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5 Top Reasons Why Emails Bounce (and How to Fix These Problems)

Despite your best efforts, bounced emails can – and will – happen from time to time; it’s simply a part of the email marketing process. However, just because bounces come with the territory sometimes, that doesn’t mean that these unwanted occurrences have to derail your campaign.

With a proper understanding of what causes hard and soft bounces, as well as a smart game plan in place for counteracting these problems, there’s no reason to fear for your sender reputation. To prove this point and help you eradicate the threat of bounced emails from your upcoming inbox campaigns, let’s take some time to talk about the top five reasons behind these bounces, as well as what you can do to put an end to these problems for good.

You Don’t Have the Right Contact Info

At the top of the list, according to the Houston Chronicle’s B. Steele, is failing to have the right contact info on hand. As unexciting as this explanation may seem initially, the truth of the matter is that simple typos and other administrative errors can wreak havoc on your ability to avoid bounced messages.

Fortunately, the fix for this issue is simple and straightforward. Regularly pruning bounced message recipients from your list and giving your contacts the ability to update and confirm their email address information as needed can negate much of the threat that comes with incorrect or inaccurate membership data.

Your Message Content Triggers a Spam Filter

Even if you’re not doing anything underhanded or dastardly in the inbox, getting bounced by a spam filter can happen occasionally. Usually, sales-oriented language and nonsensical wording – things you’d expect to see in a spam message – are the major culprits on this front.

However, if you’re not overtly spamming your contact list, shoring up your actual message content and minimizing the impact of this issue can be a little tricky. Different email service providers can pinpoint different words and phrases as “spam-worthy,” so you’ll need to note the attributes of your bounced content and test new and different iterations within these the various service provider segments of your inbox audience.

The Person on the Other Side of the Screen Is Dormant

Having the person on the side of the screen maintain a dormant state can also lead to plenty of bounced messages and undelivered emails. From autoreplies to vacation settings, there are plenty of scenarios in which the service provider will return a message not because of any wrongdoing on your end of the equation, but rather because of the preferences of the contact list member in question.

While you can’t force through a message under these circumstances, you can keep an eye out for repeat offenders. Once you have a spotlight on these problematic contact list members, you can choose to either stop sending emails for a period of time to this segment or purge them entirely.

Your Target Contact List Member Has a Full Inbox

As the HubSpot Blog’s Ginny Soskey points out, sometimes the answer to a bounced email is as simple as a full inbox. It might sound ridiculous initially, but you’d be surprised at how often this issue can rear its ugly head and cause problems with your message deliverability.

Regrettably, your options on this front are limited in much the same way as when you’re dealing with a dormant contact list member. You can either give this individual some time to clear out space in his or her inbox, or remove them from your list entirely and see if they rejoin at a later date.

The Email Server in Question Is Down (and Other Technical Difficulties)

The final inclusion on the list tackles this problem from a decidedly technical standpoint. From server downtime to issues with the contact list member’s preferred service provider, technical difficulties can hinder deliverability and bounce messages back to your email marketing platform.

The best way to combat this kind of issue is by adopting a little bit of patience into your approach. If you suspect that a technical error is cutting you off from a portion of your audience, then give the framework behind this connection a few hours – or even days – to come back up. Doing so could mean the difference between experiencing avoidable bounces and returning to a stable pathway of communication with your valuable contact list membership.

With this new perspective guiding the way, it’s pretty easy to see that the reason behind a bounce come from a variety of sources and issues. Thankfully, with this new insight on your side, you can get to the bottom of these problematic events and keep your bounce rate low as you continue to leverage the power of the most effective channel for consumer outreach on the web.

About Victor Green

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