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How to Reduce Email Bounce Back Effectively in 2023?

Email marketing remains a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their audience. If you aim to grow your business, there's no channel quite as effective as email outreach. Building an email list and sending out messages consistently can save time and effort, especially when engaging with your prospects.

The key to the success of your email campaign is its deliverability. Successfully landing in a recipient's inbox is the first crucial step in enhancing your overall productivity. But what happens when you face the issue of email bounce back?

In this article, we will explore the reasons for email bounce back and how to prevent it efficiently. We will also discuss how to calculate an email bounce rate.

Let’s begin!

What is Email Bounce Back?

An email bounce is a scenario where your email fails to reach the intended recipient's mailbox due to various issues. When this happens, your email service provider sends you email bounce back messages, also known as NDR (Non-Delivery Report), which provide information about the failed delivery and the technical aspects of the failure.

Emails that bounce back have a negative impact on your account by making it more susceptible to SPAM filters. This can result in a decrease in your email sender score and overall deliverability rate. Knowing why emails bounce back and how to calculate email bounce rate is essential for any email marketer interested in effective prevention methods.

What are the Different Types of Email Bounce Backs?

Understanding why emails bounce back requires familiarity with the different types of email bounces that can occur.

Generally, email bounces can be categorized into three main types:

  1. Hard bounce
  2. Soft bounce
  3. General bounce

1. Hard Bounce

A hard bounce occurs when the recipient's email address is either invalid or non-existent. This can happen if the email address is no longer active or the email domain hosting has expired. Errors like typing "@gmail.con" instead of "@gmail.com" can also result in a hard bounce.

Some common errors to watch out for include:

2. Soft Bounce

A soft bounce happens when the recipient's email address is temporarily unable to receive emails. With soft bounces, there isn't necessarily an issue with either your or your recipient's email address. These types of bounces are usually temporary and resolve themselves after a short period.

Common reasons for soft bounces include:

3. General Bounce

A general bounce is a category where the email doesn't get delivered due to technical limitations on the server or, in some cases, due to the recipient's firewall settings. Unlike hard and soft bounces, general bounces are usually safe and don't have a negative impact on your email account or the sender's reputation.

What Is a Good Email Bounce Rate?

Determining what is a good email bounce rate is a crucial aspect of effective email marketing. Lower email bounce rates are generally better because they indicate that a greater proportion of your emails successfully reach their intended recipients.

But what constitutes a good or acceptable rate?

While opinions vary, the commonly accepted industry standard is around 2%. If your email bounce rate is at or below this threshold, you can consider yourself in the zone of normal operations. In this case, more urgency must be needed to reduce that rate further.

However, if your rate is between 2 and 4%, reviewing your current email lists and practices is advisable to identify possible issues. At 5%, you have a serious problem. And at 10%, you need to take immediate action.

It's important to note that these figures are general guidelines; actual bounce rates can differ significantly between industries. Some industries may boast average rates comfortably below 1%, while others might have higher rates under the best conditions.

How to Calculate Email Bounce Rate?

Understanding how to calculate the email bounce rate is fundamental for any email marketing strategy. The formula to determine the bounce rate for your email campaigns is straightforward.

The rate can be found by dividing the number of bounced emails by the total number of successfully delivered emails. To express this as a percentage, you would then multiply the resulting number by 100.

Email Bounce Rate Formula

The formula to calculate the email bounce rate is as follows:

An Example to Illustrate

Let's look at a concrete example to understand this better. Suppose you launched an email marketing campaign where 1,000 emails were successfully delivered, but 10 of those emails bounced back.

To calculate the email bounce rate for this particular campaign, you would use the formula as follows:

Email Bounce Rate = (10 / 1,000) x 100 = 0.01 x 100 = 1%

In this example, your email bounce rate would be 1%. Aiming for a bounce rate below 4.31% is generally recommended to ensure that a substantial majority of your emails reach their intended recipients.

Below is a graph showing the average bounce rate for an email in the United States.

Common Reasons Why Emails Bounce Back

Understanding why emails bounce back is crucial for enhancing your email deliverability and the overall success of your email campaigns.

Here are some common reasons why this happens:

1. Invalid Email Address

An invalid or expired email address is one of the most common reasons for email bounces. This can occur when using an old or unverified email list or when there are typographical errors in the email address. You'll typically get a bounce back message saying, The email account you tried to reach does not exist.

2. Blocked Sender's IP Address

Email service providers may block an IP address if they suspect spamming activities. This makes it impossible for your email to reach the recipient's inbox, leading to a bounce back. Free email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, and others often share a single IP address among multiple users. If one user engages in spam activities, it can affect everyone using that IP.

