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My Marketing Emails Are Bouncing. How Can I Fix It?

Your email marketing is not getting through

  • What can be done about it?
  • What are the causes of why your email marketing might not be getting through?
  • What are bounces? What are the two types of bounces?
  • What can be done to better the situation?

This post is going to reveal all that.

What are these bounces?

Basically, there are two types of bounces that you might see when looking at your analytics. The first one is known as a soft bounce. The second one is known as a hard bounce.

Soft Bounces

A soft bounce is basically a failure message which in many cases, means a temporary failure. This means that the domain might be live, but for some reason, the mailbox might not be accepting emails. Now, this could happen for several reasons:

1) Server Outage

Though, It could be a server outage at your recipient’s end. Perhaps their mailbox is complete at the moment.

2) Too much volume to the same domain

This could be too much volume for the same domain. Possibly you are sending to a few mailboxes in the same domain, and the recipient’s gatekeeper will pick this up and is bouncing them because they might think it looks like an attack of some kind.

3) Denial due to spam content

The sending server might be rejecting what you are sending because of spam content in either at the body of the email or the subject header line the recipient’s mail.

4) Adverse History connected to the server

The server might be rejecting your send because of a low sender score of you are sending server.

Hard Bounce

A hard bounce is marked as a permanent failure. Means, many times you try to send it, it is not going to get through. What are the likely grounds for a hard bounce?

1) Typo in the address

The most obvious one is a typo in the address. It could be that when you have entered an email address that you have collected from your website, for instance, Gmail, you might have miss keyed it and the domain might be spelled wrong. So that is not going to get through however multiple times you try.

2) Expired or Dead domain name

This could be a dead domain name or one that might not exist anymore. When a client signed up to receive your marketing via your website, it could be that now possibly their business is no longer trading. Hence, the domain has expired, and it has not been renewed. No matter how several times you send it, it is not going to get through.

3) Server Configuration Errors

This also could be a server configuration issue. When sending to larger companies, for instance, they might have a reasonably complicated server setup in how it routes emails out to multiple different mailboxes. Now, if this is not appropriately configured at your recipient end, it could also result in permanent failure.

Will bounces affect your future marketing?

It can have a significant effect. The first one really is that if you are sending through to your lists and not a lot of these are getting through because they are bouncing, it means that these people do not see your sales message.

So no matter how much effort and time you have put into creating the perfect email marketing campaign, if these people do not see your campaign, they are not going to purchase from you.

Bounces will also have a collective negative effect on the reputation of your sending server. Each sending server has a percentage score attached to it that your recipient server will observe when it receives your email and choosing the decision on whether or not to receive it.

What can be done to minimize the number of bounces?

1) Remove all hard bounces

The first thing you need to do is to eliminate all hard bounces from your email database. These are a permanent failure, so it does not matter if you send it to them again; they are not going to get through. So go over your data and remove all of these after each send. If you are using a proper email marketing software, then usually this is all automated. It is all done for you. It is nothing you would need to worry about.

2) Resend to your soft bounces

Next, you can try sending to your soft bounces over a timed period. You can try them in a couple of days, for instance, as a soft bounce is a temporary failure, a mailbox may be full, the server might have an outage at the point of sending, so it meant that if you try it again, it might get through. Again, if you are using decent email marketing software, this will all be taken care of for you. The right software will have an automated send function to send out again over some time to your soft bounces.

3) Keep a prospect for the sending percentage score

It would help if you asked your service provider to keep you aware of the percentage score of the sending server. It is really essential to know this because you can look at any trends if it begins to dip. If the percentage comes below, then you know that you have got an issue, and you can start to look at it. So you are taking action before it becomes a problem.

4) Send Email Friendly Content

You must make sure that what you are sending is inbox friendly. Meaning it does not contain any spam words or spam phrases. Look at your body text, what you are sending, look at your subject header line. Suitable email marketing software will automate all of this for you. In some email marketing software, there is a preflight checker. Though at the press of a button, the software will read what you are sending. It will cross-check it against a database of distinct spam phrases, and it would let you know if you have got any phrases in your document that you need to change.

5) Scan your list for obvious typos

Again using the Gmail reference, just be sure. Cast your eye through your list and search for anything obvious like a misspelling of Gmail, for instance.

6) Re-qualify your list of addresses

The most prosperous email market is you just spend a little bit of time calling the people on your list and just making sure that the address that you have got on file is the best address to use. Check that people have not left the company and things like that. It is worthwhile doing this every two or four months just to be sure that your list is entirely up to date.


This post explained what the two types of bounces really are and how to deal with them efficiently. If you have got access to decent email marketing software, much of the things outlined here will all be done automatically in the software, making email marketing a swift and easy way to communicate efficiently with your list of subscribers.

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