Resources Hub » Knowledge base » Are Email Bounce Rates Better or Worse During COVID-19?

Around the globe, companies and businesses are trying to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of the world’s cities remain sheltered in place, and some are starting to reopen slowly. No one knows what the future holds, but, if you’ve been wondering if email bounce rates have changed, you’re in luck: We’ve crunched the numbers over the last few months and have some data for you to review.

What do email bounce rates look like during COVID-19?

Most of the response measures from governments started in March or April this year, so we focused on those data sets. Our research showed that email was more important than ever during this pandemic.

Email send rates increased by 19% between February and March of 2020.

Source: Campaign Monitor

If you’re unsure what an email bounce rate is, you can refresh your memory using this guide. An email that can’t reach its destination becomes part of your bounce rate: The lower your email bounce rate, the better for your campaign.

Comparing bounce rates from 2019 to 2020 and COVID-19

For the past couple of years, we’ve provided a yearly update on email benchmarks and statistics. In 2019, we found the average bounce rate for over 30 billion emails improved by 0.36% to 0.70%. This remained largely unchanged during March this year, indicating that marketers are improving their campaigns and managing their lists correctly.

In April, there was an increase in the average bounce rate of 0.15%, up to 0.86% from 0.71% in March. We also noted changes to open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates.

Campaign Monitor COVID-19 Statistics for April 2020

Source: Campaign Monitor

How to measure your bounce rates during COVID-19

Your bounce rate influences the deliverability of your campaigns. Keeping track of your bounce rates in Campaign Monitor is easy, using our analytics tools. While deliverability is vital to your campaign’s success, the bounce rate alone doesn’t give you all the information. Spam filters use different metrics, including unsubscribes, bounces, and open rates, to block emails from reaching inboxes.

Still, if you see your bounce go above the average, you’ll want to make changes to your campaign strategy.

Does it really matter?

Any increase in bounce rates will affect your deliverability. It all depends on how you manage your lists over time. A high bounce rate indicates that some subscribers may no longer be reachable, so you’ll probably need to remove them from your list.

Deliverability best practices to improve your campaigns

When you design your campaigns, you should always consider your deliverability. Most spam filters use good and bad signals to decide whether to deliver your email or not. These signals include all the metrics you track from Campaign Monitor’s reporting and analytics tools.

Good signals for deliverability include:

  • Open rates: A healthy open rate is an indication that subscribers want to receive your emails.
  • Replies: If your subscribers regularly reply to your emails, it’s another signal that they want to engage with your content.
  • Moved between folders: Moving your email from the junk folder or sending it to a specific folder also shows active subscribers.
  • Whitelist or adding to contacts: By adding you to contact or whitelists, subscribers show they want to receive more content from you.

Bad signals are:

  • Mark as spam or move to junk: This shows spam filters that the campaign isn’t what the subscriber was expecting.
  • Delete without opening: This is another bad signal for spam filters showing that the subscriber had no interest in the campaign.

What now?

Keeping track of your bounce rates during COVID-19 is essential, but it seems like there aren’t massive changes between this year and the last. If you want to stay on the safe side, you’ll need to keep track of all your different metrics in Campaign Monitor. If you note changes to your subscriber behavior, you’ll want to make changes to your strategy.

With a greater understanding of how subscribers are behaving during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may also want to read this guide on avoiding spam filters.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.

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