why did my email bounce

A bounced email, or bounce, is an email that cannot be delivered to a mail server. Instead, the mail server generates a Non-Delivery Report (NDR) informing the sender why the email failed to deliver. 

A high bounce rate is harmful to your sender reputation (the reputation associated with your email sending behavior). This can negatively impact your deliverability rates, as service providers will be more likely to divert your emails to the spam folder or not deliver them at all if you are deemed an untrustworthy sender. While bounces will always occur, you’ll want to keep your bounce rate as low as possible. An acceptable bounce rate is below 2%.

Not all bounces are equal, let’s distinguish between the two types of bounces: hard bounces and soft bounces.

Hard Bounces

A hard bounce occurs when an email is permanently undeliverable to an email address.

They occur due to issues such as:

  • The email address does not exist.
    This is very common if you purchase a list of email addresses, and one of the main reasons why we recommend against emailing prospects that have not given you their email address. Also, CAN-SPAM laws are pretty strict against emailing people without their consent.
  • The email address is invalid (typo).
    This is usually a mistake when someone fills out their email address on your landing page or website. If your form has the ability to check for “correct email syntax”, we recommend you turn it on.
  • The recipient’s email server has blocked you.
    This is rather self explanatory, and means someone really doesn’t want to hear from you

Hard bounces cannot be resolved, therefore very important that you don’t continue to reach out to these email addresses. It is very important to keep your list clean from addresses like this.

Soft Bounces

Soft bounces typically occur due to temporary issues. If these happen, we will automatically try to resend your emails over a period of time after they soft bounce.

Reasons for a soft bounce include:

  • The recipient’s mailbox is full.
  • The recipient’s email server may be temporarily unavailable.
  • Your email size exceeds the inbox’s filters.

We will continue to send emails after a soft bounce to see if the issue has been resolved. If the email address continues to soft bounce, however, the address will eventually be considered a hard bounce and be removed from your list.

How To Reduce Your Bounce Rate

Now that you know what a bounce is and how harmful it can be, here are some ways to reduce your email bounce rate:

List cleaning
After a while, your list will start filling up with inactive addresses, which become problem some accounts. Make sure you remove recipients that bounce, complain or do not interact with your emails. A bit of cleaning from time to time goes a long way to reduce negative interactions and to boost your chances of landing in the inbox. Oftentimes, people will continue to send emails to addresses that have never engaged with their emails, which means that new signups to your list are less and less likely to receive your emails. Quality over quantity goes a very long way with your list. 

Double opt-ins
Having subscribers opt in to receiving your email is an easy way to know you are sending to people that are truly interested in your content. Even better is to have subscribers opt in twice. A quick confirmation email means less fake or inactive emails on your list and a much lower bounce rate.

Avoid spam trigger words
A quarter of all emails being sent out globally are spam. Email providers such as Google try their best to protect their customers from these emails. While your emails probably aren’t falling under this category, you’ll want to be mindful to avoid words spammers often use. Unfortunately, spam filters will not give you the benefit of the doubt. Even though you aren’t spamming people if you use similar verbiage, it may trigger a filter.

Here are a few example trigger words:

  • Free
  • $$$
  • Congratulations!

If you follow these guidelines and best practices, we can guarantee that you will see an increase in your open rates and click rates, which will in turn lead to more happy customers for you!

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