Ever had a situation where you had an excellent idea, but maybe it didn’t get executed properly? Yeah, we’ve all had those experiences at some point in our life — personally and professionally. An email marketing campaign with a high email bounce rate is one of those situations where execution gets in the way of excellence. Just like the poor kitty below…we think we’re ready and have it all set up to push the go button…and then something unexpected happens.
(Image Credit: http://www.cutenessoverflow.com/awesome-and-funny-jumping-cats/)
Just like the kitten’s jump, our email marketing campaigns may not succeed. Many times we have a big email list that we plan to send out to let everyone know about a cool new product, event, etc. So, we set up email marketing campaigns and just load the list in and run it. Then, the results start to come in, and we see that our email bounce rate is high. That’s not a good feeling because you know your plan didn’t work as expected.
What is a Bounced Email?
A bounced email means it never made it to its destination. There are multiple reasons why your electronic communications may not reach the recipient. Let’s review some of these reasons.
- A Non-Existent Email Address – This means the email doesn’t exist. Maybe there was a typo, or the person left the company, so the email is no longer valid. In other words, you’ve got a bad egg.
- Undeliverable Email – This means there was probably an issue with their server. Many times if you wait for a bit and resend these will go through unless the server is no more because a company went out of business or something similar where the server is no longer needed.
- Mailbox Full – There’s always that person that doesn’t go through their emails! If someone doesn’t stay on top of their emails and their inbox is full, then your email will be denied.
- Vacation/Auto-Reply – This means your email successfully reached the recipient’s inbox; however, it gets recorded as a bounce because of the auto-reply.
- Blocked Emails – This means the server has blocked your email. Some companies and government institutions or schools have stricter servers that do not allow outside emails unless they are set up to be allowed.
- Other – This means the server didn’t give a reason for the bounce. It could have bounced due to one of the above reasons or something else.
It’s important to keep an eye on your bounces and appropriately maintain your lists. You may not think a high email bounce rate is a big deal, but it can affect you in the following ways:
- Costs you money. If your email marketing platform charges by the number of contacts in your database, why pay for dud emails?
- Causes inaccuracies in your reports. A bounced email will never be opened or clicked. These bad addresses skew your results.
- Can damage your sender reputation. According to Hubspot, “Bounce rates are one of the key factors internet service providers (ISPs) use to determine an email sender’s reputation, so having too many hard bounces can cause them to stop allowing your emails in folks’ inboxes.”
- Can get your email marketing account suspended. Mail Chimp, for example, will suspend accounts for too many hard bounces. As sources of tons of email for multiple clients, email marketing and marketing automation vendors must ensure their customers meet industry thresholds set by ISPs (internet service providers) if they want to ensure emails sent from their platforms continue to make into inboxes. So, it’s important that you maintain a nice clean list.
How to Clean Up & Manage Your Email Bounce Rate
In today’s business world, we rely on electronic communications to interact with prospects, customers, vendors, etc. A high bounce rate skews the success of your marketing campaign results. So, how do you work on scrubbing your list and managing it going forward? Here are some tools and tips to help you!
Validate Email Addresses – There are multiple tools available to verify your email addresses. Most of the tools are quick and easy to use. It’s a great way to rapidly identify dud emails before loading them into your email marketing tool. Here are some tools you can use to verify the addresses you have are valid.
Run a Check Every 6 Months – People change jobs fairly often these days. So, it’s a good idea to run a check on your email addresses about every six months to ensure you’re using a valid list.
Monitor Auto-Reply Bounces – If you’re continuously getting auto-response bounces for specific emails, then you should probably consider removing them from your list. Many times when someone departs from a company they set up an auto-responder email to notify people the person is no longer part of the organization. So, you should monitor these types of bounces to see if they are actual out of the office responses or if the person is no longer working there.
Don’t get your company or your email service provider flagged and blacklisted because of a high email bounce rate. Stay on top of it and keep it up-to-date by verifying the information you have is correct. Let us know if you need help with your email marketing campaigns!