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Understanding bounces

Understanding bounces

Your bounce rate is the percentage of email addresses that your campaign could not be delivered to. Email providers and cyber-security platforms monitor bounce rates for every campaign you send, and use that information, about you as a sender, to decide if they'll accept mail from you in the future.

Bounce rates are often related to the quality of your subscriber lists. Low bounce rates are a good indication of a healthy, permission-based list with active and engaged subscribers. High bounce rates indicate there may be problems with the way your list has grown, or how it is being managed.

As a guideline, a well maintained, permission-based list should typically see bounce rates of 2-3% or less for each email campaign sent.

Read more on the difference between hard and soft bounces. 


Bounce Summary

A bounce summary is available as part of your standard report and will give you a breakdown of the bounce types that are affecting your campaign.

bounce reason pie chart

The most common reported types are:

  • Policy related bounces are due to recipients’ emails personal policies.

  • Blacklisted related bounces are cause by the sending domain being blacklisted on a site which prevents some recipients from receiving the email. 

  • Other related bounces include smaller categories such as being spam related. 

  • Unclassified related bounces are bounces that we are unaware of why they should’ve been bounced.

  • Routing errors in relation to bounces are caused by the routing of the email recipients emails which can cause them to get lost.

  • A bad mailbox related bounces are those of which the email address is hard bounces therefore non-existent or an invalid address. 

N.B. most bounces will appear within 4 hours but some could take up to 72 based retries to deliver which can continue for up to 2 days after the original send.


If you download a detailed report from your campaign analytics you will also see a bounce reason, as well as a bounce type – that can include;

list of bounce reasons


How we handle bounces

We work hard to keep bounces as low as possible so we can deliver as many of your emails as possible. We constantly monitor the email acceptance rates of our outgoing IP addresses and use sophisticated algorithms to automatically adjust sending rates, as well as giving you the opportunity to control send throttling as part of your campaign set up. We also monitor user behaviour and employ queueing technology to ensure that ISPs are not overloaded.

As mentioned earlier, when an email address appears in the Bounce Summary report it means we are no longer attempting to deliver your campaign to that email address. However, unless it's a hard bounce, we do make repeated attempts to deliver the email for up to 2 days.


Global Suppression list

One of the great advantages of being a part of the e-shot™ system is being able to benefit from our vast experience in sending billions of emails. We are constantly monitoring email behaviour across the platform which ensures that any address found to be invalid or marked as Hard Bounce is automatically suppressed from future sends. By sharing this information and identifying hard bounce email addresses across accounts, you reduce the risk of your sends being blocked by ISPs which will result in better reputation and better deliverability. When you import a new list of addresses, you will benefit from not sending to addresses previously found to be invalid and increase your deliverability.

In short, known bounced email addresses across our accounts are automatically suppressed from your list without affecting your reputation;


Data management best practices

While we do a lot of work behind the scenes to protect you from potential problems, there are certain best practices you can follow to keep things running as smoothly as possible.

Take a look at our advice for maintaining your email marketing database

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