Quick Tips To Reduce Email Bounces

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There is nothing more irritating then sending out a mass e-mail marketing campaign only to have a handful of the messages bounce back. Reducing these bouncers will not only make your e-mail marketing campaign more effective, but it will also reduce the amount of processing time every time you send an e-mail out. Here are 14 ways to streamline your e-mail marketing campaign by reducing the amount of e-mails that find their way back into your in-box.

  • Probably the most important of all 14 tips: clean your lists on a regular basis. Get rid of anything that is not valid, has typos, or addresses that are not formatted correctly.
  • Use an e-mail change of address service to help you track down customers whose e-mails have gone inactive or have been changed for some other reason.
  • Make sure you use an auto-reply confirmation e-mail whenever your customer subscribes, registers or purchase something from your website in order to verify that the e-mail was entered correctly. Add a second e-mail line that confirms the customer entered it correctly.
  • Provide your customers with a subscription and account management link all of your e-mails so that they can update their information effortlessly.
  • Whenever a customer makes a purchase, prompt him to verify that all of his customer information is correct, including his e-mail address.
  • Anytime you have a mailing or phone address for a customer whose e-mail has bounced back, drop a postcard in the mail or telephone them to verify their e-mail address and their interest in your company.
  • Keep a track of your bounce and opening rates with major e-mail client domains. Look for any major discrepancies between them. If you find one, there may be a blacklist or filtering problem.
  • Verify that your website and your e-mail provider have not been added to any of the major spam or blacklist databases.
  • Investigate how the major spam filters work and what they look for in e-mails and then try to avoid them during your e-mail campaigns.
  • Review your database list and remove any ‘spam flag’ addresses that may have been maliciously added to it without your consent or knowledge.
  • Test all of your e-mails before sending to ensure that they are not blocked or flagged as spam.
  • Contact your e-mail provider and ask them to explain to you how they process soft and hard bounces and how they classify them so you understand the process and can manage your list appropriately.
  • Keep an eye on the major ISP providers for major changes in their operating structure. If you see one, such as an impending merger, contact the customers on your list and ask them if they would like to update their e-mail address to account for things like a new domain name or e-mail address.
  • If nothing else works and the same addresses bounce every time, simply remove them from your e-mail marketing list once and for all.

There is a difference between soft and hard e-mail bounces. A soft bounce occurs when the recipients e-mail is full, the server is down or too busy, the message is too long, or the e-mail has been abandoned. Often the e-mail client will attempt to deliver the message a second time. If it still bounces, it then becomes classified as a hard bounce.

A hard bounce is an e-mail that is considered permanently undeliverable. It is usually caused by invalid e-mail addresses, abandoned e-mails, and recipients who have blocked your e-mail server.

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