What Is Email Bounce Rate and How to Reduce It Effectively?

What Is Email Bounce Rate and How to Reduce It Effectively in 2024?

If you are looking to optimize your email marketing campaigns, then it is important to observe and measure the performance of your email campaigns. The core metrics to measure the success of an email are the email bounce rate, open rate, and click-through rate (CTR).

While the open rate and CTR define how well your email content is, the bounce rate helps to determine the quality of your email list.

It is basically when the email never reaches the inbox at all.

For example, suppose you crafted a brilliant email full of valuable content and exciting offers and sent it to a potential customer. But, it turns out the email address was non-existent and never reached the intended recipient.

There could be several other reasons why an email may bounce. And today, you will learn how to optimize your lead list and reduce your email bounce rate significantly.

After reading this article, you will

  • Get a better understanding of email bounce rate.
  • Learn how you can measure bounce rate.
  • And learn effective ways to reduce your email bounce rate.

So, let’s begin.

What Is Email Bounce Rate – Detailed Explanation

Email bounce rate is a metric that measures the percentage of email messages that were not successfully delivered to the recipient’s inbox. When you send an email, it goes through various stages, and at each stage, there is a potential for a bounce to occur.

Normally, there are two types of email bounce:

  • Hard bounce
  • Soft bounce

Hard Bounce and Soft Bounce

  • Hard Bounce
    Hard bounces happen when an email you send cannot be delivered to the recipient’s address for a permanent and often straightforward reason. Some common reasons for a hard bounce include:
    • Invalid Email Address
      This is when the email address you’re sending to doesn’t exist or it’s mistyped, making it impossible for your email to find its way to the recipient.
    • Domain Doesn’t Exist
      Sometimes, the domain part of the email address (the part after the “@” symbol) doesn’t exist, i.e., a wrong email address or the domain is no longer being used.
    • Blocked By Receiving Server
      In certain cases, the recipient’s email server might have blocked your email address or domain, preventing any messages from getting through.
      This usually happens when your email domain is marked as being spammy, i.e., most recipients marked your email as spam. It could also happen if you use a sending service that is not well-trusted and is blacklisted by email clients.
  • Soft Bounce
    A soft bounce occurs when the failed delivery is due to a temporary situation. This means the email will not go through for the time being but may work again later. Some common reasons for a soft bounce include:
    • Mailbox Is Full
      Your email can’t get through if the recipient’s mailbox is full. But, this is usually a temporary issue that will no longer remain when the recipient frees up space in their mailbox.
    • Busy Server or Temporary Server Issues
      This is when the recipient’s email server is temporarily down or in maintenance mode. It simply means you have to try again later. A good way to handle this is to initiate automatic re-sending of emails after certain intervals if they fail initially.
    • Message Is Too Large
      If your email is too large for the recipient’s inbox, it might bounce back temporarily.

Why Is It Important to Track Email Bounce Rate?

If you are committed to running email marketing campaigns, then tracking the email bounce rate is very important both in terms of costs and results.

Following are a couple of important reasons why you should track the bounce rate actively.

  • You will be able to understand and improve the quality of your leads.
    If emails bounce, you know there is a chance some of the email addresses are wrong or invalid. This means either you did not verify your email list properly or your lead generation approach has some flaws.

    But this will also mean that your ROI estimations may not be quite accurate when you send emails. And your list may require you to get higher email-sending limits despite not having enough correct emails.

    After observing this metric for a couple of campaigns, you will be able to work on improving your lead funnel copy, improve the re-verification of emails, and maybe use an email verifier to identify wrong emails from the existing lists.
  • It will help to avoid getting flagged by ISPs
    Many ISPs use sender scores to assess the reputation of email senders. Consistently sending to invalid or unresponsive addresses can lower your sender score. A lower sender score can lead to your emails being filtered or blocked. So, when you see a high bounce rate, you should immediately identify and remove the bounced emails before sending your next email.

How To Measure Email Bounce Rate?

The email bounce rate is measured with the following formula:

  • (Total Bounces/Total Emails Sent) x 100%
Email Bounce Rate Calculation
Email Bounce Rate Calculation

Let us take an example. Suppose you have 2000 subscribers and just launched a discount email campaign for Christmas. You noticed that 200 emails bounced.

Based on this example, let’s put the numbers in the formula:

  • (200/2000) X 100% = 10%

This data can be accurately collected from your sending service logs & reports.

What Is A Good Bounce Rate In Email Marketing?

An ideal bounce rate in email marketing is typically as close to zero as possible.

