Resources Hub » Knowledge base » Do All Non-Existent Emails Bounce?

Email marketing is a very powerful form of marketing that yields phenomenal results. In fact, according to one of our recent reports, email marketing has the potential to give you an ROI of 4400%.

But, in order to get this kind of ROI, you will have to ensure that you run a well-orchestrated campaign, and a critical element of your campaign is your email list.

Make sure your list only contains quality contacts. Otherwise, when you send out your emails, you may find a dreaded metric as you read your analytics dashboard: the number of bounced emails due to non-existent email addresses.

in order to get this kind of ROI, you will have to ensure that you run a well-orchestrated campaign, and a critical element of your campaign is your email list.

What is an email bounce?

In email marketing terms, an email bounce is an email that cannot be placed in the recipient’s inbox.


There are two kinds of bounces that are most common:

  • A soft bounce. This is a temporary failure to place an email and can be due to a number of factors, a couple of good examples being your recipient’s email server being down or the inbox being full.
  • A hard bounce. This is a more permanent failure to deliver your message. A common cause is the email address being non-existent.

What is a non-existent email?

A non-existent email address is an email address that is no longer in use. This could be due to the domain that email is associated with being no longer being operational or the user having left the organization that assigned them that address.

An email address can also be deemed non-existent if there’s an error in filling it out in the “To” field. A single spelling mistake alters the email address and the email server will not recognize it as a variation of an existent account.

Due to these factors, all non-existent emails do bounce.

Does it really matter?

Besides the fact that bounced emails hurt your campaign, sending emails to non-existent email addresses also has other repercussions that go beyond your campaign.

For example, it can also hurt your sender reputation. Your sender reputation is a measure of how trustworthy ISPs view you as an email sender. The higher the score, the more likely your emails will reach their intended inboxes. In essence, this means your deliverability rates will be negatively impacted.

It’s impossible to get a good ROI using a list riddled with non-existent email addresses.

What now?

So what can you do about the non-existent email addresses on your list?

Delete all non-existent email addresses

For those email addresses that are truly invalid, you are better off removing them from your list. One of the most important things you can do for your email campaigns is to maintain a healthy list. This is why you need to keep tabs on all emails that bounce, particularly those from non-existent email addresses.

If you need more tips to help you create a more robust email strategy, check out our article on reducing your bounce rates and improving your email deliverability.

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.

Get started with Campaign Monitor today.

With our powerful yet easy-to-use tools, it's never been easier to make an impact with email marketing.

Try it for free