Gmail Bounce Back: Why Are my Gmail Emails Bouncing?

Feb 14, 2024

Are you wondering why your Gmail emails keep bouncing back?

You’re not alone.

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This article is your go-to guide for discovering the mystery behind those annoying bounce-back messages.

We’ll share some smart tips on how to keep your emails flying smoothly to their destinations.

What are Gmail bounces?

A bounced email in the context of a Gmail user occurs when an email sent from their Gmail account fails to be delivered to the recipient’s email address.

This failure can happen for various reasons, such as the recipient’s email server being unavailable, the recipient’s mailbox being full, or the recipient’s email address being incorrect or no longer in use.

When an email bounces, the Gmail user typically receives a notification explaining the reason for the bounce. This lets them take corrective action.

Why your Gmail message bounced

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When your Gmail message bounces, it means the email you attempted to send could not be delivered to the recipient’s inbox.

There can be several reasons.

Understanding them can help you take corrective measures to make sure your emails reach their intended destination.

Outdated and invalid email addresses

One common reason for a bounced message is sending emails to outdated or invalid email addresses.

If the recipient’s email address has been changed or deactivated, the recipient server cannot deliver your message, resulting in a bounce.

Always check whether you have the current and correct email addresses for your contacts.

Sending emails to people who have not opted in to receive them

Emails sent to individuals who have not opted in to receive them are more likely to be marked as unwanted messages or spam.

This can prompt the recipient’s email server to reject the message, causing it to bounce.

It’s important to only send emails to users who have explicitly agreed to receive communications from you to avoid this issue.

Using deceptive and spammy subject lines

Subject lines that are misleading or resemble spam can trigger email service providers to filter your message as spam, preventing it from reaching the recipient’s inbox.

This can lead to an automated message indicating that your email has bounced.

Crafting clear, honest, and relevant subject lines can help avoid this problem.

Improperly set up DNS records

DNS records that are not correctly configured can harm your sender reputation, leading to bounced emails.

These records, including SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, help verify your domain’s identity and authorize your email server to send emails on its behalf.

Having these records properly set up can help maintain a good sender reputation with email service providers.

Your server is blacklisted

If your server is blacklisted, it means it has been identified by email service providers or recipient servers as a source of spam or unwanted emails.

This can cause your messages to be rejected or sent directly to the spam folder, resulting in a bounce.

Regularly monitoring your server’s status on blacklists can help you take action to remove it and restore your ability to send emails.

The recipient’s inbox is full

A simple yet common reason for email bounces is the recipient’s inbox being full.

When there’s no space left to receive new emails, the recipient server will bounce back any incoming messages.

The sender typically receives an automated message explaining the bounce due to a full inbox.

Thanks to understanding these common reasons for bounced emails, you can take steps to have your messages successfully delivered to your recipients.

How to prevent email bounce backs in Gmail

To prevent email bounce backs in Gmail, it’s key to adopt practices that ensure your emails are welcomed by recipient servers and don’t trigger the defenses of email service providers.

Here are our top strategies to minimize the chances of your emails bouncing back:

Clean and validate your email lists

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Regularly cleaning and validating your email lists can reduce bounce rates.

This process involves removing outdated or incorrect email addresses and confirming the validity of the remaining ones.

Bouncer helps clean and verify your lists to improve their health without overwhelming you with technical details.

Only send emails to people who opted in to your lists

Check whether the recipients on your email list have explicitly opted in to receive communications from you.

Sending emails to individuals who have not consented increases the risk of spam reports and bounce emails.

That’s because email service providers and recipient’s servers are more vigilant about unsolicited messages.

Never purchase lists

Purchasing email lists is a surefire way to increase your bounce rate and damage your sender reputation.

These lists often contain invalid or uninterested contacts, leading to high bounce rates and spam reports.

Building your list organically gives you a more engaged audience and reduces the risk of sending spam.

Write spam-free subject lines

Crafting clear, relevant, and straightforward subject lines can help your emails bypass spam filters and reach your recipients’ inboxes.

Avoid using deceptive or overly salesy language that might trigger spam filters or lead to higher bounce rates due to recipient servers rejecting the message.

Check your domain against blacklists

Being listed on a blacklist can severely impact your ability to send emails.

Regularly check if your domain has been blacklisted by email service providers.

If you find your domain blacklisted, take immediate steps to address the issues and request removal from the list.

Set up your technical email aspects properly

Proper configuration of DNS settings, including SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records, is essential for authenticating your emails and building trust with email service providers.

These technical setups help prove that your email account is authorized to send emails on behalf of your domain, reducing the likelihood of bounces due to authentication issues.


Thanks to implementing these best practices, you can significantly lower the chances of experiencing bounce backs in Gmail.

Remember, maintaining a healthy email list and respecting your recipients’ preferences are key to successful email communication.

Tools like Bouncer can be a valuable asset in this process, offering an easy-to-understand solution for cleaning and verifying your email lists.

Sign up today and validate your first 100 emails for free!

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