How To Reduce Email Bounce Rate in 6 Easy Steps?

The 6 steps strategy, created by email deliverability expert, is a tested solution to put a stop to bounced emails once and for all. Just reading about will not reduce your bounce rate. Take action today!

reduce email bounce rate

Email Deliverability Expert

I'm Tamas Szabo, an email deliverability expert and the founder of HuBuCo. Over the past few years I have provided advice for thousands of businesses worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies, on how to reduce email bounce rate, achieve 99%+ email delivery rate, improving inbox rate and maximising their sales, obviously I am an expert in my field. I'm now sharing this simple 6 steps strategy with everyone for free to help you eliminating your bounce rate.
High email bounce rate can permanently damage your email reputation, your email sending account can be suspended or closed. There are simple steps in this guide that clearly explains how you can achieve 99%+ email delivery rate and finally become bounce free.

99%+ Email Delivery Rate, Guaranteed!

If you follow my advice outlined in this post and use HuBuCo’s online email verification service to verify email addresses, you can achieve 99%+ email delivery rate. If you have followed all steps and advice in post and still had higher than 1% bounce rate, one of HuBuCo’s support colleagues will investigate your bounce rate, and if any improvement areas found, will advise how to further improve your email delivery rate. HuBuCo provides this investigation for free as your guarantee.

Bounced Email - Soft Bounce vs Hard Bounce

High bounce rate, 3 simple words with the power to annoy any and EVERY email marketer. Bounced emails are emails that couldn’t be delivered to the recipients. These undelivered emails are every email marketer’s worst nightmare, especially when you have hygienic email lists. Most of us are likely to experience this when sending out an email campaign. It’s such a frustrating feeling when you send out a great email and it does not get delivered, and on top of it, you can get suspended or kicked out from your email sender. Ideally, your bounce rate should be below 4% otherwise you may acquire a poor email sending reputation, which can seriously affect your present and future email campaigns. Depending on the reason why it couldn’t be delivered there are 2 main categories of bounced emails:

First, let’s start with the basics and explain the two different types of bounces; soft and hard. Soft bounces occur due to temporary deliverability failures, such as poor IP reputation, spam, and authorisations issues. Whereas, hard bounces occur when you try to send an email to an address that does not exist. Now, most email marketers will recognise the deliverability issues I referred to above but for those of you who don’t, I’m going to break them down so you have a broader understanding.

Hard Bounce

Hard bounce is when an email couldn’t be delivered due to a permanent delivery problem. This typically happens when the recipient email address doesn’t exist. I strongly recommend to use HuBuCo’s email verification system to avoid hard bounces, because our accuracy is much higher than most email verifiers. Email verification prices depend on how many emails you need to verify, find out more here: email verification prices

Soft Bounce

Soft bounces occur due to temporary reasons, that can be fixed and get the emails delivered. Internet service providers (ISP’s) use email filters to decide if an email can be delivered to the recipient at all, and if yes should it be delivered into Inbox or Spam. These email filters scan through each email from top to toe, and analyse every information in it. Email filters try to determine if it is a legit or a spam email, and to find out if the recipient is likely to be expecting an email from you. They check:

Soft bounces can happen for many reasons, but the most important reasons are:

  1. IP reputation issue: The IP the email was sent from has bad email sending reputation, hence the email is rejected.
  2. Spam content: The email subject or content is spam-like, and the recipients’ email filter did not accept the email.
  3. Authorisation issue: The email sending application is not properly authorised to send emails on behalf of the sender.

Reduce Email Bounce Rate in 6 Easy Steps

1) Have a good subscriber list

Opt in subscribers: Achieving high email delivery and inbox rate really begins when you acquire new subscribers. They all have to be 100% opt in subscribers, who have provided their contact details, and agreed that you can contact them in the future. If your subscribers didn’t opt in to be on your mailing list, they will mark your emails as spam, that damages your email sending reputation… And you know where that leads, it will cause you soft bounces…

Manage subscribers: Once you have added your subscribers to your mailing list and started sending them emails, you must remove from your list the following email addresses:

Tip: if your email sender application doesn’t separate hard and soft bounces, download all your bounces, verify them in HuBuCo’s bulk email verification. Any email addresses returned as OK by HuBuCo can be kept on your lists, but remove the invalid ones. Also take action to reduce your soft bounces.

2) Verify email addresses as they subscribe

Make sure that your subscribers’ email addresses exist before adding them to your mailing list. If you don’t check the email addresses before you send them the first email (even before sending them a confirmation email), you will have a significant hard bounce rate. You have a couple of options here:

At this point (when your subscribers subscribe) I recommend keeping OK, Catch All and Unknown emails on your email list. Definitely remove / don’t add Invalid and Disposable emails to your email list.

