How to bounce back from high bounce rates

April 25, 2013 Written by NetSphere Category: eCommerce
How to bounce back from high bounce rates
There’s a big difference between simply sending out a newsletter and sending out a newsletter that employs best practices. The latter requires a lot of time and thoughtful planning while the former might not. The main differentiating factor is, of course, the success rate of each.
The benchmarks for a newsletter’s success vary from industry to industry, and the traction achieved is dependent on a variety of factors. Mail Chimp, one of the leaders in e-mail marketing, sends out billions of e-mails every month, and therefore, has a lot of data to work with. With that intelligence, the experts at Mail Chimp compiled a listof the top industries and calculated their average success rates.
As an example, e-mail marketing campaigns within the food service industry can be held to these standards:
  • Open rates: 45.4%
  • Click-through rates: 4.5%
  • Hard bounce rates: 0.8%

No matter the industry, open rates and click-through rates are often determined by the quality of a newsletter’s content. As for bounce rates, however, it's important to first understand that there are a few different types. Constant Contacts, another leader in e-mail marketing, defines them as follows:

  • A "Bounce" is where the proverbial rubber meets the email. This happens when a recipient's mail server rejects your email message.
  • A "Soft Bounce" is often a temporary problem, thus the descriptive word "soft." It happens when the mail server confirms the recipient's email address, but even so, cannot deliver the message. The recipient's mailbox may be full or inactive, the recipient's mail server may be temporarily down or the connection may have been broken.
  • A "Hard Bounce" is a message that's permanently undeliverable because the address is non-existent or invalid, or because the recipient's mail server is blocking your mail server.

To keep your newsletter bounce rates to a minimum, it’s best to verify e-mail addresses to the fullest degree. By using an e-mail validation tool, such as the free one from, e-mail marketers can rest assured that hard bounces are kept to a minimum. has the ability to validate the e-mail format, the domain name and whether the user's mailbox still exists.

From NetSphere Strategies’ experience, is a remarkably useful and accurate tool to validate a user's e-mail address when the e-mail address you thought was correct resulted in a hard bounce. For example, when the e-mail format is firstname.lastname but failed, will reveal the correct e-mail format, be it or something similar.

So regardless of your industry, as long as you take care when creating your newsletter – and your contact list – an e-mail marketing campaign can be an incredibly useful tool for getting your company’s name in front of the public eye.

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Abbe Miller is the marketing manager at NetSphere Strategies, located just outside Chicago. NetSphere Strategies is a boutique eCommerce company positioned to help businesses transform their online presence by providing a full complement of services that starts with our strategic consulting and creative design teams, then continues with building innovative solutions and providing ongoing post-project support.