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You put your heart and soul into customizing the perfect email. Imagine the horror when you hit the send button only to find that a large chunk of your audience didn’t even receive the email.

Unfortunately, bounces are a frustrating but inevitable part of life as an email marketer. In this post, we’ll go over what makes a good bounce rate and provide tips to get you there.

What is a good email campaign bounce rate?

Ideally, you want to keep your bounce rate at 2% or less. If your bounces are already within that number, don’t worry too much—that’s normal. If your bounce rate creeps up into the 5% or even 10% range, however, something isn’t quite right.

Ideally, you want to keep your bounce rate at 2% or less.

The important difference between hard and soft bounces

Although staying within a healthy bounce rate range is good, it’s also important to look at the type of bounces you’re experiencing.

  • Soft bounces: These are generally temporary and usually indicate an overloaded email server. Your email service provider will try to resend the email campaign several times (usually five) before giving up. In most cases, soft bounces will turn into a successful delivery after multiple attempts.
  • Hard bounces: Hard bounces are more serious because they’re permanent failures. Maybe the domain is no longer valid or the email contains a typo. It’s important to remove all email addresses with hard bounces as soon as you find them. Campaign Monitor and other ESPs will usually automatically suppress any and all email addresses that result in hard bounces.

How to measure your email campaign bounce rate

Your ESP should make it easy to measure and track your email campaign bounce rate. Simply log into your dashboard and browse your campaign statistics.

For instance, Campaign Monitor allows you to check your email bounce rate based on the specific campaign, date ranges, transactions, or subscriber activity. This gives you a lot of room to monitor your bounce rate from multiple perspectives and truly understand how well your email campaigns perform.

Use this information to track any changes in your bounce rate over time and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Does it really matter?

If you have a soft bounce rate of 2% or less, there’s not much to worry about. Hard bounces, however,  should be removed immediately to keep your IP address in healthy working order.

If you don’t remove hard bounces from your list and continue to send them emails, you will damage the reputation of your IP address which will create a problem for your deliverability long-term: You risk having your IP address flagged as spam, meaning even fewer subscribers will actually receive your email campaigns.

How to reduce your email campaign bounce rate

If your soft bounces have crept past 2% to 5% or more, you can take a few steps to hopefully bring that number down to a healthier range.

  • Use a double-opt-in. When a new subscriber signs up, send them a confirmation email with a link to click to verify their address. This will ensure you only send emails to real people who want to hear from you.
  • Be careful with incentivized sign-ups. Free Wi-Fi and lead magnets are great for collecting contact information, but they can also lead to users providing fake email addresses. Check your list and clean up accordingly.
  • Use a reputable email service provider. Using an email service provider like Campaign Monitor ensures that you send campaigns from a high-quality IP address with a good sending reputation.
  • Authenticate your domain. A good email service provider should help you authenticate or verify your domain. This will tell email clients that you are who you claim to be and you aren’t spamming their users.

What now?

A small bounce rate is a normal part of email marketing, and thus inevitable. Soft bounces under 2% aren’t anything to stress over. However, hard bounces should be removed from your subscriber list immediately in order to protect your deliverability. If your soft bounces are too high, take advantage of these tips to reduce your rate.

Still looking for a little more help? Check out this Campaign Monitor post about making sense of your email bounces.

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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