In an ideal scenario, you’d want all of your emails to reach their intended recipients without any bounces.

However, expecting a completely zero bounce rate is often unrealistic due to factors like occasional typos in email addresses or temporary issues with email servers.

In practice, a reasonable and commonly accepted benchmark for a good average email bounce rate is around 2% or lower. This means that out of every 100 emails you send, you’d ideally want no more than 2 to bounce.

But, the fact is, the closest you can go towards zero is by ensuring you are collecting leads with high efficiency with proper validations and email verifications.

10 Effective Ways To Reduce Email Bounce Rate

Now that you understand the concept of email bounce rate, you must also know that it is not a dead end. Following are a few proven ways you can ensure your email list is of high quality and can help you reduce your bounce rate significantly.

1. Verify Emails With A Reliable Tool

If you have an existing email list, you may use a trusted email verifier to find out which emails are still active and are no longer valid. Some of these tools may identify disposable/temporary or flagged email addresses associated with spam traps that may affect your sender’s reputation.

That way, you can remove the faulty emails and continue with your email campaigns with high efficiency and low bounce rates.

Some popular tools for email verification are Clearout, ZeroBounce, etc.

2. Use Double Opt-in To Avoid Spam Lead Collection

A double opt-in email is a process of confirming and obtaining consent from a person before adding him/her to your email list.

Basically, when someone opts in via your lead form, an automated email is sent to click on a link to confirm a subscription. Once the link is clicked, the person will be added to your email list.

This will ensure,

  • The email addresses are valid.
  • The person provided his/her real email address.
  • Prospect gave permission to email.

So, this is a great way to ensure high quality and eventually reduce bounce rate in email marketing.

3. Avoid Sending Cold Emails Or Irrelevant Emails

To maintain a strong email marketing strategy, avoid sending emails to people who haven’t expressed interest or sending content that doesn’t align with their preferences.

At the same time, do not collect emails without consent and send emails out of the blue. It usually annoys them and increases the chance of being marked as spam.

4. Do Not Purchase Email Lists

Purchasing email lists is no longer reliable. It’s been quite some time since people have been more concerned about privacy and data protection. Now, it’s almost illegal to collect and sell leads. Hence, if you are purchasing email lists, you are most likely helping someone succeed with an illegal business.

At the same time, there is no way to confirm the quality of the leads and how many others have bought the same email list.

Eventually, you may end up with a lot of faulty or frustrated individuals in the list that will either increase your bounce rate or reduce email open rate.

5. Avoid Spam Triggers In Email Content

You may consider focusing on avoiding spam triggers on the email content you use. This may include

  • Spammy keywords (such as free, guarantee, urgent, etc.) on the email subject line and preview text.
  • Too much use of spammy keywords in the email body.
  • Excessive use of capitalization and special characters.
  • Email body content that doesn’t relate to the subject line at all.
  • Too many links in the email body.
  • No company business address or contact information on the email body.
  • No way to unsubscribe or change email preferences.

Avoiding these will save you from getting flagged by email clients.

6. Clean Your Email List Regularly

You must regularly invest time in identifying frequently bounced emails and remove them. This will ensure you only have quality leads and have to worry less about the email bounce rate.

If you have a large email list, using a reliable tool to carry this out every 3-6 months would be a great option.

7. Always Remember To Maintain A Good Email Sender Reputation

Your reputation as a “Sender” is regularly tracked by ISPs and email service providers to ensure they can detect potential spammers.

Hence, you must focus on quality in content and your lead list to avoid getting a low score as a sender. If you are once considered a spammer, then every email from your domain may end up in spam boxes and eventually be blocked.

8. Send Emails With A Suitable Frequency

Sending emails at the right frequency is crucial. Bombarding your audience with tons of emails every week can be overwhelming, leading to unsubscribes or disengagement. Many may even get too annoyed and block you, leading to bounces. Many email clients will also consider you a spammer if they notice too many emails from you in a short span of time.

On the other hand, waiting too long before sending emails to users may leave you with less scope to refine your email list, as many addresses may no longer stay valid.

So do make sure you maintain a healthy email frequency, maybe 1 email per week (or max 2).

9. Avoid Collecting Emails Without Permission

Many people often resort to collecting emails online, maybe via LinkedIn or YouTube channels. Unless you are looking for partnerships or affiliation, this is not something you should be doing.

Even so, simply collecting these emails without any permission may actually backfire since many emails that are available to the public may not be valid.

Using email confirmation and maintaining transparency about how you will be using the emails will help you get more valid opt-ins in your lead generation funnel and avoid a high bounce rate.

