Articles on: Deliverability

How to Decrease Bounce Rates


You put your heart and soul into creating the perfect email. Imagine the horror when you hit the send button only to find that a large chunk of your audience didn't receive your email. It is really a lose-lose situation for everyone.

Unfortunately, bounced emails are a common part of email marketing. A high bounce rate can negatively affect your deliverability performance, and thus, your sender reputation. It's essential to monitor this metric and take action when you notice a rise in this rate.

In this guide, you will learn more about bounce rate and how to decrease it over time.

What is a bounce rate?

A bounce rate measures how often your emails bounce. A bounce rate occurs when an email is either not successfully delivered or is rejected by a recipient's inbox provider (like Yahoo or Gmail).

There are two types of bounces that are included in your bounce rate:

- Hard bounces: Emails that cannot be delivered due to a permanent reason, such as a false or spam email address. AVADA will automatically suppress a contact that hard bounces.

- Soft bounces: Emails that cannot be delivered due to a temporary reason, such as a full inbox.

The formula for bounce rate is as follows:

Bounce rate = The number of bounced addresses / The total number of recipients

In AVADA, you can find the number of bounces in:

- The Reports section from the dashboard

- The Reports section in each live automation workflow/ campaign

For more information, head to our guide on how to use AVADA's reports.

You can also see the detailed list of bounces in the Suppression List.

Why does the bounce rate matter?

If your account has a high number of bounces, this can have a negative impact on your deliverability and sender reputation. As your reputation diminishes, inbox providers may send your emails to spam rather than to a recipient's inbox. This is because it signals to inbox providers that you do not regularly clean your email list or follow list acquisition best practices.

So, it is crucial to be on the lookout for an increase in bounce rates so that you can quickly amend the situation before it becomes a problem.

When you go live a newsletter campaign in AVADA, we will send it to a sample group of your recipients (around 1000 contacts) for verifying that campaign first. If the sample reports exceed any limit among 4% of bounce rate, 0.1% of spam rate, or 2% of unsubscribe rate, then your campaign will be paused sending. For more information, please read our article on How AVADA Verifies Your Email Campaign Before Sending.

How to decrease bounce rates

Some best practices to decrease bounce rates include:

- Send to real, consented contacts

- Enable double opt-in

- Avoid using free sender domains

- Clean your lists regularly

1. Send to real, consented contacts

It is crucial to send to real subscribers who have directly consented to your marketing. You should aim to build a strong reputation, not only with inbox providers, but also with the recipients you send to by only emailing real subscribers who actively want to hear from you.

It is not recommended to buy lists or message individuals who have not opted-in to receive your brand communication. This will have a negative impact on your deliverability and damage your sender reputation with inbox providers, raising the likelihood that your emails will be sent to spam.

Furthermore, if you offer a lot of on-site contests or giveaways that sync contacts to your main list, you may acquire unengaged and fake emails. For instance, someone may subscribe for the sole purpose of a giveaway. Even if their contact information is real, it may include an email address they rarely use. If their inbox reaches capacity, then your emails will start bouncing.

As a result, consider focusing on other ways to acquire subscribers (i.e., free shipping or a discount on their first purchase), or generating a separate list for new subscribers who enter your account via promotional contests and giveaways. If you sync these subscribers to your main list, then list cleaning is essential to manage this influx of contacts and ensure that only people who actively engage with your content remain on your subscriber list.

It is best practice to send primarily to engaged subscribers that have interacted with your emails recently. For more information, read How to Create an Engaged Segment.

2. Enable double opt-in

A double opt-in works by sending a "confirmation" email to a recipient when they sign up for your mailing list and only adds them to your list once they've clicked the confirm button.

The difference between double opt-in and single opt-in comes down to whether subscribers have to confirm their subscription to your emails (double opt-in) or whether they are signed up right after submitting their email addresses (single opt-in). The advantage of double opt-in over single opt-in is that you will know the email address is from a valid, monitored inbox.

We highly recommend you enable double opt-in in AVADA. If you have a list set to single opt-in and see a rise in bounce rates, it is best practice to return to double opt-in. To do so, navigate to Forms > Settings, and toggle on Double opt-in.

For more information, head to our Guide to Configure Double Opt-in.

3. Avoid using free sender domains

Most email marketing providers advise you to send your emails from an owned domain. That means not using an address from a free platform, like Gmail or Yahoo. Instead, sending from your own domain, such as, verifies you as a legitimate person or business and is less likely to hit the spam folder.

Read more: Add Your Own Domain & Verify Domain

4. Clean your lists regularly

List cleaning removes any unengaged, fake, misspelled, or spam email addresses that you may collect over time. Doing so will decrease your bounce rates as you weed out any contacts who should no longer receive your messaging, many of whom may be soft bouncing each time you send. Bounces negatively impact your deliverability, so proactive list cleaning and suppressing contacts who are unengaged will improve your sender reputation over time.

For information and instructions on how to clean your lists, head to our Guide to List Cleaning.

Updated on: 07/09/2021

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