Whether it’s your first or hundredth email campaign, the excitement of getting a response remains unmatched. You always want to see 100% deliverability and good open and click rates. However, freezing your eyes on the screen post email campaign only to receive a high number of “email undelivered” notifications can be frustrating.
In this article, we’ll delve into why email bounces happen. It is easy to assume an email bounced because of inaccurate information, which does happen, but there are several other reasons that have nothing to do with email quality at all.
7 Reasons for Your Email Bounces
There are many different possibilities for an email bouncing. As a result, a “return to sender”, or “SMTP Reply,” message is sent from the recipient’s mail server with a more detailed explanation. It’s an annoying occurrence in email marketing, but it’s important to know the real reason the message wasn’t delivered.
1. The Catch-All Factors
A catch-all account is an email address configured to accept all emails sent to the domain, regardless of whether the specified mailbox exists. They accept everything. Why would a company enable this feature? In short, to ensure they don’t miss any potential customers. For example, say you’re trying to reach ACME’s sales department to buy their product but you type ‘slaes’@acme.com instead of ‘sales’@acme.com. With catch-all emails you ensure you get all prospects trying to reach you, but this does not help email marketing in the slightest.
2. Watch Out for the Company Spam Filters
Large enterprise companies often have spam filters to help keep their teams’ inboxes clear and productive. These will almost certainly kick in if a company receives the same email from one sending IP domain and it’s going to dozens of recipients within a short period of time. Even if it’s the best email in the world and works in a 1:1 scenario, in this case, it’s automatically marked as spam and blocked.
Here’s an example.
If you target a large organization and decide to draft one email and send that one template across 150 contacts within an hour, you’re going to be blocked.
Now, some of your emails might still make it through before the block can go into effect, but you’re still not going to hit all 150 inboxes successfully. And, let’s be real, 99% of the time that is a spamming practice. When you do get blocked, it may be temporary or permanent based on how the recipient’s IT team configured their blocking filters. Sometimes, the block starts as temporary but repeated “violations” turn it into a permanent block.
3. Emails Getting Blocked
Some servers, such as corporate servers, only allow emails to be sent to specific IP addresses. Other IP addresses attempting to send emails would be blocked in such situations. These emails will be returned because they are not permitted to be delivered to this server.
How can you tell if this is happening? More often than not this impacts members of the sales team because they are sending emails more frequently and at a higher volume. If your sales person’s email is bouncing back, but an email from marketing or a non-sales team member does not, then the sales person’s IP address is being blocked by the recipient.
In such a situation, you have to whitelist the IP address from which you want to send the emails.
4. Blacklisted IP Address
Your IP address being Blacklisted is a result of your delivery reputation and email sending behaviors. Although a company’s domain can be blacklisted, in this case, we are referring to an individual sender, or IP Address, within the domain.
If the sender score of these IPs is low and they have been used in the past for sending spam emails then these IPs may get blacklisted by Mailbox providers. If the IP is blacklisted by a mailbox provider then it can get blocked. When this happens, if you attempt to send emails from a blacklisted IP they will automatically bounce because of the sender’s prior email reputation and behavior. This is one of the cases that your email quality has nothing to do with deliverability.
5. Recipients Inbox is Full
Some senders may wish to continue sending to overflowing inboxes. After all, this person will (maybe) eventually clean those inboxes to make room for more emails, right? In all honesty, probably not. Think of how many unused or old email accounts you’ve created in your professional and personal instances.
When an inbox is not regularly checked the mailbox will get full just like anything else. It has a limited storage ability to house old emails. It might become full resulting in a soft bounced email. It’s like when you call someone whose voicemail is full. You did get a valid number, but there’s simply no space for another incoming message.
As with other soft email bounces, you can try to reach them again if and when that person ever clears out their old email threads.
6. Recipient’s Prior Behavior With Similar Emails
The recipient’s prior behavior with your email address is also a major contributor to the deliverability of your email.
How? There are many possibilities. Consider these two cases:
Case 1: Email delivered to one but not to the other from the same company
You send emails to a company where employee A is interacting with your email whereas employee B reported your email as spam. In such cases, your email will be delivered to employee A but will bounce for employee B from the same company.
Case 2: Your colleague’s email is delivered, but yours has landed in spam
You and your colleague send an email to the same email address. However, the person didn’t like your messaging and marked your email as spam. In this case, your colleague’s email will reach the client, but yours will land in the spam (or bulk) folder.
Likewise, it will be different for different people and it can still be considered delivered even though it goes into somebody’s bulk folder. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to change this unless you can somehow convince the recipient to go into their bulk folder, find your last email, and unmark it as spam.
7. Your Prior Sending History
Email deliverability is not always about technical hiccups. Email bounces also depend on what you and your team have done in the past such as engaging in questionable sending practices like:
- Adding too many people to your list at once. Yes, you have to continually feed your email marketing engine, but adding new emails in bulk and sending them all the same thing is not a good practice.
- An extra demerit if you do the previous item AND the first email you send is an immediate sales ask (book demo, buy now, etc.)
- Continuing to send hard-bounced emails after they’ve been reported to you via your email marketing tools.
- Continuing to send to people who marked you as spam or asked to be unsubscribed (and you didn’t!).
- Spamming people by not sending relevant content and sending too frequently.
All of these sender behaviors will result in email bounces, hurt your domain reputation, impact email deliverability for your entire organization, and could eventually get you blacklisted. Poor email practices overwhelm any quality data that you put in your email marketing engine. You must first repair the damage with your Email Service Provider and change your ways!
You feed a Lexus premium gas, but if the driver doesn’t change the oil and hits every single curb they see, your luxury vehicle will not drive as smoothly as you’d like.
Thankfully, most of these listed reasons can be avoided to improve email deliverability. The key is knowing what they are from the start. Avoiding the traps and bad habits keeps you in a place where you can continue to send emails. And, there are still other ways you can still improve your email deliverability.
Improve Your Email Deliverability with SalesIntel
Data is in a state of constant flux, meaning that what was accurate in the past, whether 90 days ago or 9 minutes ago, may not still be reliable now. We believe in adding value at every stage of the journey as the fastest-growing business in the B2B Data landscape. And, SalesIntel has always been committed to keeping its promises.
Many data companies have machine-verified data based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, or they employ techniques for guessing contact information. For example, they may presume that an email pattern such as firstname.lastname@example.org applies to the entire organization and apply this rule to emails sent to all employees without checking the data at the individual level.
To ensure the highest degree of reliability, SalesIntel goes the extra mile and runs all of our data through human verification before uploading it to our portal, and the data is re-verified every 90 days. We believe in providing data that fuels your lead generation and ultimately develops a stronger sales pipeline.
We understand how important it is for your email marketers and sales team to have both accuracy and quantity. As a result, SalesIntel enables you to identify and reach millions of decision-makers in B2B sectors such as IT, Education, Finance and Banking, Recruitment, Professional Services, and others.
All said and done, it is better to leave your data concerns to the experts so that you don’t lose your focus on selling your solutions. Ready to switch to a reliable data partner?