What to do with Bounced Emails

When you run email marketing campaigns, there will always be a certain number of emails that go out to people and bounce. What it means for an email to “bounce” is that it doesn’t get into the email in box of the recipient. This can be a problem when you’re using email marketing to get your message out to your audience, because they’re never going to get your message.

There are reasons why emails might bounce, such as:

* The email address doesn’t exist
* A server crashed
* The mailbox is full
* Vacation response set up
* Your email is blocked
* Unidentified reasons

It’s important to look through the bounced messages and find out why they are bouncing. In some cases you’ll need to remove them from your email list because they don’t exist. In others, you may be able to do nothing and it will resolve itself.

But, for any email that keeps bouncing and the email is never opened, your best bet is to remove it and then prevent that email from being added to your list again. It’s important that you stay up to date on this from day one.

You can do this with a bounce management campaign. After all, proper bounce management is a very important aspect of email marketing that you need to stay on top of. If you don’t, ISPs will start identifying your domain as sending spam and that’s not good.

* Set Up Processes – For example, my process is that I delete contacts that are hard bounces and opt outs. Hard bounces are when an address doesn’t exist and soft bounces are usually when a mailbox is full, but usually resolves after four or five tries. However, if the contact happens to be an affiliate, it may be worth it to contact the person to get an updated email address. Otherwise, they may contact you down the road and wonder what happened to their affiliate account and will want their commissions – which will be a nightmare to recreate. (Trust me on this, night-mare). Your process may be a little different, such as exporting the emails prior to deleting if you want to keep track of old customer orders or checking to make sure you aren’t deleting current clients who just changed their email. But the most important thing is to have a PROCESS.

* Always Use Double Opt-In – For a higher quality list, more engagement, and minimal opt-outs, it’s a good idea to use double opt-in where you can. This can also help you fight any charges of spam by using the records that show that they were opted in legally. Now, I don’t use immediate double opt-in for things like giveaways or webinars because the goal is for them to get the information fairly quickly. What I do is have them click a link later in the sequence to confirm their email as an option. But for my main opt-in pages, I always use double opt-in.

* Monitor Your Email Delivery – Always keep track of how email deliveries are going. Don’t just set up your email marketing campaigns without having a plan of action to track and manage bounces. You can make this a monthly task for your VA (along with checking for duplicate contacts).

* Know Typical Bounce Rates – Each industry has their own bounce rates, but in most cases you want to keep the bounce rate under 10 percent.

* Read Customer Emails Fast – Sometimes you’ll find out there is a bounce problem from the consumer themselves when they send an email to you, or contact you on social media to complain that they’re not getting their emails.

* Troubleshoot the Problem – When you determine why emails are bouncing you should be able to fix it by deleting the offending emails, or by reaching out to the owner of the email address to ask them to white list your email address.

* Give Instructions – After someone opts in to your list, have them redirected to another page that provides instruction on how to white list their email address and set up other expectations of “what’s coming next.”

Whenever an email bounces you’ll get information from the bounce such as the date and time the message bounced, which server bounced it, the reason for the bounce, and the RFC code which could indicate if it’s a hard or soft bounce. Use that information to help you know how to process the bounce. Keep on top of your email marketing system so that you can lower your bounce rate, reduce spam issues, and make more sales.