#56: How to Handle Bounced Emails

Feb 10, 2019 | Office Operations

If you watched last week’s video, you probably got to thinking, “Hey, I probably have dirty data lurking in my subscriber list, but how do I go about cleaning it up?” And we will go over that step by step starting with managing bounces.

Bounces happen when you send out your emails to your list and, for many reasons, the recipient never received it.

I put bounces into two buckets: soft bounces and hard bounces.

Basically, soft bounces happen when the recipient didn’t get the email because their inbox was too full, the server was down, or it was blocked. This happens when I send an email with an attached image to my husband’s work, which is a .mil email address. Sometimes he gets it but the attachment was stripped and other times he doesn’t get it at all. So there’s nothing wrong with the email address per se, it’s still valid, but the recipient temporarily cannot receive the email.

A hard bounce occurs when the email address no longer exists either because of a typo, fake account, or the person deleted the account, the company went out of business and domain was deleted. These are considered permanently undeliverable and they should be removed from your list.

In this video, I talk about bounced emails, how to decrease your hard bounces, walk you through what to track (and what industry averages to keep in line with), and how to delete bounced emails.

If you watched last week’s video, you probably got to thinking, “Hey I probably have dirty data lurking in my subscriber list, but how do I go about cleaning it up?” And we will go over that step by step in the next 3 weeks, starting with managing bounces.

First, if you didn’t get the tracking sheet from last week, you can go ahead and grab that because you’ll see a space in there to track your bounce rate and we will be going over some reporting today. Analyzing that bounce rate will give you clues about your list.

Bounces happen when you send out your emails to your list and, for many reasons, the recipient never received it.

I put bounces into two buckets: soft bounces and hard bounces.

Basically, soft bounces happen when the recipient didn’t get the email because their inbox was too full, the server was down, or it was blocked. This happens when I send an email with an attached image to my husband’s work, which is a .mil email address. Sometimes he gets it, but  the attachment was stripped and other times he doesn’t get it at all. So there’s nothing wrong with the email address per se, it’s still valid, but the recipient temporarily cannot receive the email.

A hard bounce occurs when the email address no longer exists either because of a typo, fake account, or the person deleted the account, the company went out of business and the domain was deleted. These are considered permanently undeliverable and they should be removed from your list.

Ways to decrease the bounce rate

First of all, realize that address turnover rates are around 30% per year. People close one account and open up another, they change their preferred email address. Three things you can do to prevent hard bounces:

  1. enable confirmed or double opt-in, which is where they confirm their email to be on your list. If they don’t click on the link, they aren’t on your list.
  2. Provide an easy way for people to update their email address using an update link on each email.
  3. Do not purchase lists.

Needless to say, it’s important to send emails to your list often. If you go months without sending emails, you run the risk of having a large percentage of bounces which not only affects your deliverability rate, which is something that your list manager keeps a very close eye on because it affects their reputation, but you can get blacklisted.

[Demo of checking stats removing bounces]

Next week we’ll cover more systems on how to clean up your list, see you then.

 

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