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Way To Handle Email Bounces

Updated on July 26, 2017
Asha Prakash profile image

6 years of Experience in Email marketing, helping and finding new ways to generate high ROI on email campaigns, looking for more information

Getting past Email Bounces

The chance of an email bounce is one of the most dreaded outcomes that features in every marketer’s worst nightmares. And why not? You’ve created a marketing campaign that’s going to take the world by storm, send it to everyone on the email list and is waiting for those subscriptions to come in when you find the mailbox clogged with email bounce emails indicating that it never reached your readers. Those bounce mails right there will affect your reputation as a marketer and will act as douse of ice-cold on your marketing dreams.

In order to avoid a high email bounce rate, we need to find what causes these email bounces in the first place:

  1. Free email service:

    If you are using a free email service such as Yahoo or Google to send your marketing campaigns, the chances of email bounces tend to be higher. Thanks to the latest DMARC policy changes, emails sent from free email service providers tend to fail DMARC authentication and bounce and there goes your marketing campaign without being read by the intended audience.

  2. Using outdated email list:

    If you’re going to continue patting your back on developing an email marketing list and not make any effort to update it periodically, you’re sitting on a ticking time bomb. The aforementioned time bomb will blow up in your face when you try to send your marketing campaign newsletter a year after this mailing list was set up and gets a mailbox clogged with multiple bounce mails.

  3. Typos and email errors:

    Typos in the email IDs, missing letters or the ‘@’ or even misspelling the email server names will result in the email bounces. It would be worthwhile to have a human check once the list is collated to make sure that we have everything we need to get that email delivered successfully. These errors will result in a hard bounce which will leave you with little option to amend the email addresses or use this information again.

  4. A full mailbox:

    Well, now that seems to be a popular mailbox, or not. It can so happen that the mailbox you’ve sent the mail to is full and cannot accept any more mails. Well, in this case, there isn’t much we can do except to try once again after a few days.

  5. The out-of-office reply:

    You send a mail to your audience, and get a reply back. Well imagine that! Except that you open the mail and see that the reply is nothing but an out of office mail that brags about that trip to Bahamas they’re on now. If it’s any consolation, your email has hit the mailbox.

  6. Blocked emails:

    It can so happen that the email addresses have been placed under the Blocked category so that the receiving server blocks the incoming mail. In this case, all you can do is request the receiver and request for your email address to be removed from the Blocked list of email addresses. Or maybe look for an alternate email address to contact them so that you don’t look like a stalker.

However, all’s not lost. If there are causes, then there are solutions too. Well, at least when it comes to email bounces. Here are a few tips to counter email bounces and get your emails to reach their intended receivers.

  1. Do some spring cleaning

    Bad data or old email addresses in one of the most common reasons for email bounces. You need to constantly monitor and clean your email marketing list to ensure that any incorrect information is removed from it. You can choose to use one of the many software available and/or have a final check done manually to ensure that your email marketing list is in top-notch condition.

  2. Ask for customer information

    It might look like an unnecessary detail but asking customers to confirm their information always helps to ensure that your marketing list has the most recent information captured. You can ask your customers to confirm their email address as part of transactional procedure to make sure that you have the updated mailing address included in your marketing list.

  3. A second check never hurt anyone

    Send a confirmation email once a user signs up for your website. This way, you will be able to identify if the user’s email address server will allow your future emails to go through. As long as you ask nicely, and provide a little motivation in the form of discount codes, free eBooks or tips & techniques articles, you will get that confirmation email and the assurance that your email is not going to end up as one of the many unread mails in the Spam folder.

  4. Add an account management link

    Include account management links within your emails so that they can change their account information, including email addresses. Providing account management and unsubscribe links are both representative of marketing ethics and might even land you a few long-term customers.

  5. Test before you trust

    It is great to collate the email addresses in good faith. However, good faith alone never created great marketing campaigns. Send a test mail to the mail servers to make sure that your mail is being successfully received and is not sent straight into the black hole also known as Spam folder.

  6. Maintain constant communication

    If you treat your marketing campaign more like the Santa or Easter Bunny who comes by once a year, you are going to end up with more email bounces than you can count. Maintaining constant communication through marketing newsletters will allow you wheedle out the invalid email addresses and maintain your email marketing list.

  7. Check blacklists regularly

    Keep track of the spam databases and blacklists to ensure that the email provider used or your email address in specific, has not been added to them.


These are just a few methods that you can adopt to counter email bounces and ensure that your promotional newsletters and marketing campaigns reach the right mailboxes. However, the most important thing is to ensure that you constantly check and ensure the accuracy of your email marketing list to ensure that you are not in for nasty surprises after your campaign has been sent.

© 2017 Asha Prakash

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