We sometimes get this question: “I have uploaded my list, sent a campaign and now I see my subscriber number has dropped. Where did they all go?”
While this may seem puzzling at first, seasoned email marketers will jump straight into the campaign report to see what happened there. If you have been taking good care of your list, the only reason why the subscriber number might drop must be the Unsubscribed tab.
However, there is also this mysterious Bounced tab. What is it doing and why do some subscribers ended up there you might wonder.
In this blog post, we will guide you through the world of bounces and how to deal with them.
In short, bounced emails are addresses that could not be delivered successfully to recipients of email marketing campaigns. For various reasons, the recipient’s server will return the newsletter to the sender, hence the term “bounce“.
When asked to explain bounces, I remembered a funny video: “Why does the ball bounce?” – a famous comedian once asked Kobe Bryant. While Kobe’s reply explains the reason (air) for a specific object (basketball), the same reason does not apply for a different object (room).
The same goes with bounces – some emails are affected by them, while others are immune. Let’s find out why!
All bounces can be divided into two main categories. When you open up a campaign report, you will notice 2 bounced tabs – soft bounce and hard bounce.
A soft bounce is an email message that gets as far as the recipient’s mail server (it recognizes the existing address) but is bounced back undelivered before it gets to the intended recipient. It is a temporary issue.
A hard bounce is an email message that has been returned to the sender and is permanently undeliverable.
Here are the possible reasons for soft bounces and how to deal with them:
An important thing to note is that in MailerLite a soft bounced email address will remain active. However, after soft bouncing for 5 consecutive times it will become hard bounce and inactive.
Here are the popular hard bounce reasons:
Bounces, especially hard ones, are actually damaging your sender reputation. If your bounce rate is high (above 5%), it means that you also have a lot of non-existing email addresses in your database.
By sending to a non-existing email address you can hit a spamtrap. This would result in a significant damage in terms of deliverability. Your campaigns would land into a spam folder and some stricter spam filters might block them altogether.
The good news is that MailerLite automatically moves subscribers that hard bounce into a “Bounced Subscribers” category, so they don’t receive future campaigns. This means that you don’t need to remove subscribers sitting in “Bounced” tab – we do it for you.
According to our Anti-Spam policy, we have the right to suspend your account if the bounce rate is above 5%. You will be warned and asked to clean your list with an online email validation tool. This is done to ensure the quality of our servers and your sender reputation.
Bounce-free lists lead to better deliverability, higher open rates, and bigger profits. Use these tips and knowledge to your advantage.
Good luck and happy mailing!
Hi, it’s Silvestras, a member of MailerLite’s customer support team. As the first remote employee to join MailerLite in 2014, I was the guinea pig to test if remote work was a good idea. Today, MailerLite is a remote-first company so the experiment was a success! To all the other remote workers who have joined since—you’re welcome.