Having a high email bounce rate can severely affect your marketing campaigns.

The more your emails bounce, the worse your sender reputation will be.

And if your emails bounce too often, your sender address might end up being blacklisted.

Being blacklisted by an email service provider greatly reduces your campaigns’ effectiveness. This leads to more of your emails bouncing back to you and lower conversions.

Thankfully, there is a lot you can do to keep your bounce rate low and avoid getting blacklisted.  Let’s discuss the best way to go about this.

What is Email Bounce Rate?

If you send emails that cannot be delivered to an email address they will be returned to you, the sender. In other words, those emails bounced.

The email bounce rate is the percentage of email recipients who cannot receive and open an email.

It can also be referred to as delivery failure rate (DFR) or email deliverability. It can be calculated by dividing the number of emails that cannot be delivered by the total number of emails sent then multiplying by 100 in order to get a percentage.

For example, if an email is sent to 100 contacts and 5 were undeliverable then your email bounce rate would be 5%.

Main Reason For High Email Bounce Rates

The Email Address Does Not Exist

If you send an email to an address that doesn’t exist it will bounce right back to you.

This usually happens when fake or misspelled email addresses are on your list.

Avoid this situation by:

  • Ensuring that the email address is not misspelled or incomplete
  • Ensuring that the list is up to date and uses current email addresses.
  • Removing duplicate and blank entries.
  • Checking your list for broken links
  • Double-checking your lists before sending out emails.

The Email is Undeliverable

This happens if the receiving email server is down, overloaded, or otherwise unavailable.

Blocked By Server

Your email might get blocked by the receiving email server.

This tends to happen when mailing to government institutions and high-level organizations.

Mailbox Full

Your recipient may have a full inbox and be unable to receive new emails.

In this case, your email will bounce back until there is space in your recipient’s inbox to accept new emails.

Vacation Bounce

If you email people who are on vacation or unable to check their mail it will cause your emails to bounce.

In this situation, your emails still get delivered even though they return to you.

Removing the recipient’s address is advised if this situation continues for a while.

There may be other reasons for your emails to bounce and they fall into two categories:

Hard and Soft Bounce

What are hard and soft bounces?

A hard bounce occurs when you send an email to an address that doesn’t exist or is invalid. In this case, your email is permanently undeliverable.

A Soft Bounce occurs for temporary reasons such as a full mailbox, servers being down, or the size of your mail.

Both types of bounces greatly affect your sender’s reputation. So it’s important to maintain a low bounce rate.

Having a good sender’s reputation will lead to:

  • higher deliverability
  • high open rates
  • more clicks
  • and better conversions.

What is an acceptable email bounce rate?

The acceptable email bounce rate varies depending on your industry but in general, it’s 2% or lower.

This means if you mail to 100 email addresses there shouldn’t be more than 2 bounces in total.

If your bounce rate is above 2% you will need to improve the quality of your lists.

Here’s how to do so.

10 Tips To Instantly Reduce Your Email Bounce Rate

1. Use Permission-Based Lists

Many people create their email lists by purchasing leads or email scraping.

These types of leads are called cold leads. Emailing cold leads is called cold email marking.

The problem with this is that the receipts of cold emails are often unfamiliar to the sender.

As a result, they tend to mark cold emails as spam or block the sender’s address. And this leads to hard and soft bounces.

We can avoid this by using permission-based opt-in forms or double opt-in forms.

By doing so we ensure that all the people on our mailing lists are aware of who we are and expect to receive emails from us.

This decreases the chances of your emails getting marked as spam or bouncing.

And as a bonus, more of your emails end up in your recipient’s inboxes.

2. Segment Your List

List segmentation helps you to smartly organize your entire list into smaller lists.

This allows you to personalize the emails your leads received based depending on:

Past actions such as opening an email or clicking on a link.

Demographics such as:

  • age or gender
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Etc.

By segmenting your list you are able to provide valuable content that your leads desire. Leading to higher open rates and a decrease in your email bounce rate.

3. Capture Leads Ethically

To get people to opt-in to your mailing list you need to provide some kind of incentive. This could be:

  • A free trial for a product or service
  • A checklist
  • A case study
  • An ebook etc.

However, someone may accept your incentive without wanting to receive your future emails.

If that’s the case they will quickly unsubscribe from your lists and mark your emails as spam.

To prevent this it is essential that your leads understand clearly what they are signing up for and…

They should choose if they want to receive emails from you or not in exchange for a free incentive.

Again, the best way to do this is through permission-based opt-in forms.

4. Send Email Consistently

If you fail to mail your leads consistently they may become unresponsive.

If your leads stop opening your emails you will end up with a high bounce rate.

Furthermore, you’ll have to go through the process of “warming up” your leads all over again.

Avoid this by sending high-quality emails to your leads on a predictable and routine basis.

