Each day, around 31 billion emails bounce back to their senders, never getting to their recipient’s inboxes.
Having a high email bounce back rate can seriously hurt your reputation as a sender, which can lead to email providers giving you a low sender score. If your sender score is low, your emails might be automatically marked as spam, so avoiding email bounce back is critical for your email marketing strategy. Read on to understand exactly what email bounce back is and the best ways to avoid it.
Simply put, email bounce back is when emails cannot be delivered to their intended recipients. There are numerous reasons this happens, but the sender is notified of an email bounce back via an automated message from a service provider. This message usually gives a few suggestions of how to fix the problem.
Since there are so many email service providers, there are multiple ways to be notified of an email bounce back.
The automatic reply informing you of an unsuccessful delivery can come from your email server or the intended recipient’s server. These messages will all look similar and say something along the lines of, “Your email could not be delivered to firstname.lastname@example.org because the address couldn’t be found or is unable to receive email.” However, in many cases, you can recognize and avoid email bounce back.
Before learning how to fix email bounce back, you should know the two different types: soft bounce and hard bounce.
Soft bounce means that the email was valid and reached its recipient but was bounced back due to temporary issues. These issues can sometimes be fixed by simply waiting and sending the email later or by checking the size of the email you sent. If you encounter a soft bounce, try again later and the email will most likely go through, once the problem is fixed on the receiver’s end.
On the other hand, a hard bounce is when an email is bounced back for permanent reasons. This is a more serious problem than a soft bounce. This bounce generally happens right away, as soon as you send the email. Not all hard bounces can be fixed, because some hard bounces happen if an email doesn’t exist anymore or if a receiver has blocked your email.
But some hard bounces can be fixed. It could be as simple as checking the email to make sure it’s spelled correctly, or the problem could be more complicated.
The best way to prevent email bounce back is by avoiding them altogether. Recognizing what causes them will help you know how to prevent them before they happen.
Soft bounce issues are frequently resolved by trying to send the email again later. Rarely is a soft bounce the sender’s fault.
Some email domains like a government or an institution have spam filters on their emails that automatically block certain emails, or it is possible someone blocked your email on purpose. One of the best ways to avoid email bounce back is by enabling double opt-in when a user signs up for an email list.
The user will enter their email and then they are emailed a link and must open it and confirm their email. This greatly reduces the number of spam email addresses on your email list; thus, a bounce back before it happens.
The lower the bounce back rate, the better. A bounce back rate of 2% or lower is the standard to aim for. This means less than two percent of your emails are bounced back to you. You may find that bounce back rates fluctuate with each email you send, and this is normal. However, any drastic changes should be a red flag.
If your bounce back rate is anywhere from 2-4%, you should begin to investigate why, and if it’s above 10%, you should take immediate steps to lower the bounce back rate.
Email can be a powerful tool for your business, but it can also be frustrating and quickly take up valuable time.
Knowing how to analyze your email analytics—opens, clicks, unsubscribes, bounce back rates, etc.—is key to understanding how to decrease your bounce back rate.
The higher your email volume, the harder it is to handle. The best way to prevent email bounce back is to do things right the first time.
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