full
When your recipient has an entire inbox, their email may be marked as undelivered. Each ESP (email service provider) has a certain maximum storage capacity, if someone exceeds that, they won't be able to receive any new emails. If this is nothing like a case of soft bounce, you can't do much about this temporary issue, other than wait until your recipient's storage has enough space again. This delivery failure is very common. If you don't want to wait, you can contact your recipient through a different medium.
Non-existent email address
It is very common for emails to be retrieved when the recipient's address does not exist. here are two reasons for this to happen:
- The email address does not exist at all
- The email address has been misspelled
When you send an email to an invalid email address, you'll receive an auto-reply message from your email service provider informing you that the email address was not found. Either the email address has typos or is no longer valid.
Out of Office/Automatic Response
In some cases, when you send an email to a recipient, you receive an automated email that sounds something like: out of the office or "OOO." This is very common when your recipient's email address is professional and they are on vacation, they set up an auto-reply email informing their email sender that they are out of order for the time. Auto-reply emails cause your emails to be retrieved after they have been delivered. This is a chance that your recipient will be able to see your message when you return to the office. In that case, all you have to do is wait until your recipient returns and hopefully read your email. There's another case where if you keep getting the same automatic reply over and over again, for a long period of time, you need to remove the recipient from your email list to avoid being a spammer.
Blocked emails are another cause for making emails recover. Blocked emails occur with government institutions or schools with strict email servers and block your emails. Your recipient's mail server blocks emails to prevent spam attempts. Here are some reasons why your email may be blocked or not delivered:
- If the recipient's server is skeptical about your emails, it may be flagged as suspicious, which will trigger spam filters and your emails will be blocked and end up in the spam folder.
- To avoid being categorized as a spammer, you can authenticate your email, making a reliable domain name system (DNS) and respecting the sender policy framework (SPF).
- You can also pay attention to the words in the subject line or body of your email, as they could have a spam-triggering word.
Bounces and undelivered emails have a huge impact on the click-through and open rates of your cold email marketing campaign.
Types of email bounce
Email bounces are two categories:
- Smooth bounce
- Hard bounce
Let's delve into the meaning of these two terms.
Soft bounces mean your email was temporarily bounced. Soft bounces are not as serious as hard bounces. Here are the common reasons that cause soft bounces:
- A complete inbox
- An out-of-office status
- The email server is down or offline
- The e-mail message is too large
Hard bounces are when your email has been permanently rejected by your recipient's server. Hard bounces are more serious than soft bounces. Hard bounces can cause a major problem for the deliverability of your email. Hard bounces occur for several reasons, such as:
- An invalid email address
- A non-existent email address
- Blocked email service providers
There are two types of bounce that you should be aware of when you receive a non-delivery report or error code. Whether it's easy or difficult to resolve a bounced email, bounced emails will severely influence your bounce rate.
What is an acceptable email bounce rate?
An acceptable email bounce rate is a maximum of 3% for your email marketing campaign. However, this depends on the industry you're in, as well as the type of email campaign you're running. If your bounce rate is above 3%, then you need to pay attention and dig deeper into it. Be sure to consider the type of campaign you're running. It's normal for an email marketing campaign to have lower bounce rates than a cold email campaign. Why? In an email marketing campaign, you have a list of subscribers who voluntarily registered their email addresses. In a cold email campaign, he found the prospect's email address online, after searching for it. In this case, you must use an email verification service to validate email addresses. An email verification service will help keep your bounce rates as low as possible and protect your sender's reputation.
If your email marketing campaign is having a higher bounce rate than usual, here are the ways to help you undo that.
#1: Use a double opt-in
Using a double opt-in system is a very practical strategy so that only valid and active email addresses are registered in your email list. Double opt-in is when a new subscriber subscribes to your newsletter, sends you a confirmation email to validate their email address before adding it to their email list.
#2: Authenticate your domains
Authenticating your email domain will mark it as reliable for email service providers. Authenticating your email domain will increase your deliverability rates, thereby decreasing your bounce rates. Sadly, research shows that less than 40% of emails use SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are common methods of email authentication. Authenticating your email domain will improve your email sender's reputation, which is something your recipient's email server will take into account when receiving your email. Authenticating your email domains helps keep your bounce rates as low as possible.
#3: Avoid Spam Emails
If your emails end up spamming too often, this will damage your sender's reputation and cause many of your emails not to be delivered. If this is repeated, you may even be blacklisted in a database where ESPs classify potentially spam and suspicious email senders. Here are some tips to help your emails bypass spam folder:
- Don't use common spam words
- Don't send bulk emails
- Do not have misleading information from the sender
The more email providers trust you, the lower the chances of your email being flagged as spam, which will decrease your bounce rate.
#4: Clean Up Your Email List (Email Inspector)
You might be pointing out the obvious, but most email marketers forget to regularly clean up their email lists. Over time, an email list continues to clog up with inactive and invalid email addresses that block the delivery of your emails to their recipients. It's important to clean up your email lists regularly, remove toxic email addresses, and decrease your bounce rate. You can do this manually by checking your email list for toxic accounts, but this process takes a lot of time. You can always use the help of an email verification service like Email Inspector. Email Inspector can help you not only reduce your bounce rate, but also increase the engagement rate and deliverability of your email marketing campaign. Email Inspector has other features to help your email campaign reach its full potential. Email Inspector also offers a flexible range of prices to fit your budget and you won't have to break the bank. See Emailinspector.io for more details.