Bounced emails are the worse news for your sender reputation.

Unfortunately, bounced emails are a common part of email marketing.

The scenario goes: subscriber signs up to your newsletter for valuable information from you and they don’t receive anything from you – it’s a lose-lose situation for everyone.

Or people change their email addresses without updating the mailing lists they’re subscribed to. These accounts stay inactive for years before they get disabled.

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this scenario is a factor behind your bounce rate to increase.

A high email bounce rate can damage your overall email deliverability.

Instead, if you work on improving it, you’ll increase opens and click-throughs rates.

If your questions are what is a hard bounce in email marketing? and how do I even calculate my bounce rate? you’re not alone.

In this article, you’ll learn ways to help reduce your email bounce rate for better email marketing results.

What is an email campaign bounce rate?


email bounce

An email bounce rate is the percentage of emails that don’t get delivered and return back to you.

The optimal bounce rate should be low.

Here are the major reasons why emails bounce:

Reason 1: Wrong email address

The email sent will bounce back if the recipient’s email address is invalid.

Reason 2: Invalid domain name

Nonexistent domain name.

Reason 3: IP reputation

Sending emails through an IP with a bad sender reputation can result in email bounces.

Reason 4: Email server

The recipient’s email address can block email delivery.

Reason 5: Spammy content

A subject line or body of the email have spam elements that make emails being caught in spam filters.

So to calculate your bounce percentage before you get blacklisted, here is a simple equation to work out your bounce rate as a percentage:

(# of bounces / # of delivered emails) x 100 = your email bounce rate.


Say you send 2,000 emails and get 10 bounces, the equation will be:

10 / 2000 x 100

This generates a bounce rate of 0.5%.

The important difference between hard and soft bounces

Soft bounces are not as nice as they seem.

Soft or hard, a bounce is a bounce.

It’s important to look at the type of bounces your receive to maintain healthy bounce rates.

  • Soft bounces: Soft bounces temporary and usually indicate an overloaded email server.

Your email service provider will try to resend the email campaign five times before giving up.

In most cases, soft bounces will turn around to a successful delivery after multiple attempts.

  • Hard bounces: Hard bounces are more serious because they’re permanent failures.

Hard bounces occur when the domain is no longer valid or the email contains a typo.

You have to remove all email addresses with hard bounces as soon as you find them.

Campaign Monitor and other ESPs will usually automatically suppress any and all email addresses that result in hard bounces.

Email bounces are really bad news for your email marketing campaigns.

How to reduce your email campaign bounce rate

If your bounces are already within 2% or less, it’s a warning sign.

If your bounce rates increase into the 5% or even 10% range.

If your soft bounces have crept past 2% to 5% or more, here is how you can reduce it.

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  • Use a double-opt-in
  • Keep an eye on sign-ups
  • Use a reputable email service provider
  • Authenticate your domain

This will tell email clients that you are who you claim to be and you aren’t spamming their users.

  • Use a double-opt-in.

Double opt-in for new subscribers is a solid healthy measure.

Double opt-in means you won’t receive invalid or inactive emails addresses in your email list for your email marketing.

A double opt-in is when you send an email authentication to every new subscriber and only adds them to your email list once they’ve clicked the confirm button or link in your confirmation email.

The confirmation email has to reach your new subscriber in order for them to confirm, which ensures that the email address is correct and accepts emails.

It is highly recommended to use automation for double opt-ins to streamline contact list management.

The best email service providers encourage double opt-ins because it increases the success rate of email campaigns and keeps mail servers healthy.

  • Be careful with sign-ups.

Use a captcha system to verify sign-ups.

A captcha system quickly identifies bots or spam accounts that sign up for your email list.

Using a captcha system on your signup form will ensure that only valid and active email addresses signed up to your email lists.

  • Use a reputable email service provider.

A reputable email service provider should help you authenticate or verify your domain.

Some Email Service Providers integrate with email validation tools like Email Inspector.

Using an ESP for an email marketing campaign without prior verification of your subscribers’ list is risky and can lead your account to get suspended.

Make sure to verify your email list before sending your email marketing campaign.

Otherwise, your sender reputation will get damaged.

A damaged sender reputation takes a lot of time to recover and will impact negatively, in the future, in your email marketing campaigns, as you may face higher bounce rates.

  • Authenticate your domain.

You have to use a professional domain in your email marketing campaign.

To use free email domains like “” is like jumping off a cliff.

The chances of your email being marked as spam by filters increase multifold.

As a result, your email bounce rates also increases after your email marketing reputation gets damaged.

To prevent that, you have to use your business domain name instead.

Your emails will not pass the DMARC policy check for Yahoo, Gmail, and AOL if you are using a free send-from domain.

One of the most trusted ways to reduce emails bounce rates is by maintaining your email database clean.

An unhygienic email list can kill your whole email marketing campaign.

Regular clean-ups of email databases ensure to keep only active and valid email addresses.

This helps maintain high deliverability rates, high open rates, and lower bounce rates reduce, ultimately building a strong sender reputation.

There are multiple bulk email validation tools present to identify valid and invalid email addresses.

You can use Emailinspector for this task.

In most cases, people ignore the verification of their email database because they don’t realize the impact of sending emails to the wrong addresses.

The usual attitude you find online is, “Even if 20%-30% of the email addresses are invalid out of the database I have, I will still make a profit.”

These people don’t realize that the “20%-30%” is enough to damage their sender’s reputation.

If you are one of these people, start with verification of your email database.

Otherwise, all of the steps mentioned above are equally important make sure you follow all of them before sending out your next email marketing campaign.

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