9 Ways to Lower Email Bounce Rates
Every good email marketer pays attention to sending metrics and KPI’s. But outside of campaign ROI, there’s one metric you should really keep your eye on. It can change your P&L projections in a moment, especially when you’re undergoing list-building campaigns. And that metric is email bounce rates.
Keeping track of your email bounce rates not only gives you a snapshot of how clean your list currently is, but they can tell you a lot about your lead-gen efforts as well. Email bounce rates can help you determine which lead-gen efforts are fruitful and which are a waste of money.
A low bounce rate generally means your list is clean and your email harvesting efforts are generating good, clean email addresses. However, a spike in bounce rates, especially during lead-gen, indicates poor name quality and could lead to your IP or domains being blacklisted. Not only do high bounces mean you’re wasting money on bad addresses, but your entire business could be put at risk.
On average, email marketers experience an acceptable email bounce rate anywhere from 2 to 5%. This means that for every 100 emails sent, 2 to 5 of them bounce back. If your rate is higher than 5%, you’ll want to take steps (see below) to lower your email bounce rate to the maximum 5% acceptable threshold.
But should you ignore your bounce rates and continue sending, ESP’s and ISP’s will punish you with lower sender scores and more junk-boxing. Worse, all of your sends can eventually be blocked, even those sends to your regular readers and buyers.
Before we show you how to lower email bounce rates, here’s five common reasons that bounces happen in the first place:
Five common reasons emails bounce.
- Spammy content: If your subject line, or content is deemed spam by your recipients email filter, not only will it end up in junk, but it could bounce back, increasing your bounce rate.
- Email Server block: Your recipients email server may be blocking your content causing immediate bounce backs.
- IP rep: If you’re sending from and IP with a bad reputation, your email may be rejected by the recipients email server.
- Sender domain: If you’re sending from a domain name that does not exist, you’re likely to be bounced.
- Invalid addresses. Sending email to invalid or mal-formatted email addresses results in hard bounces.
Here’s 9 ways to lower email bounce rates
- Never spam. Opted-in email addresses, addresses of users who have given permission for you to send materials, generally do not bounce. Sending to non-opted in addresses will get you marked as spam by the recipient resulting in a poor sender reputation and blocked/bounced emails. Never send spam.
- Clean and update your lists regularly. Even a list of double-opted in subscribers can go stale. The average email user has 1.75 addresses and will soon have 2. This means a lot of addresses are no longer used. Unused addresses supply zero opens. Over time, these stale addresses will lower your overall open rate, drop your sender score and will eventually bounce. Clean your lists and remove stale and unused addresses. You can do so right HERE
- Avoid spam-like content and subject lines. Even if you’re sending to opted-in addresses, ESPs and ISPs will judge your content. Should they deem your content spammy, you’ll be punished with lower deliverability and eventual bounce backs. Be sure your content is not spammy and get creative and useful with your messages.
- Stick to a regular send schedule. The more consistent your email sends are, like day of the week and time of day, the better. Stick to the publishing schedule and be sure you send your welcome series promptly. This is especially important with lead-gen. Should your newly acquired subscriber not receive a welcome letter, he/she may forget they opted-in to your messages and hit the spam button.
- Write to your audience. Be sure all your content and offers match what your subscribers initially singed up for. If they opted into an email newsletter about fishing, be sure you’re sending them content and offers that are fishing or outdoors related. Sending content that is not “in line” with your subscribers wants/needs will end up with them hitting the spam button. And your bounce rates will rise. Give subscribers what they signed up for and segment your lists so you can send appropriate content and offers to the appropriate subscribers.
- Don’t use free sender domains. If you’re using a free domain like @yahoo.com, ESPs and ISPs may see your messages as spam or a mass-chain email. Be sure to purchase a clean and professional domain name, based on your business, and send your emails from there.
- Authenticate your domain names. An authenticated domain name will greatly increase your deliverability and automatically reduce bounce rates. Authenticated domains will prevent security alerts being sent to your subscribers, which is a red flag that prevents subscribers from opening your emails. You can help authenticate your domains by implementing SPF, DKIM or DMARC.
- Remove all hard bounces from your lists. A no-brainer. When you receive your sender report, be sure to look over the stats and remove all hard bounces. By removing hard bounces, you’re statistically reducing your bounce rate immediately. Aside from this, be sure all new lead-gen efforts are free of hard bounces (incorrect or mal-formatted addresses) by using EmailOversights API. This API will prevent “fake” or mistyped addresses from ever reaching your email list, keeping your bounce rate low.
- Validate and Verify your email addresses. List hygiene is the single most important factor in lowering email bounce rates. If you have a clean list, devoid of invalid addresses and known spam complainers, your bounce rates should fall in the 2-5% acceptable rate, as long as you’re also following the above 8 tips. You can validate and verify all your entire list of email addresses right here at EmailOversight.
The easiest way to assure your email lists remain free of mal-formatted addresses, bots, known complainers, “fake” inputs or stale addresses is to utilize EmailOversight’s API right at the lead-gen stage of your list building efforts.
With the EmailOversight API, you’ll see exactly which lead-gen efforts are providing valid email addresses, and which are not. This alone can save you from wasting money on poor or bad lead-gen sources, and help you direct your efforts to sources where the addresses are valid.
Our API is a simple code you plug in to your form-fills or any area where you’re collecting email addresses. It immediately scans every address entered and removes all the malicious or incorrect data. This API gives you comfort knowing each and every name you’ve harvested is valid and verified to send.
The best way to lower email bounce rates is to have your lists cleaned and maintained by EmailOversight. And our API can help you accomplish your ROI goals right at the point of name acquisition!