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What are Bounces in Email Open Rates and How Can You Avoid Them?

11 August 2021
by Diana Rowatt

Let’s hit you with a stat to kick things off… the reality is, 30% of your email traffic is bot traffic. So, if you’re struggling with email deliverability and email open rates, this could be a reason why.

That’s because when bots are clicking your emails, mail servers don’t ultimately consider you as a ‘trusted’ source, and your online reputation suffers as a result. That’s why data should play a pivotal role in your entire email marketing and comms strategy.

With this insight at your fingertips – and preferably via a savvy marketing automation platform rather than attempting to do it manually – you’re maximising your campaign's engagement because you’re providing relevant content to true recipients.

To keep your data up to date, nurture and understand it, so you can ensure your messages land in the right person’s inbox, at the right time and via the right channel. This should start an increase in email open rates, rather than bots and bounces!

So, if you’re still sending ‘batch and blast’ style emails to a large volume of old data and finding yourself in a toxic spam trap as a result, it’s likely you’ll be wanting to know what are bounces in email marketing, and how can you avoid them in your email open rates. Here’s our insight…

Understanding Bounce Information in Email Open Rate Data – What Marketers Need to Know!

A bounce is what we receive when a contact’s mailbox can’t receive our email. For example, a ‘soft’ bounce happens when there’s a temporary issue that prevented the marketing message from getting through. In comparison, a ‘hard’ or ‘permanent’ bounce confirms the email is essentially dead and should be disregarded.

Our advice would be to deactivate any contacts that are in the latter categories, and we’d recommend you use marketing automation to set this up, so they can be automatically removed before your next email campaign goes out. That way, you’re ensuring you won’t be sending future emails to bad data and skewing your email open rates, so keep monitoring your CRM.

You Should Be Receiving No More Than 1% Hard Bounces in Your Email Open Rates

If you find yourself experiencing something more than the above figure, review your data collection policies and work with your sales team or analyse your form capture to figure out what’s causing this issue.

Don’t discount the information you receive from soft bounces, either. For example, the email you get in return could tell you that your contact has left their job – meaning you don’t need to continue delivering content in an inbox that isn’t being monitored.

You could also define an internal policy for your brand that, for example, underlines that if you receive five soft bounces in your email open rate data, in any given month, they equal a hard bounce, and therefore you should act upon the information to better enhance your email deliverability.

Having an email marketing platform means you can check email open rates and bounce rates easily, whilst our software does the hard work. Force24’s email marketing automation works with your team to cut the time you need to spend on checking data and manually cleansing your contact list. 

Enhance your email engagement, avoid spam traps, transform your open rates and more by downloading your free ‘Ultimate Guide to Email Deliverability’ today.

And learn how to supercharge your marketing by calling our automation specialists on: 0845 272 5990 or emailing: info@force24.co.uk

Photo of Diana Rowatt
Diana Rowatt
Client Services Director

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