Email marketing

Email bounce-back: marketing FAQs to help email deliverability

Drew Sanocki, November 21st 2017
A bearded person wearing a long blazer, skinny jeans, sneakers, and sunglasses stands against a bright yellow background looking at his phone and laughing.

An email bounce is when the email sent by the brand comes back without ever reaching the recipients mail box. A Non-Delivery Report (NDR) will be sent that will showcase the reason the server rejected the email and did not deliver it.

Every marketer knows that this is a red flag, especially if the number of bounces continue to rise. The success of any email marketing strategy is focused on the email reaching the recipients inbox. The next step is getting them to click and the win comes when they engage with the website and make a purchase or complete an action that was the KPI of the email sent. If the very first step, email deliverability becomes a challenge then the email strategy cannot scale. 

The core marketing tactics to make email marketing deliverability a success is using a bounce-back email campaign. Why should you care about this? Because these campaigns can literally unlock hidden profits for you overnight.

Improve email deliverability and avoid a bounce or spam box

What is a bounce-back email ?

A bounce-back email is defined as en email that is sent from an email service provider informing the sender that the message could not be delivered. This is an automated form of communication that is generated at a server level.

Why do emails bounce?

Billions of emails are sent every day and millions of email bounces also happen every day. This means that marketers are literally never reaching their recipient and the hard work they put into carefully drafting the message is never being communicated to the end audience.

There is always a specific threshold of bounces marketers take into account but what happens when this begins to effect the marketing strategy effectiveness for the email channel?

What is an email bounce rate and how do you calculate it?

Email bounce rate is the percentage of the total emails bounced divided by the total number of emails sent. The way to calculate the bounce rate is:

number of emails bounced / number of emails sent

3,000 / 20,000=0.15

Shown as a percentage:

0.15 x 100= 15%

So you can say that your bounce rate is 15%.

Is there a performance benchmark the for email bounce rate?

Hubspot did a study and found that the average hard bounce rate across each industry is .63%. while suggests that there is variance depending on the industry and soft bounces should be kept to under 10%.

What are the types of bounces?

Hard bounce

An automated server response where the email is rejected immediately with a NDR due to reasons like an invalid email address, network malfunction, sender email blocked.

Soft bounce

Soft bounces are temporary and caused due to issues like, full mailbox, mail server down or a change in email ID. These can be resolved as the server continues to send the email automatically.

However, soft bounces can become a hard bounce if the issue on the recipient end is not resolved.

How to reduce bounce-back emails

The easiest way to reducing email bounces is ensuring you maintain a clean email list.

Email strategy to increase deliverability

Email marketing is the cornerstone of digital marketing and continues to drive more growth and ROI than most other channels. The most integral aspect of the strategy is maintaining your sender reputation and creating benchmarks to success within your industry.

The best way to scale the strategy is an email marketing platform that provides industry benchmarks and email deliverability compliance that helps grow your business faster and safer.

Grow your business on your own terms.
Sign up
Drew Sanocki
Drew Sanocki
Drew is an ecommerce veteran. He started and sold his own online retailer, then served as CMO at Karmaloop and Teamwork. He explains his data-driven growth strategies at Nerd Marketing and works with direct-to-consumer brands through his agency Growth Engines.