It’s a fairly well-known statistic in the email marketing world, but around 16% of emails sent will never make it into a subscriber’s inbox. A big part of this lapse in delivery is due to email bounces. As any email marketer will tell you—bounced emails are the worst!

Email bounces mean a portion of your prospects and customers will never get the emails that you spent hours perfecting for them and that they subscribed to receive. However, a less talked about side effect of high bounce rates is that they can negatively impact your email deliverability.

Bounce Rates: Soft vs Hard Bounce

An email’s bounce rate indicates the percentage of emails sent that were rejected by receiving servers. There are two types of bounces:

  • Hard bounces are more serious, as they are permanent. They occur when an email address or domain doesn’t exist or if a receiving server has permanently blocked delivery from you.
  • Soft bounces are generally a temporary issue that may be resolved by your next email send. Some causes of a soft bounce include: 
    • Your subscriber has a full server or inbox
    • Your email is too large
    • Your recipients’ server is down temporarily

Every email service provider will handle bounces differently, so be sure you have the full picture in order to learn and improve. It’s important to track this number for every email and keep it as low as possible.

How Bounce Rates Have an Impact on Deliverability

We’ve covered deliverability before-it refers to the rate of emails you send that are successfully delivered to recipients’ inboxes. If a person doesn’t receive your email, it’s impossible to engage with; and if it ends up in spam, subscribers may send it right to the trash.

One high rate for an email won’t have a serious impact on your marketing strategy, but it’s important to keep a close eye out moving forward. Consistently high bounce rates raise a flag for monitoring systems. Over time, you’ll be seen as spam, and as a result, that’s where you’ll end up. All in all, regularly high bounce rates will have a negative effect on your sender reputation; a difficult situation to get yourself out of. 

What Should You Do to Lower Bounce Rates?

Fortunately, you can take matters into your own hands to decrease bounce rates and improve deliverability:

Double Opt-ins

One way to help get your emails into engaged recipients’ inboxes is to use double opt-ins for email subscriptions. After a person signs up for your mailing list on your website, they receive an email with a link to confirm. This verifies that people joining your list are quality contacts who are more likely to open and interact with your email content. 

List Maintenance

Just because a person signs up for your list doesn’t mean they are necessarily legitimate or interested in your products. If you don’t use double opt-ins, fake, misspelled or duplicate email addresses could end up in your database. A tidy list means you’re optimizing every email send and have the best chance for high open and click-through rates.

Remember: purchased lists are not worth the cost; they tend to be of low quality and full of spammy contacts who have not agreed to receive your emails, bringing poor engagement. Buy a list, and you guarantee a drop in deliverability. 

Email Content

Finally, the content of your email will influence your reputation (not to mention how subscribers perceive your brand and whether they decide to engage further with you). Keep copy professional and not spammy (avoid “free!” “buy now!” and similar language), using proper capitalization and grammar, and be consistent with your send cadence to build and maintain credibility. Finally, messy code is viewed suspiciously by IP monitors, so keep HTML clean.  

Want to limit subscriber bounces and improve deliverability? Maropost’s success team operates with the objective of maximizing deliverability for our clients, guiding them through best practices to ensure success. Learn more about our best-in-class deliverability and unified customer engagement platform by contacting us today.

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