10. Use A Verified Domain

Make sure you are using a verified domain to run large email campaigns. Many email clients will keep your emails from getting delivered if the domain is not verified.

Reliable Email Verification Tools To Maintain An Efficient Email List

In case you are willing to validate and verify your existing email lists, the following are a few tools you may look into.

i. Bouncer

Bouncer is an email verification software known for its user-friendly interface and high accuracy. When you submit an email for verification, Bouncer immediately anonymizes it, ensuring privacy.

One of its notable features is the zero downtime policy, assuring users of uninterrupted service.

Bouncer offers various checks, including domain, syntax, catch-all server, and disposable email detection. It even accommodates bulk verification, allowing uploads of up to 250,000 emails at once.

ii. ZeroBounce

ZeroBounce is another tool for checking valid email addresses and follows strict rules for data security like GDPR, SOC 2, and PCI.

It has a feature called “Email List Enhancement” that can help you find out the names, locations, genders, etc., related to the email address.

This email verifier is considered one of the best out here.

iii. NeverBounce

NeverBounce is a helpful tool for verifying emails in bulk. It can be used in real-time and automatically check emails if configured properly for your website.

They’re so sure about their service that if more than 3% of the emails still don’t work after you use NeverBounce, they’ll give you monetary compensation.

Reliable Sending Services That Can Help Avoid Technical Spam Filters

A lot of technical aspects are involved when it comes to choosing sending services. Some maintain quality and are prioritized by email clients. others may have allowed spammers to email using their services and have been blacklisted.

Following are a few SMTP services you can consider going for.

i. Brevo (formerly SendinBlue)

Brevo is well-known as a SaaS email marketing tool, but you can also take their exclusive sending service without the expensive email marketing options.

You can get a free plan to send up to 300 emails per day. For more, you have to subscribe to their paid options.

ii. MailChimp SMTP

MailChimp is the most popular email client but is not always considered the best for segmented email marketing.

However, their SMTP service is definitely something you may use without any doubt.

iii. MailerSend

MailerSend comes with great affordable options to use their SMTP service, starting with up to 50k emails per month for as low as $24.

Plus, they are well-optimized to avoid technical spam filters.

3 Reliable Email Marketing Tools To Create Optimized Email Marketing Campaigns

One of the crucial decisions to make is choosing the right email marketing tool. Based on your requirements, you may want to look into features such as lead segmentation, easy campaign management, good email builder, optimized email protocols to avoid spam filters and email automation.

Following are a few email marketing automation tools you may consider using.

i. Mail Mint

If you are using a WordPress website, then Mail Mint is one of the best email marketing tools you may consider using.

Mail Mint is right now the easiest email marketing automation tool in WordPress, with crucial features such as lead management & segmentation, visual email builder, email sequences, automation workflows, abandoned cart recovery, and opt-in forms to collect leads.

It is optimized to help you collect and organize leads for targeted email campaigns. At the same time, you can also easily set up email automation based on several triggers in your WordPress site.

The best part about this tool is you will be able to start using it in a matter of minutes without any assistance required.

ii. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is quite popular for its amazing email automation control besides being a good email marketing tool.

It allows you to set up automation triggers in many situations such as email opened, product purchased, button clicked, form submitted, and many more.

This tool is considered one of the best for email automation flows and can be integrated with any type of website easily.

iii. HubSpot

Hubspot is an amazing all-in-one platform that comes with CRM, email marketing tools, automation workflows, lead forms, and many more.

It is a brilliant option for enterprise-level businesses and has everything you need to efficiently control email marketing and customer value journey (although on the expensive side).


The bottom line is that tracking and improving all email metrics (email bounce rate, open rate, CTR) are important. Your email marketing success rate will depend on all the metrics combined.

You have to make sure you are follow the 10 guidelines provided in this article to maintain the quality of your leads and avoid getting high bounce rate. And then, you can focus on improving the open rate and CTR.

And all of these will also depend a lot on the email marketing tool you choose. So make sure you take time to understand your business requirements before going for anyone.

We recommend you use Mail Mint if you have a WordPress site. It will make it super easy to run email marketing campaigns with segmented leads.

So go ahead and start getting higher results from email marketing by improving your email bounce rate.


Fatema Tuz Zohra Nabila

Nabila is a product marketing manager at WPFunnels. She is a vivid storyteller and loves guiding people on email marketing & sales funnel tactics. Follow her on Twitter @nabila_zohra98

Fatema Tuz Zohra Nabila

Keep reading