Bounce Rate

Email marketers know that the bounce rate is an important metric when determining the success of their email campaigns. There are two distinct definitions of the term 'bounce rates' that you must consider as an email marketer.

  Bounce Rate Defined

The first of these definitions is characterized as an association with the delivery of your email messages in your marketing campaign. Defined in this manner, the bounce rate can tell you the proportion of email addresses that failed to receive the message that you sent because the message was returned by the mailer server or client. Bounces of this nature will raise your bounce rates and negatively impact your sender reputation and obviously have a damaging effect on your delivery rate as well.

A bounce under these circumstances can be either hard or soft. A hard bounce occurs when emails are sent to an invalid email address (either the domain name doesn't exist or the address itself fails to be recognized or is erroneous). Hard bounces are often the result of an incorrectly entered address, such as sending an email to, rather than A soft bounce occurs when a temporary issue exists with the email server that causes the message to bounce back from a valid email address - such as when the email recipient's mailbox has reached capacity. By monitoring the bounces that your campaign receives, you can quickly remove those bounces that occur due to erroneous information and correct those that are simply caused by human error to improve your bounce rate and therefore, your delivery and response rates.

The second definition for bounce rates as it applies to your email marketing efforts applies to the activity on the landing page(s) that is connected to the link(s) in your email messages. One possible cause for high bounce rates on your landing page is that the email recipient found the information that was supplied on the landing page to be irrelevant - while lower bounce rates on the landing page indicates that the landing page content was considered relevant by the subscriber. The bounce rate on the landing page that is linked via your email marketing messages is determined by the length of time that the subscriber stays on the page - which is a good indicator of the relevancy of the content.

 Reducing Bounces

One of your objectives in properly managing your email marketing efforts is to reduce the number of bounces that you receive. To do this, you should always include an "unsubscribe" link and an "update profile" link in your email messages - this will allow the recipient to be in control of whether or not they want to be contacted by you further. In addition, by going for a "double opt-in" or verified opt-in list, you can make certain that the email addresses that you are marketing to are functional. You must also have a bounce management system in place that will sort through your hard and soft bounces - removing those addresses that are not working. Also, by capturing the telephone and/or physical address of your opt-in subscribers, you can follow up on bounces so that you can include the subscriber in future emails with a valid email address.