The percentage of emails sent that are returned undelivered.

The email bounce rate, in the world of email marketing, is a metric that measures the percentage of emails sent that are not delivered to the recipient’s inbox. It’s a crucial indicator of the overall health of your email list and the effectiveness of your email sending practices.

Here’s a breakdown of the email bounce rate:


The bounce rate is calculated as the number of bounced emails divided by the total number of emails sent, multiplied by 100 to express it as a percentage.

Bounce Rate = (Number of Bounced Emails / Total Number of Emails Sent) * 100%

Types of Bounces:

There are two main categories of email bounces, each impacting the bounce rate differently:

  1. Soft Bounce (Temporary Failure): These are temporary issues that might prevent delivery on the initial attempt, but the email server might retry delivery later. Examples include a full mailbox or temporary server problems.
  2. Hard Bounce (Permanent Failure): These bounces indicate a permanent problem that prevents delivery. The email server won’t retry sending these emails. Examples include invalid email addresses, closed accounts, or domain issues.

Impact of Bounce Rate:

A high bounce rate can have several negative consequences:

  • Reduced Deliverability: Email service providers (ESPs) consider high bounce rates a sign of a poor-quality email list. This can lead to emails landing in spam folders or even getting blocked altogether.
  • Wasted Resources: Bounced emails represent wasted time and effort spent sending emails that never reach the intended recipient.
  • Negative Customer Experience: Customers who never receive your emails might miss important information or updates, potentially damaging your brand reputation.

Acceptable Bounce Rate:

There’s no single “ideal” bounce rate, but most email marketing experts recommend aiming for a bounce rate below 2%. Here’s a general guideline:

  • Below 2%: Considered a good bounce rate, indicating a clean and healthy email list.
  • 2-5%: Needs some attention. Start investigating potential causes and cleaning your email list.
  • Above 5%: A high bounce rate that requires immediate corrective action.

Minimizing Bounce Rates:

Here are some strategies to keep your bounce rate low:

  • List Hygiene: Regularly clean and update your email list to remove invalid or inactive addresses.
  • Double Opt-In: Use a double opt-in process where subscribers confirm their email address to reduce typos and ensure they want to receive emails.
  • Data Verification: Consider using email verification tools to validate email addresses before adding them to your list.
  • Monitor Bounce Rates: Track bounce rates for your email campaigns and investigate high bounce rates to identify and address underlying issues.

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