Email Marketing Downfalls: Avoid Soft & Hard Bounces
Bounces occur when an email can’t be delivered to an email address. When an email bounces, it is classified as either a soft or a hard bounce. Below, you’ll learn about types of bounces, guidelines for bounce limits, and how to handle high bounce rates.
Types of Bounces
Hard bounces are addresses denied for delivery due to invalid emails or an unexpected error during sending. Soft bounces are recognized by the recipient’s mail server but are returned to the sender because the mailbox is either full or temporarily unavailable. Read about the differences between hard and soft bounces and how they’re handled through our system.
ISPs and Bounce Rates
ISPs have set thresholds for bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse complaints that ESPs like MailChimp, are required to enforce. If these thresholds are exceeded, it could prompt a warning, or even an account suspension.
Thresholds fluctuate throughout the year based on the incoming send volume to a respective ISP’s email domain. Because thresholds are in relative flux, and to avoid inadvertently assisting spammers, ISPs do not publicly release their threshold schedules. If you’re taking proper steps to subscribe people to your list and practicing clean list-keeping, you shouldn’t need to worry about exceeding these limits.
How to Reduce Bounce Rates
High bounce rates are often caused by lists that have gone stale, or addresses that were improperly entered or imported. Reconfirm your list to ensure your subscriber’s interest and contact information is up to date. In general, we encourage you to use best practices while you maintain your list and to track subscriber engagement over time.
Use a double opt-in process
Implement a double opt-in process to manage new subscribers. Accounts that use double opt-in experience fewer issues than those that use a single opt-in process. When you use double opt-in, you can be certain that the email address is valid.
Actively monitor subscriber engagement. Monitor subscriber engagement to help you maintain a healthy list of subscribers, and use MailChimp tools to improve your content and win back inactive subscribers. List data such as member-activity ratings can help you track engagement.When an email is rejected by a subscriber’s email server, it’s called a bounce. There are different types of bounces that depend on the reason the email bounced. These details can be found in your campaign report. It’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your bounce numbers to be sure your campaigns are reaching your subscribers, and that you’re abiding by spam laws.
A hard bounce indicates a permanent reason an email cannot be delivered. In most cases, bounced email addresses are removed automatically and immediately from the active subscribers and placed in the Cleaned portion of your list. Cleaned subscribers will be excluded from future campaign sends to this list. While there are many reasons an email address may hard bounce, below are some common reasons this could happen.
- Recipient email address does not exist.
- Domain name does not exist.
- Recipient email server has completely blocked delivery.
Soft bounces typically indicate a temporary delivery issue to an address and are handled differently than hard bounces by MailChimp. When an email address soft bounces, it will immediately display as a soft bounce in the campaign report.
If an email address continues to soft bounce in additional campaigns, the address will eventually be considered a hard bounce and cleaned from your list. We’ll allow seven soft bounces for an email address with no subscriber activity and up to 15 soft bounces for subscribers with previous subscriber activity before converting a soft bounce into a hard bounce. While there are many reasons an email address may soft bounce, below are some common reasons this could happen.
- Mailbox is full (over quota).
- Recipient email server is down or offline.
- Email message is too large.
Why Choose MailChimp for Your email marketing campaign?
One of the features that I really love about Mailchimp is the automation options. As an entry-level online marketer, I found this to be the best way to be introduced to automation and work on content for the customer journey. MailChimp is free when you start, so I suggest you register and account and spend some time using it. You’ll always be able to move your list elsewhere before paying.
Segmenting your lists is easy, once you get a grasp on the concept of groups. The range of integrations are really beneficial along with the easy to add lists, fun and user-friendly interface, and easy to build emails.
Free accounts are limited to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month.