Articles on: Email Marketing

Email Bounce Rate and Why It Matters

Email Bounce Rate and Why They Matter


Understanding email bounce rates is important for an email marketer, because it is a factor in the long term success of your email campaigns. Email bounces occur when emails are unable to be delivered to the inbox where they are directed. Inbox providers keep track of senders who consistently have high email bounce rates, and senders with high bounce rates may stop getting their emails delivered. This has a direct negative consequence on your email marketing campaigns, because your deliverability plummets since your customers aren't getting your emails in their inbox. Therefore, it's important for every email marketer to understand the importance of email bounce rates.

What is an Email Bounce?

There are primarily two kinds of bounces:
Hard Bounces
Soft Bounces

A Hard Bounce occurs when an email is returned because the intended email address is invalid or does not exist. For example if you send an email to, it will return a hard bounce notification. Hard bounces are the ones that typically negatively impact your sender reputation.

A Soft Bounce occurs when an email is not delivered because the recipient inbox is full or if the recipients email server is temporarily down. When ONE gets a soft bounce, we automatically keep trying to redeliver the email at a later time.

Once an email has gone through a hard bounce on the ONE app, then we make sure not to email that email address again, therefore lowering your bounce rate in the future!

What counts as a high email bounce rate?

Acceptable Email bounce rates can vary depending on the industry that you're in but a generally accepted threshold is a bounce rate less than 2%. Below a 2% rate means that your email list is generally pretty clean!

If your bounce rate is between 2-5%, it's still manageable because it could just be a one-time spike in your bounce rate. However, if your bounce rate is consistently between 2-5%, then it may be a cause for concern and you may need to identify how invalid emails are consistently entering your email lists.

If your bounce rate is greater than 5%, then the ONE platform will automatically pause email sending on your account before your email sender reputation gets damaged too much. In cases, where your emails have been paused, it's worth running your email lists through an email cleaner to remove invalid email addresses from your list.

Pro Tip: Regularly cleaning your lists is a great way to keep your bounce rate low.

How does a high email bounce rate affect my email sending?

If you have a consistently high email bounce rate for your email campaigns, that can negatively harm your sending in the long term. It specifically has an adverse effect on your email deliverability. A consistently high bounce rate signals to inbox providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook etc.) that your email list contains invalid or inactive email addresses. This then translates into a poor sender reputation for you and your business, and becomes more likely that when inbox providers receive emails from your business, that they will automatically put it in the spam folder.

Unfortunately, once the inbox providers determine that you have a high email bounce rate and have marked you as a low reputation sender, it's very difficult to return to good standing. Even more complex is the fact that each inbox provider has different methods that they use to track email reputation and different periods of time for tracking spam complaint rates. Needless to say, it's much better for your long term deliverability to try your best to avoid email bounces in the first place!

Best Practices for avoiding high bounce rates

Use a double opt-in process for collecting email addresses. By requiring users to go through a double opt-in process, it requires them to provide reconfirmation through their email. So you can be confident the email address is real
Regularly clean your email list by removing invalid or inactive email addresses from your list. You an also use email verification tools to help check your email validity
Send emails to segments of your total subscriber list. By segmenting your email list, you can identify the most engaged populations of your email list and reduce the chance of bounces
Checking your bounce rates for your emails over time. By monitoring this stat, you can quickly identify issues that may appear and take appropriate action
Send emails consistently. Since our system automatically removes bounced emails from your next broadcast, sending emails consistently is a great way to keep your bounce rates low, while weeding out emails that are invalid or inactive

Please see below for a list of email list cleaners that you can use to help clean your email lists. Please note that we are not affiliated in any way with the below services and that this is a compilation of what our clients have told us worked well for them in the past.

Updated on: 07/03/2023

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