What is an average email bounce rate?
A bounced email is a significant problem on two levels.
First—the potential customer or client is never going to respond to a message they didn’t receive.
Second—bounce rates can affect the quality and reputation of your email domain. An email domain with a poor reputation can go on to prevent further campaigns from arriving with their intended recipients.
- What is email bounce rate, and how can it impact your email marketing?
Email bounce rate is the percentage of addresses in a email list that didn’t receive the email because the recipient’s mail server returned it.
In other words, an email bounce means it can’t be delivered to its intended recipient.
An email bounces for all sorts of reasons. A soft bounce is a temporary problem, where a hard bounce is permanent. You need to strip out them straight away as they may result in a permament delivery failure. A soft bounce is one you should monitor.
Reasons an email might bounce cause a temporary issue:
- Recipient’s inbox is full
- Message size is too large for the email server
- Your domain was blocked
- The message content is rich with spam terms or an overly-heavy ratio of images to text
Reasons an email might result with hard bounces:
- Expired or invalid addresses /email account
- No mail server for the address
- Incorrectly typed or supplied email
What is an acceptable email bounce rate?
Bounce rates aren’t a one-size-fits-all problem. Different industries have different acceptable email bounce rates. So, looking at the topic in general terms, what is an acceptable bounce rate for emails?
If your bounce rates are under 2%, whatever field you operate in, that’s okay. Keep doing what you’re doing, but don’t get complacent. Low bounce rates can change at any point. Vigilance is key to keeping hold of those healthy figures.
If your bounce rate is over 2%, you need to take a look at why, and the best way to fix it.
In most cases, bounce rates approaching 5% require serious action.
If they’re as high as 10%, then it’s time to instigate a full-blown plan of attack. You need to turn things around and get those rates back to where they should be.
Average bounce rates for email campaigns
We looked at two major industry players to try and confirm some kind of email bounce rate benchmark.
released statistics from campaigns during 2019 with over 1,000 subscribers. The campaigns were delivered throughout a range of industries, revealing the average email bounce rate (soft and hard) as well as open and click rates. The campaigns were delivered by businesses right across the board—from single-person start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.
The average hard bounce came in at 0.4%
The lowest hard bounce was 0.25% in religion, closely followed by e-commerce at 0.27%.
The highest hard bounce was 0.86% in construction, and in second place, insurance with 0.72%.
The average soft bounce was 0.58%.
Email Campaign Monitor
analysed over 30 billion marketing emails sent across the globe throughout 2019. They found a total average bounce rate of 0.7% with the same size of fluctuation between industries.
The key takeaway marketing tools noticed was how much the figures are improving each year. This shows the importance placed on high-quality lists and the effort made by marketers to attain them.
How to prevent high bounce rates?
When creating an email marketing campaign, you need to consider the best way to reduce email bounce rate, to prevent hard and soft bounces, spam complaints and how to engage your active subscribers. There are plenty of measures you can take to clean your lists and reduce problem numbers. Here’s a list of the procedures you should be carrying out already—and not just when bounce occurs, and the bad bounce rates start to appear.
Clean your lists
Using an email checker (like Bouncer!) to clean your lists on a regular basis is a must. It’s easy to do and guaranteed to clear out the addresses that would bounce before they can do any damage and reduce bounce rate, leaving only the valid email addresses on your list. The first step to decrease a high email bounce rate and solve your bounce rate issues is to remove invalid email addresses from your email lists. Reduce your email bounce and prevent a permanent failure while sending emails by cleaning your email list regularly.
Use double opt in and permission-based email marketing
A double opt in (one where the recipient has to confirm they chose to be added to a list) will help to filter out fake signup forms and misspelt email addresses.
A purchased email list is always a bad idea. You have no idea if the recipients are interested in your product or service, so your emails get into the spam folder. There’s also a chance that your new email list is full of broken addresses.
Do yourself a favour; gather your marketing data correctly. Give yourself the best chance of a healthy email list and just as healthy returns by using a double opt in option.
Authenticate your emails
Authenticating your email signature in your email campaign settings is one more technical step to add credibility to your email deliverability.
Don’t send emails from free email domains
As much as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and the host of other free email services are generally trustworthy email service providers, sending emails from their addresses will often fail DMARC checks and be bounced back or sent straight to their junk folder.
Send your email campaigns from your sending domain, and maintain as high a domain reputation as possible at all times.
Send quality emails
Email filters monitor messages and subject line for phrases that are typically associated with spam emails. Run a spam check on your email content before delivery to check the content and score of your email.
Only ever send out professional-quality emails. Include your correct contact and official information, and always include an unsubscribe option.
Send emails consistently and frequently
Sending out regular emails will help filter your contacts at a steady, manageable pace. Emailing campaigns twice a month is a fair rate for a typical business.
If your company delivers relevant and current information that customers are hungry for, then you can send them multiple times each week. It’s essential to understand which is right for you and never to over-send, annoying your recipients.
Regular delivery gives you a chance to monitor campaigns steadily, keeping your bounce rate low. If you only send twice a year, the number of expired addresses will have grown significantly, resulting in much higher bounce rates impacting on your sender reputation. Worth noting are also your open rates, meaning the percentage of the emails that get opened after you send campaigns.
Confirm engagement and remove inactive subscribers
Checking that your information is relevant and of interest to your recipients is good practice.
Those who have changed jobs, lost interest in a pastime, or no longer require your service or product could be hitting the spam or delete button every time your email lands. That will have a negative impact on your domain.
It’s better to weed out a bad address than keep email marketing strategy to an email list full of out-dated leads.
Monitor the bounce rates of every campaign
You should be doing this already, as your average bounce rate for email campaigns can vary week-to-week.
Monitoring all of your results (not just the click-throughs and conversions) is a must. The bad results tell you just as much as the good ones. You should be removing all the hard email bounces as soon as you detect them.
In order to maintain a good email bounce rate for a long period, in the first place, you should consider cleaning your contact list regularly and removing invalid emails to keep a high data quality. Keep a clean list, and its quality will improve consistently.