5 Tips to Improve Your Email Bounce Rate

If you are like most marketers, your email bounce rate is one of the key metrics that you track.

There can be a number of reasons why your email cannot be delivered to an inbox.

The person may not have access to that email account or the account has been deleted, there could be email server issues, or the person may have put you on their blocked list.

Bounce rates can be classified as a Hard Bounce or a Soft Bounce.

A Hard Email Bounce is typically when an email address is no longer valid.

An easy way to see if your emails are being delivered is by looking for the “delivered” status on delivery reports.

A Soft Email Bounce is when an email has been delivered and the recipient opened it but the recipient didn’t take any action.

What are good Bounce Rates?

On average, bounce rates from 0%-0.05% are considered excellent. A bounced rate over 20% is considered poor.

Here are five tips that will help you improve your email bounce rate.

1. Use a Legitimate Email Server

The first measure you can take for improving your bounce rate is to ensure that all of your emails are being sent from a legitimate mail server.

You can use services like Google, Yahoo, or Outlook.com, but they can sometimes be mistaken for SPAM.

Using an email marketing service like the one I use, ActiveCampaign, can help because they have a system that ensures your emails are being sent from legitimate mail servers.

2. Segment your email lists

The next thing you can do is a segment and test your email lists.

This will allow you to measure the success of your email campaigns and see which type of emails have a higher bounce rate.

You can test your email lists by using a service like Emailable which completes four verification steps: a Syntax Check, MX Record Verification, Mailbox Check, and Distinct Categories.

3. Authenticate Your Domain

Make sure that you authenticate the domain where the email is coming from.

SPF, DMARC, DKIM are the three major methods of email authentication.

When you authenticate your domain, this tells the recipient that you are sending the email from a domain that belongs to your company or organization, and not an external sender.

4. Use a Double Opt-In

If you haven’t already, make sure you get permission from subscribers to send them emails first.

It is important to have the acknowledgment of this communication in the email footer so they know what they are signing up for.

Also, consider using a double opt-in for your email lists.

This will ensure that your lists are compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act and you do not risk having a high bounce rate.

5. Conduct Regular Cleaning

Finally, go through and conduct a good cleaning of your email lists.

Delete those who have not opened any messages.

You’ll want to keep the people on your list that are likely to open and engage with you.

It is also important to monitor your campaigns regularly.


This post may contain affiliate links. Click here for my disclaimer.

Mike Nicholson

I've spent my career working in a variety of Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Public Affairs, Information Operations, and Executive Outreach positions. With a history of planning, preparing, executing, and assessing communication strategies in the U.S. and abroad, I use this site to write, think and share lessons learned on organizational communications.

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