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How to Reduce Cold Email Bounce Rate


Email bounce rate is the percentage of email addresses within your subscriber lists that failed to receive the message because of being returned by the mail server of the recipient. The two main email bounce categories are hard and soft bounces. You can calculate the email bounce rate by taking the number of bounced emails and dividing by the number of emails sent, then multiplying by 100. This gives you the percentage. A ‘hard’ bounce is used to refer to those emails which have bounced back undelivered to the sender without being accepted by the email server of the receiver. Some of the standard reasons for hard bounce include non-existent email address, lack of domain, and blocked delivery by the receiving email server among others. At times, a valid email address bounces, so it’s important to take some time in understanding why emails would bounce. On the other hand, soft bounce describes an email bouncing back to the sender undelivered particularly after being accepted by the mail server of the recipient. Some of the standards reasons for soft bounce include are a full mailbox, the email server of the recipient being offline or down, or the email message being too large.

Reducing Cold Email Bounce Rate

Ensuring the delivery of email is important although some bounces are almost inevitable. Reports from different email marketing giants indicate that the bounce rate on average across industries is below 1 percent. Generally, 2 percent or less is considered a good benchmark for email bounce rate. For instance, if you send 100 emails then have 2 or even fewer than that in bounces, you are good. For this reason, if you realize your bounce rate remains above 2 percent, there is a need to take action geared at improving it.

Some differences exist between sales and marketing emails. Hence if you look at them using different angles, it’s possible to prioritize those things necessary in attaining an ideal bounce rate.

Ways of Reducing Cold Email Bounce Rate

  1. Cleaning of email lists

Emails list especially when they are bought should be up there. They have thousands of organic leads. Bought lists are effective in getting the results you need fast. After buying an email list, run it through an email cleaning service. This ensures you avoid ‘spam trap’ emails. They refer to those addresses that have never been attached to any person and exist for the sole purpose of detecting spammers. Upon an email reaching this address, a recipient would flag you as a spammer and blacklist your domain. This happens sometimes within the organization but it becomes worst when blacklisted at the IP level. Therefore, clean the list to ensure you attain a more acceptable bounce rate for your emails.

  • Do not send spam or even something that resembles spam

It’s important to ask yourself whether if it were you would you open the email or click on those links you’re sending. If you have to think about it, chances are that your recipients would be more judgemental. This is if at all you will reach them. By consistently sending emails looking like spam, spam filters or gatekeepers flag such addresses or an entire domain and bounce your messages back right away.

Hence, you need to spend more of your time engaging a third-party service for testing spam in your messages. Again, avoid including those potential spam triggers in order to maintain an ideal bounce rate.

  • Do not send emails from a freebie service

Sending emails from a free email domain such as Hotmail.com or gmail.com should be a big no. Other than technical reasons and even when your emails do not bounce, a freebie domain appears unprofessional. The use of a custom domain is not hard and the easiest way would be through purchasing a suitable domain and getting a google G-suite account using the available Google domains

  • Verify your domain

Verification of your domain informs the receiving email server that you are a legitimate sender with permission to send emails from the domain. The use of domain authentication improves your email deliverability and reduces the bounce rate. And to ensure this is set correctly, you require a domain customized for you. Further, when using a third-party email marketing tool, you need domain verification in order to send emails using your custom domains.

  • Get Personal

Email personalization has a dual benefit because it would most likely get past the spam filters and be opened. Email clients are interested in those large batches of inbound messages and exactly the same subject line. If you add some personalization to the subject line, it reduces the possibility of your messages getting flagged as spam. Studies have shown that personalization of the subject line increases unique open rates by at least 26%. Again, if you’re interested in ideas that could get your creativity flowing, read this solid list of 100 personalized email subject lines in order to get this going.

  • Use Double Opt-Ins

Use of double-opt-in confirms whether a recipient has put a correct and valid email address for any further communication. Through this mechanism, the chances that false emails or having emails in an inactive account significantly decrease. As such, when a recipient clicks the ‘Confirm’ option by using a corresponding email, they are automatically added to the email list. It ensures addresses are valid and can accept emails.

  • Segment your Email List

By segmenting your email list, you essentially categorize the email addresses based on certain parameters. This ensures your target audience is right and the content is what they require to avoid being blacklisted. A common parameter is those recipients who are most active. And based on such parameters, it’s possible to segment your list then send most emails to the most active accounts to ensure maximum engagement. Recipients are open to getting your emails and responding to them hence pushing the engagement rate higher would guarantee the success of the email marketing campaign.

  • Clearing Hard Bounced Emails from the List

Cleaning up hard-bounced email addresses from the email list is critical. Essentially, hard bounced addresses are incorrect or inactive and should not be kept in the email list any longer since they have an impact on the effectiveness of the marketing campaign. Emails being sent to those addresses never reach their recipients, hence it wastes your time and efforts. By deleting hard-bounced email addresses, you keep your entire list healthy and active while at the same time maintaining a lower bounce rate. Use the available online tools in detecting such emails and achieve the best output out of your campaigns.


Email bounce rate remains an important parameter to determine your email marketing campaign success. There is a need to keep a close eye on it because if your emails are bouncing frequently in significant numbers, you need to identify the problem and begin working on it in order to create a more active and healthy email list. Overlooking your email bounce rate can significantly affect your email deliverability. Hence, you struggle in getting the results you desire.

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