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Launch Your Online Business in Just 7 Days

Email marketing has an average return on investment (ROI) of $42 for every $1 spent — worth every cent unless you’re getting too many bounces.


Because bounces can impact your email deliverability, it’s worth learning what you can do to get more of your messages delivered.


In this post, you’ll discover tips to help you reduce your soft bounces, plus you’ll learn about a tool that’ll let you send your emails with confidence.


Ready? Let’s get started.

1. What is an email bounce?

A bounce simply means that your email couldn’t be delivered to your recipient’s inbox.


Bounces can either be temporary or permanent email delivery issues.


Let’s get into what the difference between soft and hard bounces is before we discuss ways that you can improve your email delivery rates.

1.1. Soft bounce

A soft bounce means that there’s a temporary delay in getting your email delivered — it reached the recipient’s mail server, but not their inbox.

Soft bounce

If a soft bounce occurs, most email service providers will continue to try to deliver the email for up to 72 hours.


If the delivery continues to fail, the soft bounce will be labeled a hard bounce, and the recipient’s email address will be added to a suppression list.


A soft bounce is temporary, so you could try to send another campaign at a later date to see if you have any luck.


These are the 3 most common reasons for a soft bounce:

1. The recipient’s mailbox is full

2. Your email message is too large

3. The receiving mail server is temporarily down

Here are some of the other reasons why your message might soft bounce before reaching your recipient’s mailbox:

  • The recipient is away and has activated an auto-responder
  • The mailbox might not have been configured correctly
  • The users' address or account is inactive
  • The content of the email doesn’t meet anti-spam or DMARC requirements

1.2. Hard bounce

Unlike soft bounces, a hard bounce results in the email remaining permanently undeliverable.


The main reasons for a hard bounce include:

  • Invalid email addresses (i.e. from a typo like this — @gmial.com)
  • The email address doesn’t exist

These are permanent reasons, so these subscribers should be removed immediately and added to a suppression list.


They will impact your email delivery rates.


Data suggests that although each industry has a different average, the benchmark is around 2%.


Having emails bounce is inevitable — but a bounce rate over 2% indicates that you’ve got problems.


Let’s explore some of the ways that you can reduce soft bounces and minimize hard bounces to ensure you land safely in your recipient’s inbox.

2. 5 tips to reduce your soft bounces

5 tips to reduce your soft bounces

2.1. Keep your email list clean

A high bounce rate (5%+) is a clear indicator that your list needs serious cleaning.


You should purge your list regularly because marketing to these addresses will lead to nothing but undelivered emails.


If you’re manually managing your contact base, be sure to add the bounced addresses to a suppression list.


This is particularly important for hard bounces because it will ensure that you don’t accidentally send emails to an invalid/non-existent address.


For a full guide on keeping your list clean, click here.

2.2. Use a double opt-in system

A healthy list is all about consent! This is why a double opt-in process:

  • Improves your engagement — These individuals have confirmed that they wish to receive your messages
  • Reduces the risk of hard bounces — By sending a confirmation email, their opt-in means you don’t add invalid or non-existent email addresses to your list

This can help you build a good reputation with email service providers and your subscribers alike, and it’ll improve your email deliverability.


To learn more about double (and single) opt-ins, click here.

2.3. Keep an eye out for spam triggers

Spam filters protect your subscribers from anything that looks suspicious.


Here are some of the best practices to help you get your message in your recipient’s inbox:

  • Keep your subject lines short
  • Don’t write in all caps
  • Avoid using spammy words
  • Minimize your use of images and attachments
  • Add an easy way for subscribers to unsubscribe

Having your emails marked as spam will cause email deliverability issues.


This is because the email provider or the recipient won’t trust the company sending the email, or the content.


Here you can learn more tips on how to avoid the spam folder.

2.4. Manage your sender reputation

Manage your sender reputation

An email service provider monitors your domain and IP address to calculate your reputation.


If you’ve got high bounce rates, this will lower your sender score.


With a low score, mail servers won’t deliver your marketing emails because they think the company sending the emails is untrustworthy.


This will make it a lot harder to get any future messages from your campaigns delivered.


To improve your reputation, you can:

  • Use a suppression list to avoid having another email bounce by the same address for multiple campaigns
  • Verify your domain with DMARC, SPF, and DKIM

2.5. Monitor your email deliverability

Although soft bounces tend to resolve on their own, you should monitor your marketing data religiously to keep your email bounces to a minimum and your email deliverability up.


When an email bounces, you’ll get a bounce message notification called an NDR (a Non-Delivery Report/Receipt) from the recipient’s mail server.


Internet service providers provide a bounce code (RFC codes) in these notifications that can help you determine the bounce type:

  • Soft bounce code will start with 4XX
  • Hard bounce code will start with 5XX

2.6. More tips to improve your email delivery rates

You can further reduce your bounce rates by paying attention to the following:

  • Your email send times
  • Your email frequency — Don’t overwhelm your audience by sending a high volume of emails
  • The value you’re providing to your subscribers
  • Grow your list organically — Never buy an email list!
  • Personalize your marketing messages with segmentation

3. Systeme.io: The only email marketing tool you need

systeme.io logo

systeme.io logo

Systeme.io offers all the email marketing tools you need — you can:

  • Send unlimited emails (even on our Free plan!)
  • Create and send email campaigns and newsletters
  • Grow your contact list with lead generation tools such as sales funnels
  • Segment your list with tags
  • Use IF/THEN automation rules and workflows to automate your efforts

With our powerful segmentation and automation capabilities, you can get the right message sent at the right time, to the right contacts.


You can also get insight into important email marketing metrics such as your email bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, and more:

systeme.io’s email dashboard

systeme.io’s email dashboard

You can see exactly which addresses bounced by clicking on the metric, and you can easily delete inactive subscribers to improve your deliverability.


And, it doesn’t end there.


As a one-stop-shop for all your business needs, systeme.io also offers all the tools you need to launch and scale your business:

systeme.io’s features

systeme.io’s features

Usually, such a robust tool would cost an absolute fortune — well, not with systeme.io.


We have a forever Free plan that requires no credit card detailsclick here to learn more about the pricing of our plans.

4. Conclusion

With a trusted platform like systeme.io by your side, you can send your marketing emails with confidence.


But with us, you can do far more than send emails.


You can launch, automate, and grow your business without spending hundreds of dollars on separate tools.


Take your email marketing and your business to new heights with a platform built to help you grow and succeed — sign up for free today!

Other posts about email marketing:

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