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There are a lot of careful thoughts and planning that goes around curating the perfect email, which is why email bounces are heart-wrenching for many email marketers out there. It’s extremely frustrating when your readers aren’t able to read the information that you wanted them to read because of bounced email addresses.

Is a low email bounce rate good or bad?

Bounces happen when you fail to deliver your emails to your reader’s email address. The percentage of the number of email addresses in your mailing list that did not receive your email because their mail servers returned them is what we call an email bounce rate.

High bounce rates can gravely affect your sender’s reputation. A bounce rate of less than 2% is good, anything above 2% is a cause for concern. There are plenty of reasons as to why your emails are bounced and they are typically classified into 2 types of email bounces—hard bounce and soft bounce.

Hard bounce VS Soft bounce

1. Hard Bounce

A hard bounce is a permanent email delivery failure, meaning, the email you sent has been bounced back to you undelivered. Some of the common reasons for high hard bounce rates are non-existent email addresses and domains, or it could also mean that you were blocked by the receiver’s email server. In order to protect your email sender’s reputation, best to exclude these contacts from future emails.

2. Soft Bounce

Soft bounce, on the other hand, is a temporary email delivery failure. Soft bounces occur for many reasons, it could be due to a temporary technical problem with the recipient’s server or the recipient’s mailbox might be full, and that your email cannot get through. Whatever the reason may be, contacts from soft bounce are still able to receive future emails from you, unlike hard bounce contacts.

How to reduce your email bounce rate?

If you continue to send out emails even after seeing a bounce rate of more than 2%, you are putting your sender reputation at risk and might even affect your email deliverability for future sends. Here are some steps you can take to lower your email bounce rate.

1. Authenticate your email

In order to show your reader that you are a legitimate sender, you need to verify your domain. With an authentic email domain, your email deliverability will improve and thus, reduce your bounce rate. Avoid using free domain email addresses such as @gmail.com as your email address will fail a DMARC check. Using a personal domain name can also avoid your email from ending up in the spam folder. Read more here.

2. Soft Bounce

Before you send out emails, you need to make sure that your email lists are created with opt-in permissions from each individual recipient. When you use an opt-in email list, the probability of email bounce is low. You can get their permission by including an opt-in checkbox in your signup forms.

3. Verify your email list

You might want to use a third-party list verification to distinguish any undeliverable email addresses. You can immediately remove the undeliverable addresses and spot the ones that are risky and unknown. By verifying your email list, you can save both time and money from sending emails to people that might not read them, get a high deliverability rate, stay out of the spam folder, and ultimately prevent any damages to your sender reputation.

4. Send email consistently

When you send emails infrequently, your reader may forget about you and you may end up increasing your bounce rate. However, sending too many emails far too often may not be a good thing as well. You may annoy your readers and end up in the spam folder. So, there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to email marketing frequency and you will have to look at your own data to decide.

5. Monitor your email bounce rate

A good strategy to maintain your sender reputation is to monitor your email bounce rate for every subsequent campaign. If your bounce rate is high, you need to identify the problem and fix it. The longer you leave your email bounce to fester, the more damage you are putting towards your sender reputation. Actively check on your bounce activity report and be sure to take actions to improve it.

Learn more about how email bounce can affect your email marketing by getting on a 15 mins call with our lead Marketing Specialist now.

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