Definition of Email Bounce Rate

Email Bounce Rate refers to the percentage of sent emails that fail to reach their intended recipients’ inboxes. This failure can be due to various reasons, such as invalid email addresses or full mailboxes. A high bounce rate is undesirable, as it indicates poor email list quality and can negatively impact the sender’s reputation.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Email Bounce Rate” would be:E – EH-meel (as in “bed”)M – mee (as in “see”)A – ae (as in “cat”)I – eye (as in “sky”)L – el (as in “sell”)(space)B – bee (as in “bee”)O – ow (as in “low”)U – yoo (as in “you”)N – en (as in “end”)C – see (as in “sea”)E – ee (as in “be”)(space)R – ar (as in “car”)A – ae (as in “cat”)T – tee (as in “tea”)E – ee (as in “be”)

Key Takeaways

  1. Email bounce rate is a crucial metric that measures the percentage of emails that fail to reach their intended recipients, indicating the overall effectiveness of your email campaigns.
  2. There are two types of email bounces: hard bounces, which involve permanent delivery failures due to invalid addresses or blocked domains, and soft bounces, which involve temporary delivery issues that may be resolved later.
  3. To reduce bounce rates, regularly update and clean your email lists, ensure that your sender reputation is maintained, and use double opt-in methods to verify subscribers’ email addresses before sending them any content.

Importance of Email Bounce Rate

Email Bounce Rate is an essential digital marketing term as it serves as a critical metric for evaluating the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

It represents the percentage of emails that fail to reach their intended recipients due to various reasons, such as invalid email addresses or full inboxes.

A high bounce rate not only indicates a waste of resources, as these unopened emails do not generate leads or drive engagement, but it also negatively impacts your sender reputation with Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Consequently, this may lead to the filtering or blocking of your future emails, directly affecting your reach, deliverability, and ultimately, the success of your email marketing efforts.

Monitoring and maintaining a low email bounce rate is crucial for ensuring consistent communication with your target audience and optimizing the performance of your campaigns.


Email Bounce Rate is a crucial metric in the digital marketing world, serving as an important indicator of the effectiveness and deliverability of your email marketing campaigns. By analyzing the bounce rate, marketers can make informed decisions for optimizing their campaign strategies and improve their overall performance. Bounce rate is essentially a measure of the percentage of emails undelivered or returned to the sender due to various factors, such as inaccurate email addresses, full inboxes, or server issues.

A high bounce rate can have negative consequences, including damaging an organization’s sender reputation, having negative effects on email deliverability, and can potentially lead to being labeled as a spam sender. The purpose of monitoring your email bounce rate is to understand the quality of your email list, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately, enhance your email deliverability and engagement rates. Keeping a low bounce rate is essential, as it reflects how accurately you are reaching your target audience, while also avoiding penalties imposed by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for sending emails to invalid or non-existent accounts.

To maintain a healthy bounce rate, marketers need to regularly clean and update their email list, removing inaccurate email addresses, typos, and inactive subscribers. Additionally, it is important to implement double opt-in processes to ensure subscribers genuinely want to receive your emails. By paying close attention to bounce rate, marketers can make data-driven decisions to optimize their email marketing campaigns, resulting in better-targeted messaging, improved engagement, and ultimately, increased return on investment (ROI).

Examples of Email Bounce Rate

Example 1: A small online clothing store sends a promotional email campaign to its database of 10,000 subscribers offering a limited-time discount. After analyzing the results, they find that 500 emails failed to be delivered. Their email bounce rate in this case would be 5% (500 bounces/10,000 total emails). These undelivered emails could have been due to invalid email addresses, full inboxes, or temporary server issues.

Example 2: A local gym wants to increase their membership by sending cold-emails to potential customers in their region. They buy a list of 5,000 email addresses but do not verify the quality of the list. After sending the campaign, they receive 1,000 bounced emails. This yields a bounce rate of 20% (1,000 bounced emails / 5,000 total emails). This high bounce rate may indicate a poor quality email list or an issue with their email service provider.

Example 3: A nonprofit organization sends a monthly newsletter to its 2,000 subscribers sharing updates about their projects and requesting donations. Over time, they notice their bounce rates steadily increasing each month, reaching 10% in the latest newsletter (200 bounces / 2,000 total emails). This increase in bounce rate could be due to subscribers abandoning their email accounts, email service providers labeling their emails as spam, or issues on the nonprofit’s side with email formatting or sending frequency.

Email Bounce Rate FAQ

1. What is an Email Bounce Rate?

An email bounce rate refers to the percentage of email addresses in your subscriber list that did not receive your message because it was returned by a recipient’s mail server. This can be due to various reasons, including temporary issues with the recipient’s server or a non-existent email address.

2. Why is Email Bounce Rate important?

Email bounce rate is important as it directly affects the deliverability of your email campaigns. A high bounce rate may lead to being marked as spam, and negatively impact your sender reputation, eventually resulting in your future emails being sent to the spam folder.

3. What are the different types of bounces?

There are two main types of email bounces: hard bounces and soft bounces. Hard bounces occur when an email is permanently undeliverable, usually due to an invalid email address. Soft bounces, on the other hand, are temporary delivery failures caused by full mailboxes, server downtime, or email message size.

4. How can I reduce Email Bounce Rate?

To reduce email bounce rate, you should maintain a clean and healthy email list. Regularly updating your list, removing inactive subscribers, using double opt-in, and implementing email address verification can help decrease your bounce rate and improve deliverability.

5. What is an acceptable Email Bounce Rate?

An acceptable email bounce rate can vary, but most experts agree that it should be below 2%. Bounce rates above 2% might put your sender reputation at risk and cause your emails to be marked as spam.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Hard Bounce
  • Soft Bounce
  • Email Deliverability
  • Email List Hygiene
  • Sender Reputation

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