A bounced email is returned to the sender because it was undeliverable. Bounced emails can occur for various reasons, including an incorrect email address, a full mailbox, an inactive email address, or the recipient's email server rejecting the message.

When an email bounces, the sender typically receives a notification from the recipient's mail server. This notification will explain why the message was undeliverable and provide information about what the sender can do to prevent the same issue from happening.

An email bounce can also be referred to as a "bounce back" or a "non-delivery report (NDR)." It's vital for senders to understand the different types of bounced emails, as each type carries unique implications.

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What Are the Types of Email Bounces?

The most common type of bounced email is a "soft bounce." A soft bounce typically occurs because the recipient's mailbox is full or their email server is temporarily down. Soft bounced emails can usually be successfully delivered if the sender tries again later.

A "hard bounce" is a more serious issue. This occurs when the email address is invalid, the recipient's domain is no longer active, or the recipient's server has permanently rejected the message. In this case, the sender must correct the issue for the message to be delivered.

Bounced emails are an unavoidable part of email marketing. However, by understanding the different types of bounces and taking steps to prevent them, marketers can help ensure their messages get delivered to the right people.

How Can You Lower a Newsletter Bounce Rate?

Bounced emails can be a significant source of frustration for both the sender and the recipient. They can lead to decreased productivity, disruption of communication, and even lost data. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to limit bounced emails and ensure that you can send and receive emails without any disruption.

The proportion of your emails that bounce back as undeliverable is your email bounce rate. A high message bounce rate is undesirable, unlike other email marketing metrics like clicks and opens, where high rates are favorable. The bounce rate should be as low as possible. Some steps to take to fix your newsletter bounce rate include:

  • Cleaning Your Lists

    Take the time to identify and purge any email addresses from your lists that result in bounce backs.

  • Obtaining Consent

    Nothing will send an email address to spam faster than sending emails to individuals who didn't consent. Make sure your list only comprises valid emails that have opted in.

  • Maintain Consistency

    Send emails to your list frequently (but not too frequently)—this results in lower bounce rates, increased engagement, and fewer spam complaints.

  • Focus on Segmentation

    Your marketing will be more effective with segmentation. Send an email first to your most active clients. This demonstrates to the ESP's spam filters that your content is engaging and high-quality.

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