Email Bounce Rate: What is it, How to Reduce it

Email Bounce Rate: What is it, How to Reduce it

14 December 2023 22 December 2023 ~ 7 min read 1789 views
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Claspo Blog Email Bounce Rate: What is it, How to Reduce it

A bounce rate for email will help you analyze the effectiveness of your mailings. It will show what percentage of recipients did not receive or could not access the company's marketing materials. By reducing the bounce rate, you can increase the conversion rate and return on advertising, ultimately leading to better financial results. 

We will explain in detail what email bounce rate is and why it is important for businesses. The article also provides examples of strategies you can use to optimize this indicator.

What is Email Bounce Rate


Email bounce rate is the proportion of emails not delivered to recipients. For this reason, their content cannot be read. As a result, a company spends money on organizing an advertising campaign and pays for an email service but does not get a return. 

There are two categories to be aware of to understand what the bounce rate in email marketing is:

  1. Tough. This category relates to serious technical problems. For example, a recipient's address is entered with a mistake, blocked, or does not exist. Another reason is that the mail provider blocks a sender. The latter indicates that the company needs to work on its reputation in the business environment. 
  2. Soft. This category relates to emails that cannot be delivered due to temporary problems. For example, a recipient's mailbox is full, the ISP's server is temporarily down, or the size of the mailing exceeds the established limits. The concept of soft bounce rate in email marketing also includes emails blocked by custom spam filters. This is less serious than the ISP returning the mailing but still allows you to draw a conclusion about a sender's reputation.

Why Your Email Bounce Rate is Important

The main reason for calculating the indicators is to optimize marketing budgets. According to Legiit, the average cost per email newsletter ranges from $0.10 to $0.30, and in some cases, it reaches $1.00. A high email bounce rate translates to a company wasting money with no chance of getting a return. In large mailings involving hundreds of thousands of users, unrecoverable losses can amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars in one advertising campaign. 

It's also important to know what the acceptable bounce rate is for email in order to assess a company's reputation. If the indicators go beyond the norm, you will need to prove to consumers and partners that the company runs an honest business and offers useful products, so its mailings really deserve attention. Sometimes, large-scale PR campaigns are the solution, although simpler and more affordable methods can be used in most cases.

How to Calculate Email Bounce Rate

The email bounce rate formula is fairly simple:

Bounce rate = number of bounces / number of emails in the mailing × 100%

For example, there are two mailings—one for 2,000 addressees with 24 rejections and the other for 200,000 addressees with 320 rejections. In percentage terms, these are 24/2000×100=1.2% and 320/200000×100=0.16% respectively.

To draw conclusions, you need to have email bounce rate benchmarks. According to Mailtrap, a bounce rate of up to 2% is considered to be the norm. It indicates that mailings are set up correctly and that returns are random. An indicator from 2 to 5% requires attention - most likely, you should optimize the list of recipients' addresses. If the email bounce rate calculation gives the indicator above 5%, you should urgently look for the source of the problem and improve the company's reputation. 

If necessary, the formula can be adjusted. When calculating email bounce rates, you can use only soft or tough bounces or only returns for a specific reason, such as being blocked by spam filters. This will help you better understand the root of the problem and how you can optimize your mailings.

What is a Good Email Bounce Rate

The above benchmarks can be used to signal problems. To get the most out of your newsletters, it's worth focusing on the average bounce rate for email in your industry. In 2019, email provider Mailchimp published the results of a massive study from which you can take the following metrics:

  • the average bounce rate in email newsletters is 0.91%;
  • e-coupon emails are returned least often - 0.2%
  • a bounce rate of 0.45% is considered normal for e-commerce;
  • the highest bounce rate is observed in the construction industry - 2.14%;
  • users also frequently block emails about architecture (1.91%), manufacturing (1.90%), and website development (1.62%).

To understand what is a good bounce rate for email, you can focus on data from narrow segments. For example, many providers conduct their own research and regularly share data with their customers. 

You can also find out what is a high email bounce rate from actual market research conducted by independent consulting agencies. But focusing on competitors will be difficult - businesses very rarely share such insider statistics.

How to Reduce Email Bounce Rate

If your figures exceed the industry average, there is the potential for optimization. This should be an ongoing process - by improving the efficiency of your mailings, you can make your advertising campaigns more effective. Let's talk about the key strategies that can help you reduce your email bounce rate.

1. Check your mailing lists regularly

When going through your email lists, your task is to identify and remove users who have not received or opened your email campaigns for an extended period. Perhaps their email addresses are no longer active, or they marked your newsletters as spam. These users are not valuable to your business, and removing them from your mailing list is a proven way to reduce your bounce rate.

2. Personalize your newsletter

Users are less likely to block your newsletter if the content matches their interests and needs. Therefore, collecting information about their preferences through surveys or during registration is a good practice.

With Claspo, you can add a drop-down list with content preferences directly to your email collection pop-up or create short surveys to find out what users want to see in your newsletter. User data can be transferred to the ESP of your choice to segment your customer base further and send personalized campaigns to each segment. This approach will allow you to get an acceptable email bounce rate.


3. Add double opt-in

As soon as another user signs up for your newsletter through a registration form or website widget, send them an automatic email with a link they must follow to confirm their email address. This process is called double opt-in. It helps protect your mailing list from spam accounts and bots and ensures that provided email addresses are correct so your subsequent mailings can be delivered without problems.

Claspo automatically corrects misspellings of public email domains before passing them on to your mailing list. Using Claspo widgets to collect emails reduces the risk of higher bounce rates in the future.

4. Choose reliable providers

Each company's average email bounce rate largely depends on its chosen email service provider. Trusted market players can ensure that your newsletters are sent from a reliable IP address, increasing their chances of being delivered to your subscribers' inboxes.

Claspo easily integrates with the most popular email service providers, ensuring fast and accurate transmission of your subscriber data.

5.  Don't buy email lists

First, it violates user privacy. Second, purchased lists often include so-called spam traps—email addresses that recipients do not use. Finally, the contacts on this list have never subscribed to your newsletter, making them more likely to mark your emails as spam. And if too many of your emails are marked as spam, the domain could blacklist your company.

To avoid all the above problems, collect email addresses yourself. It will help you prevent a high bounce rate and build trust with your audience.


How to Decrease Email Bounce Rate with Claspo

With Claspo, you can build an extensive and reliable mailing list without buying email addresses and worrying about high bounce rates. According to Entrepreneur, website widgets can increase subscriber numbers by as much as 86%. And creating them with Claspo is as easy as shelling pears — just choose your desired template from our extensive library and customize it in our intuitive editor.

Add input fields to obtain the necessary information about new subscribers, a checkbox for consent to personalize data processing, or a drop-down list to identify the preferences and interests of your audience.

If a site visitor makes a mistake in spelling the public email domain, Claspo will correct it and transfer it to your ESP, ensuring your mailings will be successfully delivered.

Try Claspo's free plan with access to all functionality and get new subscribers without spending a penny.

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