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Email marketing does not like bounces

5 June 2017

Bounce is the term given to an email that is returned by the server because it cannot be delivered. The reasons are varied and can be divided into two categories.

  1. Soft bounces: the mail server recognised the recipient’s email address, but the message is not delivered because the inbox is full, the server is down or is temporarily unavailable, or the message is too large, for example. This category also includes email auto-replies (e.g. saying that the recipient is away from their desk or on holiday, among others).
  2. Hard bounces: the message is returned to the sender without the possibility of delivery, either because the recipient’s email address is not valid, no longer exists or because the server has been blocked, for example. A bounce can also happen if the email is classified as spam.

In the end, the unwished-for result is that our message (newsletter, email marketing communication, promotion, etc.) does not reach the recipient, with the failure that this implies for the performance of any campaign from the start, affecting our reputation as senders.

How do I reduce the number of bounces?

It is normal to have a certain percentage of bounces, but if the rates are very high (above 4%) it is time to review databases and subscriber lists. Managing the database well, and keeping it updated, is the key to minimising bounces.

In the case of soft bounces, because the providers of email services will send the email several times, it may end up reaching the recipients. But in the case of hard bounces, the addresses will need to be reviewed and any erroneous addresses will need to be eliminated.

In general, to increase the probabilities of success, specific and secure email service providers and channels must be used. (Be sure to avoid acquiring addresses from third parties, as these are not reliable!) These must offer domains that are unique to your company and provide thorough monitoring of bulk sends. It is also very useful to activate a double opt-in as a method of verification, to ensure that the addresses entered by recipients are correct and there have been no typographic errors.

At LINK Mobility we have a high reputation with ISPs (Internet Service Providers), which helps to reduce the percentage of bounces. We offer these services efficiently, rapidly detecting bounced emails (even duplicated addresses), and offering detailed reports for each campaign, in order to solve this type of inconvenience as soon as possible.

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