73% of global marketers consider email marketing to be a vital marketing strategy. So, if you’re looking to make as many sales as possible, you need to engage in email marketing.
Of course, not all email marketing is created equal. And if you want to get better, you need to understand metrics like email bounce rate.
Wondering how to calculate email bounce rate? Curious as to what bounce rate even is? Then read on.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is Email Bounce Rate?
Email bounce rate refers to the percentage of emails that were sent but not received in an email marketing campaign. So, if you were to send out 1,000 emails and only 800 of them were to successfully make it to their recipients, your email bounce rate would be 20%.
Understanding your email bounce rate is important, as it enables you to improve on it over time. The lower your bounce rate, the more of your emails are successfully being received, and the more potential customers you’re reaching.
There are several different types of email bounces, including the following:
A hard bounce is more impactful than a soft bounce, as it harms the sender’s sender reputation more. The lower a sender’s sender reputation score, the harder time they’ll have getting emails through to recipients. This is why you should avoid hard bounces as much as possible.
Now, what’s designated as a hard bounce? It includes situations where emails are sent to addresses that are blocked, don’t exist, or are invalid. It can also include situations when the email sender’s email provider blocks them from sending an email.
A soft bounce refers to a temporary bounce. It’s a situation where, for example, the recipient’s mailbox is full. Or, it could be a situation where the message is too large or the email server is down.
Regardless, soft bounces aren’t as impactful as hard bounces. While you don’t want to get too many, a soft bounce here and there won’t hurt your sender reputation all that much.
How to Calculate Email Bounce Rate
Now that we’ve discussed what email bounce rate is, let’s discuss how to go about tracking it. Generally speaking, you need to do the following:
Use an Email Provider With Bounce Tracking
First and foremost, you need to be sure to use an email provider that provides bounce tracking. Not all email service providers provide such services.
Without these, you’ll need to go through your emails manually so that you can determine how many emails weren’t delivered. This isn’t feasible for the number of emails sent during an email marketing campaign.
There is no shortage of email service providers that provide bounce tracking. From Gmail to Constant Contact and beyond, there are a wide variety of suitable options out there.
Systematize Your Analysis
Once you’ve chosen an email service provider with bounce tracking, you need to systematize your analysis. In other words, you shouldn’t analyze your email metrics willy-nilly. You need to create processes to ensure that you’re analyzing them in a regulated and regular way.
We advise checking your email metrics every day/week/month at the same time. This way, you can determine whether you’ve improved from one day/week/month to the next.
You should also be archiving your analyses. Keep old records on hand so that you can see how well you’ve progressed over time.
Monitor Your Bounce Reports
Once you’ve established a system for analysis, you’ll need to monitor your bounce reports. These reports should enable you to see how your bounce rate has improved or downgraded over different periods of time.
So, not only should you check your bounce rate over, say, the last week, but you should also check it over the last month, for example. Once you get things going, you’ll want to compare it from one month to the next to see if you’re trending in the right direction.
Respond in Kind
Whenever you check your bounce reports, you should be analyzing to see whether your bounce rate is going up or down. You should then be responding in kind.
If it’s going down, you’re trending in the right direction and don’t need to make any major changes (just standard cleanups of your email list). If it’s going up, there’s something more going wrong. For instance, a bot might be sending you bogus email addresses.
Check into these incidents over time to ensure that you’re not unconsciously sabotaging your efforts. If you’re not checking regularly, things could easily get away from you.
What’s a Good Email Bounce Rate?
Now, you might be wondering: what’s a good email bounce rate? Generally speaking, marketers consider a bounce rate of 2% or lower to be acceptable. The lower, the better, of course.
You’re likely not going to start off at this rate. However, by gauging your metrics with the right analytical tools, you can progressively clean up your email list, eventually resulting in that coveted 2% figure.
Note that the average email bounce rate across all industries is around 0.7%. So, you shouldn’t stop at a 2% rate. There are always ways to improve.
How to Improve Email Bounce Rate
We’ve discussed what a good email bounce rate looks like. Now, let’s talk about how to improve your email bounce rate and thus your conversion rate as well. There are a number of strategies you can carry out, including the following:
Make Sure You’re Getting Your Emails Ethically
First and foremost, you need to make sure you’re getting your emails ethically. You shouldn’t be paying a third party for emails. You shouldn’t be adding random emails to your email list either.
If you do this, you’re sure to add invalid emails. You’ll likely also find that some of your recipients aren’t happy about you emailing them.
So, how do you obtain emails ethically? You can get them through subscriptions to your services. You can get them through free downloads. You can even just ask your customers.
There are other ways as well. Read up more on the topic to optimize the growth of your email list.
Monitor Your Campaigns
There’s no doubt about it: if you want to improve your email bounce rate, you need to monitor your email campaigns. This is necessary to determine which email addresses are and aren’t receiving your emails. If you don’t monitor your campaigns (and instead just blast emails into the stratosphere without worry) you’ll have no way of getting better over time.
The key is to determine which email addresses aren’t receiving your emails and to remove them from your email list. Do this regularly over time, and your bounce rate will absolutely improve.
Employ Email Verification Techniques
Oftentimes, bots and spammers will sign up for email lists, despite the fact that they’re not using valid email addresses. As such, even if you’re attempting to only use emails that you’ve obtained ethically, you might still run into bounce issues.
How do you get past this problem? By employing email verification techniques. In particular, you should require double opt-ins.
A double opt-in is essentially a process requiring a person to subscribe twice. They might hit the subscribe button on your website. That’s one opt-in.
The second opt-in comes through a verification email that your website sends to them after the first opt-in. If they opt in through this verification email, they’re using a legitimate email address.
Choose a Reputable Email Service Provider
If you want all of your marketing emails to be delivered without disturbance, you need to maintain a solid sender reputation. The key to maintaining a solid sender reputation is to ensure your emails aren’t flagged.
While there are many, one of the primary components in keeping your emails from being flagged is to use a reputable email service provider. In particular, you need to use a provider that’s versed in professional email matters.
So, you should avoid standard Gmail. However, you can definitely make do with a Gmail business email address.
There are many other appropriate email service providers as well. These run the gamut from Constant Contact to HubSpot and more.
Use an Email List Cleaning Tool
One of the most efficient ways to manage and refine your email list is by using a cleanup tool. Such tools are designed to automatically sift through your list, removing obsolete or invalid addresses. They save you time and reduce the chance of manual errors.
Speaking of cleanup tools, there’s one in particular that we recommend for its precision and user-friendliness.
There are all sorts of email list cleaning tools on the market today. If you’re looking for a quality one, take a look at ours, MailVerifier.io.
Improve Your Email Bounce Rate With the Help of MailVerifier.io
Now that you know how to calculate email bounce rate, you might see that your bounce rate needs improving. If so, you should consider using MailVerifier.io, our email verification tool.
This tool helps rid your email list of invalid emails, thus ensuring that you’re not sending your marketing emails to addresses that don’t exist. In essence, it improves bounce rate metrics and makes your marketing emails more successful.
Check out pricing now!
Dewang Goyal is a seasoned expert in the expansive field of email marketing, boasting a track record that spans over a decade of transformative digital communication strategies. As a regular contributor to the MailVerifier.io blog, he offers deep insights and practical advice, helping businesses navigate the challenges and opportunities of digital communication. His articles range from the art of creating compelling email campaigns to the strategies needed for maximum audience engagement.
With a solid foundation in Computer Science, Dewang merges the worlds of technology and marketing seamlessly. This unique perspective allows him to approach email marketing from both a technical and a strategic angle, ensuring that his readers and clients benefit from comprehensive guidance.