Imagine all the time you put into creating and sending out an email, only for you to check your email reports and discover that they all bounced. What this means is that your email actually never got to the recipient(s). In fact, it is almost like you never even clicked the ‘Send’ button.

A bounced email could either be a soft bounce or a hard bounce. They are basically the two types of email bounces. When your email has a hard bounce, it means that your email literally never left your computer. This happens when the system finds your recipient’s email address to be invalid or even nonexistent. As for a soft bounce, it happens when an email does get delivered to the recipient’s server but still bounces. There are several reasons why an email could get a soft bounce. The recipient’s mailbox could be full, the mail server could be offline or rate-limiting the number of messages received, or the email itself might be too large.

Now, there are several reasons why this could happen. While some of these reasons might be out of your control, there are some you can handle immediately to prevent a repeat of the occurrence. Discussed below are six of the real reasons why your emails bounce and what you can do to reduce your bounce rate.

1. A Blocked Email

This reason sort of explains itself. If an intended recipient goes the extra mile to ensure that email addresses with content like yours are blocked from sending them emails, then the mail server acts accordingly. The recipient’s server could also singlehandedly block emails because of size, format, or messages they recognize as spam.

Usually, institutions like government or school bodies do this to police the kind of emails that the body receives.

To avoid your emails being flagged as spam or subjected to a ton of email filters, you can enlist the help of an email list cleaner. Mailtester is free software that ensures your sender list is verified and also maintains your ‘sender reputation’ which will keep recipients’ servers from flagging you down as ‘spam.’ There is also a Typeform email validation service that could get the work done for you.

2. Vacation/An Auto Reply Reply

While going on vacations or retreats, it's commonplace to put an auto-reply reply in place on personal or work emails. When this happens with your intended recipients, your emails will bounce.

It is important to understand that while it may bounce, the message still got delivered to the intended recipient. Chances are they would return soon and start engaging better. But in a situation where they do not, especially for a long time, it is better to remove the address from your contacts to improve your bounce rate.

3. An Undeliverable Email

The Undeliverable category of bounced emails contains emails that were undelivered for temporary reasons. Some of those reasons include; The recipient’s email server might be temporarily unavailable, overloaded, or even nonexistent.

The whole idea is that when an attempt is made to send the email, the recipient’s ISP does not respond. Because this occurrence could be a result of a crashed server or a server under maintenance, some email services attempt to continue sending the email over a particular period of time (usually 72 hours) until the email delivers successfully or totally fails.

4. A Full Mailbox

Sending an email to your contact while they have a full mailbox is also a very good reason for email bounces. Only a few email providers offer unlimited storage. If your contact’s email provider does not offer this bonus, chances are they would reach their limit in no time. As soon as this happens, all the emails you send will bounce. Some systems might decide to hold on to the emails until the user clears up space and try to deliver it again in a few hours or days.

Sometimes, it might not only be because the user’s mailbox is full, it might also be because the contact has stopped using that email address. In that case, you will need to follow up with the contact on other platforms to confirm and take the necessary actions.

5. An Invalid/Nonexistent Email

When an email bounce is labeled as ‘invalid’ or ‘nonexistent,’ it simply means that the server does not recognize the email and there is literally nowhere to send it to. This could be a result of you making an error in the recipient’s email address, or even sending it to a false email address (produced by the contact at some point). If it is a work email, chances are that the user left the organization.

Regardless of what might have triggered the response, it is advisable to continually review and adjust accordingly. You can also use a bulk email verifier to authenticate the validity of the email addresses before sending out your content. You can figure out how to use NeverBounce or Mailtester, another  highly recommended free email list cleaner.

6. Others

Sometimes, the server does not send a clear message indicating what actually made the emails bounce. When the bounce occurs and the ISP is unable to interpret the message because it is either unreadable or does not use standard error coding, it is included in the ‘Others’ category.

How Do You Reduce Your Bounce Rate?

Having a high bounce rate means that you are not reaching as many people as you should be and that would frustrate your marketing. With emails, the lower your bounce rate, the better. So, how exactly do you reduce your bounce rate?

First and foremost, you must be dedicated to observing your bounce rates reports and identifying the problems. Once that is done, you can then enlist the help of an online email list verifier or an email verification service to clean up your lists regularly. Using an email list cleaner will ensure that your bounce rates are reduced to the minimum and that your emails get to their intended recipients. For this purpose, you could use free bulk email verifiers.

You could decide to remove some contacts from your list and have the liberty to add them back later. Or you could decide to put them in a Do Not Mail List which means that that contact can never be added again.

By paying attention to these reasons why your emails bounce and working towards reducing your bounce rate with the tips provided, your email campaigns would receive lesser bounce rates every day.