Email Marketing

The Ultimate A-to-Z Guide: Email Bounce Rate

Email Bounce Rate
Written by admin

Nowadays, most of us take email for granted. We send them, hit the send button, and then walk away. However, very occasionally a bounced email appears in our inbox.


If you are emailing a friend, then this isn’t so big a deal, but if you are sending emails as part of a marketing campaign, you may be in a tough situation if your emails don’t make it to the intended contact list.


It is likely that you are familiar with this situation if one of your email campaigns regularly results in bounced emails. Even though email bounces are a common phenomenon in email marketing, they are not something you are forced to endure forever. 

Here in this article, we’ll show you the basics of lowering bounce rates and demonstrate advanced strategies too.

What is an email bounce?

A bounced email is one that can never be delivered to the recipient. There are many reasons why servers may reject your email. When it bounces back to you, the server may also send a code that will help you figure out the reason for rejection.

The process of email bounce back

This happens almost at the end of the email delivery process which consists of the following steps: 

  1. It’s generally done by hand, but if you’re sending a mass email for a marketing campaign, it’s likely done automatically. 
  2. As soon as you send an email, it is queued up for delivery using an email transfer protocol server. 
  3. The SMTP server checks the IP address of the domain name server, from which it should be sending the email, for the server it should be sending the email to. 
  4. SMTP servers sends emails using email transfer agents to the recipient’s server. 
  5. When an email is delivered, it is displayed in the recipient’s inbox, but if an email is not delivered, the recipient’s server bounces it back to you with an error code, just as we mentioned before.

Types of email bounces

Email bounces can be divided into two categories. Some email services refer to hard bounces as permanent failure. Temporary failure in turn is referred to as a soft bounce. 

Hard email bounce

When you experience a hard bounce, the hard bounce comes down to the fact that the server was unable to deliver the message. If you see the 550 error code, then it means that you are experiencing a hard bounce. 


There are a number of reasons why an email can be hard bounced, for example: an unknown user or domain error, emails being blocked by spam or policy filters, and misconfiguration of the recipient’s mail servers or an attachment that is too large.

Soft email bounce

A soft bounce typically occurs when there has been a temporary problem with delivery. Servers typically return code 421 for soft failures, and most of them are not required to inform recipients of soft failures.


It isn’t necessary for you to do anything when an email has a soft bounce, as the email server will resend the message. If it remains undeliverable after multiple attempts, it will become a hard bounce, and the server will alert you of this.


Soft bounces occur most commonly because of temporary problems with the recipient’s server or a network issue. Other reasons include the recipient’s inbox being full or they use greylisting, an anti-spam measure in an effort to fight spam.

Why should you care about your email bounce rate?

It may seem like the email bounce rate doesn’t matter much, since your interests are more likely to be focused on getting an open or clicked rather than when an email bounces. However, a high bounce rate will have an effect on your deliverability and reputation in the future. 


Your emails are potentially blacklisted by recipient servers if you have a high email bounce rate so you’ll see an even higher bounce rate. Additionally, your emails will probably be tagged as spam if you have a bad reputation because of your poor email bounce rate. 


You can improve your open rate by cleaning your email list and cutting down on your bounce rate, which will improve your communication with clients.

Strategies for reducing email bounce rate you should try

Although you may think there are no ways to reduce your bounce rate, there are still some ways you can try and do so.

Clean up your email list

To get rid of email bounce rates, you must make sure to stay on top of your mailing list by cleaning it out and staying up-to-date. That will assure you of finding all your contacts who are truly interested in what you are offering.

With your email list purged of irrelevant recipients, you will be able to concentrate on selling to prospects who are actually interested. 

Always ask for permission

By asking for readers’ permission to receive messages from your form, you might also be able to decrease your email bounce rate. While it may sound appealing to have a huge mailing list, it’ll narrow your list of people who want to hear from you.


It is likely that sending emails to people who are not interested will negatively affect your bounce rate. It is also illegal in certain parts of the world such as the EU, to send emails without explicit permission. 

The double opt-in email process

It’s a good idea to implement a double opt-in email process. It involves sending an additional email with a subscription link to the individual to confirm that your email is the correct one. 

Send regular emails

It is important to send regular emails to improve your bounce rate. Obviously, you should not just send emails because it is cool to do so. By consistently providing value to recipients, you can reduce your bounce rate, increase email engagement, and avoid spam filters. 

Write professional emails

Additionally, in order to reduce your bounce rate, do not sound like a spammer, which means that your emails should look professional and contain subject lines that are not spam. Also, do not include any hidden links or content in your email’s HTML code.

Use an email verification service

When trying to keep bounce rates down while ensuring that your emails are delivered to the right inbox, you should consider using a program like Email List Validation. 


It’s the ultimate email bounce rate guide, from A to Z. We hope this guide illustrates to you the significance of email bounce rate in today’s business, regardless of what you offer your customers or the industry in which you operate, as it affects every business.

Sending a mass email to your business should be a top priority if you would like to ensure that your email bounce rate is low. Reducing your email bounce rate can begin even before you send any email and when done properly, it can provide huge benefits to your business in 2021.

In the current day and age, it is important to lower your email bounce rate, as it can negatively affect your business and can even have permanent effects. Also read Tips to Deal With Usual Email Marketing Mistakes

About the author


Leave a Comment