How to Bounce-Proof Your Email Marketing

Ever review your email list and see emails that are “bounced”? Most marketers and entrepreneurs spend a lot of time on email marketing, and it can be really frustrating to see bounces in the analytics.

But why are some emails bouncing more than others, and why do some keep bouncing over and over again? Today, we’re going to address this issue by going over exactly how to “bounce-proof” your emails so that they get delivered to more people’s inboxes.

Because let’s face it, your hard-earned message deserves to be heard!

What is Bouncing?

Before we get started, let’s go over what bouncing is and the different types of bouncing. Bouncing is when your email is unable to be delivered to a recipient’s inbox. And there are two types of bouncing: soft bounces and hard bounces.

Soft Bounces

A soft bounce happens when a person’s email is temporarily unavailable, maybe because they’re on vacation and they’ve paused their emails or their inbox is full.

Hard Bounces

A hard bounce is an email that couldn’t be delivered to someone’s inboxes for more permanent reasons. This could be because you received a fake email address or the person typed their email address wrong.

Now that we’ve covered the differences, let’s get more into the nitty-gritty details and talk about how to find your bounce rate, understand exactly what a bounce rate even is, and what you’re really here for: How to get your email in more people’s inboxes.

Ready? Let’s get to it.

Tip 1: Clean the List You Own Regularly

This tip should be pretty intuitive since regularly cleaning your email list can benefit you in more ways than one. If you haven’t already been doing this, make sure that you’re removing hard-bounced email addresses when the time comes around to clean your list.

Checking on your email list can also show you who hasn’t opened any emails from you lately. You can pinpoint these subscribers and re-engage them to ensure you have a list of active subscribers — check out tip 3 for more and also this blog post with more detail on how to upkeep your email list hygiene.

In the end, a clean email list will yield more accurate statistics, boost your engagement, and lower your email bounce rate.

OK, so I keep saying “bounce rate” but what is it, and how do you figure that out? Your bounce rate is the percentage of emails that bounced out of the number of recipients you sent an email to. Now, brush the dust off your calculator because figuring out your bounce rate does require a bit of math — it’s nothing too complicated though, I promise!

How to find your bounce rate:

  1. Go to your Flodesk emails and click on an email you already sent
  2. Click “View results”
  3. Click “Bounced” on the left-hand panel, which will show you the number of emails bounced
  4. Use this formula:

The average bounce rate is 2% or lower, so if you have this bounce rate, this signals a healthy email campaign. Keep in mind that your bounce rate may be higher during certain times of the year, such as Christmastime or summer. People are more likely to be away on vacation and turn their auto-responders on.

Tip 2: Skim Through and Read the Bounced Emails

Chances are, most of the addresses that bounced simply need correcting because they have a typo. Think, .ocm instead of .com, or .gamil instead of .gmail. It happens to the best of us. After you correct it, that person can confirm their subscription through a double opt-in.

Using a double opt-in

Double opt-ins are emails that automatically get sent to a new subscriber to confirm their email address. Utilizing a double opt-in reduces the possibility of mistyped addresses to practically zero. And in theory, by doing this, you won’t even have to bother correcting anyone’s email address.

How to set up a double opt-in:

  1. Go to your Flodesk dashboard and click on your profile in the upper right-hand corner. 
  2. Click “Opt-in setup” and edit the template how you like to match your personality and brand.
  3. You’ll also want to set up a form, which actually sends the opt-in email. To do this, go to your Flodesk dashboard and click on “Forms” on the top menu.
  4. Edit an old form or create a new one that matches your brand.
  5. Click “Customize” and a question will pop up, asking you if you want to enable double opt-in. Click “Yes”.

It’s true that you may get lower conversions since people don’t always want to take that extra step, but you’ll also be rewarded with a more engaged list since they wanted to take that extra step to be on your list.

Tip 4: Try a Win-Back Campaign

A win-back campaign is one of the best methods to use if your open rates are declining. And while it often leads to a slimmer email list, the result is worth it: A cleaner list and a greater chance for your emails to be delivered to your subscribers’ inbox.

Don’t know where to begin? I got you (don’t I always? 😉) — see this video for more on how to craft one.

It’s important to note that your win-back campaign’s subject line should be something super juicy so that you grab your target subscribers’ attention.

At the end of the day, there’s no benefit in keeping subscribers who don’t open your emails because their subscription just serves as a vanity metric. On the flip-side, if someone sees your win-back campaign email, they’ll be reminded of why they subscribed and re-engage with your brand.

Tip 5: Segment Your List to Only Send Relevant Emails

Segmenting your email list is a must, especially if you have varying clientele. For example, if you’re a photographer who has wedding photography clients and newborn photography clients.

When you do this, you’re making sure that you’re sending emails to people who actually want to see them and who get a lot of value from them. Plus, this will keep your reputation in check, convert more leads into clients, experience fewer complaints, and have amazing open rates.

Tip 6: Avoid Being Flagged as Spam

If you use language in your email that’s typically found in real spam emails, your email could end up in a person’s spam folder instead of their inbox. For example, saying things like, “Win $1,000!” can alert the webmail platform that this email might be spam.

You can go through your email manually and re-check all the elements, but that can often be unreliable. Luckily, there are helpful platforms that can check to see if and why your emails are getting flagged. My personal favorite and the one that I use currently is Send Forensics.

Send Forensics makes this process easy because they provide a unique test email once you’re ready to send an email. Then, you just have to go into your email campaign platform, in my case Flodesk, and send your email to the test email. They’ll scan your email and highlight the areas that could get flagged as spam. They cover pretty much all the important elements such as vocabulary, grammar, layout, and link quality.

Tip 7: Remove “Spammy” Email Addresses

During your monthly list maintenance, scan for addresses that look like spam. These email addresses usually say something like “help@domain.com”, “admin@domain.com”, or have a bunch of random numbers and letters. Email addresses like “antispam@stopspam.org” is a popular one that you’ll most likely encounter at some point, which is most likely just from someone who thinks they’re funny.

The more emails you have on your list, the more likely your emails will get flagged as spam too. So do your best to remove these to keep your list clean, healthy, and engaged.

Bounce No More

Hopefully this helps you understand what bouncing is and how you can “bounce-proof” your emails. Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever implemented these tips and how your bounce rate improved!

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