3) Write quality content

It’s really simple. Your email content must be something your recipient wants to read. Including your subject line, email content, pictures must be interesting for your readers. Use easy to read fonts, colours. Also, it is wise to check your readability score e.g. on Hemingway App. Make your emails easy to read.

Interesting and easy to read content increases the chances of recipients reading your emails, and decreases the likelihood of them marking your emails as spam. This means you have a better score when the recipients’ server filters your email.

Writing a good email is always a work in progress. You need to keep checking how well they perform. Check open rates, click through rates, unsubscribe and complaint rates, and keep adjusting your email until it is just perfect.

ISP content filters scan every aspect of an email, therefore, it is vital that you create good email content. You must make sure that your subject line and content are consistent and not misleading. Lastly, avoid using spam trigger words in your emails, for example, ‘earn’, ‘free’, or ‘buy now’, however, this also depends on the context in which you use these words.

Some tools that can help testing the spammyness of your content:

4) Use a bulk email sending application with a good IP

Delivering an email and delivering an email campaign are 2 different fields, and requires different emailing applications. While e.g. Gmail is a great tool for sending emails, including hosted business emails, it is not a bulk email sending application. You cannot just BCC your contacts and send them out. If you do that they will land in SPAM folders or bounce back. Choose an email marketing tool to send your email campaigns.

Ideally all bulk email sending applications track all your emails and provide you reports showing which email has been delivered, opened, etc. The ones that bounced they should give you sub-reasons for the bounce. Also tell you who marked your email as spam. But these are basic features only. A great email marketing tool will also offer reputation management and automated messaging services.

Once you have chosen a bulk email marketing tool, make sure your emails are being sent from a good IP address. I recommend you test your campaigns every single time on www.mail-tester.com before sending them out. If you are scored down for anything, fix it before sending your campaign in live. This tool also shows you the IP your email was sent from. Check the IP on SenderScore. If the IP scores less than 95 out of 100, you are going to experience email delivery issues. Either get a dedicated IP with good reputation or choose another email sending application.

Dedicated IP’s have the benefit that its reputation will not be damaged by others, however, you have to send emails consistently.

Some tools to test your domain’s and IP’s reputation:

5) Authorise your email sender

Even if you have the best email list and write the best emails on Earth, you will still have bounced emails if you don’t authorise your email sending application to send emails on your behalf. You have to do this even if you are sending emails from your own email server.

Never send an email without SPF set up correctly. Your email sender can help you setting SPF and DKIM authorisation correctly. Don’t send your email campaign straight after your DNS just has been updated. Bear in mind, when you make any changes to your domains DNS it might take up to 72 to fully propagate.

Some tools to test your settings:

6) Verify old email lists

If you have not emailed your email list for 3 months, you have to remove invalid emails from your list before sending them an email campaign. In 3 months – depending on your niche – 2 to 10% of emails can go bad. Such a high hard bounce rate can cause permanent damage to your reputation. Upload your lists to HuBuCo and get them verified.

Email OK emails only. Upload your email list for verification here: https://www.hubuco.com/email_verify

At this point, if you really want to achieve 99%+ email delivery rate, I recommend sending emails to OK emails only. If you want to maximise conversion, and willing to risk that you might have higher bounce rate than 1% you may want to send emails to Catch All and Unknown emails too.

Prevent Bounced Emails - Summary

Following these 6 steps will end your high bounce rate nightmare. This is a tested strategy that has helped thousands of businesses worldwide, and now it is available for free for every email marketer. I'm dedicated to change the email marketing industry by reducing all email marketers bounce rate.

6 Steps To Reduce Email Bounce Rate.

  1. Have a good subscriber list: Only add subscribers to your list who want to receive email from your, and remove those how are not interested in your emails.
  2. Verify email addresses as they subscribe: Make sure that your subscribers’ email addresses exist before adding them to your mailing list.
  3. Write quality content: Your email content must be something your recipient wants to read.
  4. Use a bulk email sending application with a good IP: Having a good IP to send emails from are still more important than your domain's reputation.
  5. Authorise your email sender: Never send an email without correctly set SPF.
  6. Verify old email lists: If you have not emailed your email list for 3 months, you have to remove invalid emails from your list before sending them an email campaign.

99%+ email delivery rate guaranteed. Follow these steps above and I guarnatee you will have less than 1% bounce rae! Do you have any questions on how to reduce your bounce rate? Leave a comment here, and I will reply as soon as possible. If you like the article, please share it, help me reaching as many email marketers as possible. Thank you.

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