Whether you’re working for a large-scale digital marketing firm or a small business owner handling your own email campaigns, we all have similar goals—one of them being reducing our email bounce rate. Though it’s impossible to have a perfect track record with every delivery, we all still must try. Sure you may have the occasional campaign that registers a beautiful goose egg, but there are often forces beyond our control working against us that cause emails to bounce. Other times, you could have improved the message or delivery tactics to lessen your bounce rate. Read on below to learn a few reasons why your emails may be bouncing, and what you can do about it.

You Have an Incorrect or Non-Existent Email Address

One of the easiest ways to get a high bounce rate is to have a whole bunch of wrong email addresses in your list. If you’re collecting email addresses in writing, you’re bound to run across some chicken scratch. Letters get misread or mistyped—it happens. Moreover, some of your subscribers could have switched Internet providers or signed up using a work email address and is no longer with that company. The point is there are a lot of reasons why you have dead weight in your subscriber list.

Solution: Don’t be too hasty to delete an email address after the first bounce—it may be a temporary issue. However, if the same address continues to bounce, then you can purge your list of it, or if you can, confirm the email address the next time you come in contact with the client.

Emails Get Caught in SPAM Filters

Spammers are always working on new ways to push their messages out into the world, and as a result, SPAM filters are always developing their algorithm to better weed out unsolicited junk mail. Perhaps it was the wording you used that triggered the SPAM filter that bounced your email or you’re sending a message to too many people who work for a single corporation or entity, and the sheer bulk appears to be a red flag.

Solution: Make sure your messages don’t include spammy jargon and use words like “free”, “guaranteed”, or “satisfaction”. If the issue revolves around sending to too many people in a business, contact the firm’s IT department and politely ask them to whitelist your emails.

Temporarily Unable to Deliver Email

Not all bounces are created equal. Most of the time, hard bounces and soft bounces are lumped together, but some email services will distinguish between the two. “Hard bounces” are the result of invalid email addresses, SPAM filters etc. Conversely, a “soft bounce” occurs when your email is rejected due to a temporary issue—inability to connect to the recipient’s server, oversized email, or the recipient has a full mailbox. Many email providers will continue to try and send the email for up to 72 hours.

Solution: Cross your fingers and hope the issue resolves itself within the time frame your email service attempts to resend the email.

Recipient Has an Active Auto-responder

People reserve the right to activate their email’s auto-responder at any time. Maybe they’re globetrotting to Bora Bora for two weeks and will be out of reach, or they set their out-of-office on the Friday before Labor Day. It doesn’t matter why the auto-responder is set up; it’s mere activation will repel and bounce emails.

Solution: Nothing. Track who’s bouncing the messages. If you are consistently getting bounced from certain email addresses over the period of a few months, they may be invalid.

The average email bounce rates for marketing campaigns vary between industries. Non-profits bottom out the list at a little less than 3 percent, and real estate tops the chart at nearly 14 percent. As long as you are within your industry average or even lower, feel good about the work you’re doing. If you’re interested in having a team of talented, innovative email marketers at your disposal to help you craft effective messages and reduce email bounce rate, contact us today.