3. Email Blocked by Receiving Server

Some servers block emails from certain addresses or domains that they identify as potentially harmful. In this case, the email will bounce back, damaging your sender's reputation and email deliverability.

4. The Receiving Server is Overloaded

If the recipient's email server is overloaded, it won't be able to handle new incoming emails, leading to a soft bounce. This is generally a temporary issue that gets resolved over time.

5. The receiver's Inbox is Full

If the recipient's mailbox is full and can't accept new emails, this will also cause a soft bounce. This is usually a rare but temporary issue, as most people regularly clean out their inboxes.

6. Low Sender Reputation Score

A low sender reputation score can also cause your emails to bounce. Such emails are more likely to be filtered into the spam folder or be blocked altogether, affecting your email deliverability and bounce rate.

7. The Recipient Has Added an Auto-Reply

An auto-reply from the recipient can also be categorized as a type of email bounce back. This type of bounce, however, does not negatively impact your email deliverability or sender reputation score.

8. The Email Size is Too Large

Sending emails with large attachments or rich media can cause them to bounce back, as some email providers have size restrictions. It's important to optimize your emails to avoid this issue.

Each reason for email bounces has its own challenges and solutions, making it vital for anyone managing an email campaign to understand them fully.

How to Reduce Email Bounce Back

Reducing email bounce back rates is important for the success of your email marketing efforts.

Here are some effective strategies to consider:

1. Use a Clean Email List

A clean email list is crucial in ensuring high email deliverability and lower bounce rates. An outdated or purchased list can contain invalid email addresses, resulting in higher bounce rates. Therefore, always verify your email list periodically, especially before launching an email campaign.

2. Use a Good Email Marketing Platform

Utilizing a trustworthy email marketing platform can significantly improve your email deliverability. Platforms like Sendnow.ai offer features like email verification, advanced analytics, and more that can help you reduce email bounce back rates. Using Sendnow.ai, you can better manage your email campaigns and further optimize your bounce-back rate reduction strategies.

3. Use Double Opt-In

Double opt-in is a strategy that helps confirm the legitimacy of the email addresses on your list. Once a user subscribes to your mailing list, they receive a verification email. This extra step verifies the email address, reducing the chances of bounces in future campaigns.

4. Use a Dedicated IP Address

A dedicated IP address allows you to isolate your email sending reputation from others. This is particularly useful if you're sending high volumes of email. Shared IP addresses can suffer if one of the users on that IP is sending spam, potentially affecting your deliverability rates negatively.

5. Keep an Eye on Your Sender's Reputation Score

The sender's reputation score is a key factor that impacts email deliverability. A low score could mark your emails as spam, increasing your bounce rates. Tools like Sender Score can help you monitor your reputation.

6. Authenticate Your Email Account

Email authentication techniques like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC help verify your email, improving the chances of it landing in the recipient's inbox. These measures confirm to the receiving server that the email coming from your domain is legitimate.

7. Don't Spam Your Content

Avoid using spam-triggering words or excessive links in your email content. Maintain a balance between text and HTML and refrain from using excessive caps, bold letters, or exclamation marks. Following these guidelines will make your emails less likely to be marked as spam.

8. Send Emails Consistently

Consistency in sending emails helps to establish your reputation with ISPs. Regular email activity is seen as a positive signal, which can help to reduce bounce rates.

9. Don't Exceed Your Daily Sending Limit

Every email service provider has a daily sending limit. Exceeding this limit will cause your emails to bounce. Keep track of how many emails you're sending to avoid reaching this limit.

10. Maintain a Time Frame Between Consecutive Emails

Maintaining a time gap of at least 90 seconds between consecutive emails during an email campaign is advisable. Quick, successive emails are often flagged as automated, spam-like behavior, which increases the chance of bounces. Tools like Saleshandy can help manage the time frame between emails.

By adhering to these strategies, you increase the likelihood of your emails reaching their intended recipients, which in turn decreases your email bounce rate.


Understanding and managing email bounce rates is crucial for the success of your campaigns. Various factors can affect the deliverability of your messages, from invalid email addresses to server overloads. It's not just about sending emails; it's about making sure they reach their intended recipients.

Adopting best practices like double opt-in methods, maintaining a clean email list, and leveraging trusted platforms like Sendnow.ai can help you improve deliverability and minimize bounce rates. Moreover, keeping an eye on metrics and consistently engaging with your audience can ensure that your emails reach their inboxes and get the attention they deserve.

Managing email bounce rates is a challenging task that demands continuous monitoring and periodic adjustments to your strategy. So, invest time in understanding these aspects and implement the right steps to ensure the success of your email marketing campaigns.

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