If your leads expect to hear from you at a specific time and find your content valuable they will:

  • Open your emails often
  • Click on your links
  • Respond to your mails

This increases a sender’s reputation and leads to higher conversions.

5. Don’t Mail Leads From Personal Email Addresses

Mailing from a personal email address may come off as cheap and unprofessional.

Bulk emails sent from a personal account tend to bounce at high rates. If this happens often, your sender’s address will get blacklisted.

The wrong choice of email address domains can lead to your bounce rate increasing up to 400%.

Free domains don’t follow the DMARC policy, which prevents people from using Yahoo, Gmail, and AOL email accounts.

This is quite simple to avoid by using a business email address attached to a domain name you own.

You can get a domain from Namecheap, GoDaddy, or any other reputable domain name registrar.

From there, your domain registrar will provide details on how to set up a business email address.

6. Make Use of a Preference Center

Preference centers help to further segment your lists.

They allow your subscribers to choose the type of content they wish to engage with from your brand.

This leads to higher open rates and more engagement from your leads.

7. Use An Email Verification Service

If you have a large email list it may be difficult to verify the quality of your leads.

An email verification service allows you to check for spam traps and other issues.

Use these services to ensure you only mail to valid addresses. Otherwise, you will have many unexpected soft and hard bounces.

Bear in mind that no email verification method is 100% accurate so verify the quality of your leads often.

8. Don’t Send Unsolicited Commercial Emails 

In the email world, spam filters can block you from sending emails. 

In turn, they will bounce your messages back to you if you send spammy-looking emails regularly.

Even better, to maintain a reasonable bounce rate, you should eliminate any potential spam triggers from the start.

Here are a few copywriting tricks and tips you can do to ensure your emails don’t end up in the spam or junk folders:

  • Make sure your email does not contain broken pictures or formatting problems.
  • Do not use spammy words.
  • In your footer, include your contact information and address.

Try to optimize your emails to give your readers the best experience possible.

9. Authenticate Your Email

Authentication of email has become one of the essential elements in a successful email marketing plan.

It helps to prove that your emails are not “forged” and does come from your sender’s address. 

By doing so, your emails have a greater chance of being delivered.

Authentication of emails is also a reliable method for demonstrating the validity and authenticity of your content to your readers.  

It can have a significant impact on reducing soft bounces and increasing the deliverability of your email campaign.

10. A/B Test Your Emails

A/b Split Testing compares two versions of an email message to determine which one performs best. 

It enables you to assess and modify what works and what doesn’t to encourage more significant subscriber interaction.

Therefore, you should split test key elements of your emails such as:

  • Your subject 
  • Email copy
  • Call to Actions (Call to actions)…

to see which phrases and features your subscribers respond to most. Some emails work better than others.

It enables you to assess and modify what works and what doesn’t to encourage more significant subscriber interaction.

Most Essential Tip To Reduce Email Bounce Rate

11. Use list Cleaning Services

One of the worst things you can do is to send an email to a non-existent email address.

This will reflect poorly on your sender’s reputation.

Email service providers will deem you as “unprofessional” and blacklist your sender’s address.

If you do end up getting blacklisted, you may have to create a brand new business email to continue mailing.

There are many list cleaning services available but most are inaccurate or expensive.

That’s why I recommend checking out Mailvio’s List cleaning service.

It is very accurate and ensures that your emails are deliverable 100% of the time.

The service automatically checks for:

  • Typos
  • Known Spam Traps
  • “Role” based emails, such as administrator@, postmaster@, etc.
  • “Disposable” email addresses.
  • Free email addresses (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc)
  • Checks if the recipient mail server exists.
  • Ask the recipient mail server if the email address is valid.
  • And so much more.

You can access this list cleaning service by Picking up a copy of Mailvio 2.0.

Mailvio 2.0 is one of the best email automation platforms around today. It helps to reduce email bounce rates and increases deliverability.

Mailvio offers incredible features that allow digital marketers to build personalized email campaigns.

Thanks to its pre-warmed IP address, users of Mailvio 2.0 have higher deliverability rates.

If you want more of your emails delivered and to increase your conversion rates, be sure to take a look at Mailvio.

Once inside, upload your mailing lists and start cleaning them.

Then go ahead and mail your list with the confidence that only real subscribers will get your emails.

Final Thought – Reduce Your Email Bounce Rates

By now you should understand the importance of having a low email bounce rate.

Ensure that you follow all the steps above to ensure your leads are valid and your lists are clean.

As email marketers, our email delivery rates directly affect our conversions.

It is crucial that we do everything in our power to ensure our content ends up in our lead’s inboxes.

In addition to ensuring we only mail to quality leads, we need to use tools built for email marketing. This way we’ll get better results for our efforts.


Steven is the co-founder of Mailvio and oversees the operations and technical strategy and implementations. Steven has been an online entrepreneur since he was 14 years old and has been running SaaS companies for the last 10 years.


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