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8 things your boss wishes you knew about email bounces

Posted by Elias Rizk on Nov 9, 2018 11:16:43 AM
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8 Things Your Boss Wishes You Knew About Email Bounces

Think your boss doesn't care what your email bounce stats look like on each marketing campaign you run? Think again. Email marketing still produces over 4 times more revenue per dollar spent than any other digital marketing channel, so you can rest assured that your superiors want you to get it right. We've compiled a list of 8 critical things about email bounces that you might expect your boss to worry about - use these guidelines to get ahead of the game and impress them before they even bring anything up to you themselves.

From a Boss' Point of View, Email Bounces...

  • Cost a LOT of Money

While marketers are always concerned with cost to some degree, your boss is probably the one who holds actual accountability for the company’s finances. That's why they have vested interest in making sure email bounces do not disrupt your marketing activities, whether they know it or not.

There is a marketing acquisition cost for every contact. Whether a lead or an existing client, when you are unable to reach out to your contacts, their marketing acquisition cost is wasted. More than that, you no longer have the chance to explore the potential revenue that you can generate through these contacts. This is the primary reason most bosses will care about this issue, and it drives every other concern on this list.

  • Can Snowball Into Much Bigger Problems

As if the financial impacts weren't enough, email bounces can also have an extremely strong negative effect on your overall email strategy if you build up a large number of them over time. Every bounce incurred by your sender IP address is a black mark on your sender reputation, an internal score that internet service providers (ISPs) use to track likely spammers. After too many strikes against you, many common ISPs will start to filter your messages out before they can reach their customers' inboxes.

Some shared IPs and email services will even ban you from their servers for an excessive bounce rate to keep you from dragging their other clients down with your poor scores. If it's considered serious enough for them to lose a customer over it, you can bet that your boss will also consider it a critical issue.

  • Need To Be Monitored

Quick – how many email bounces did you have during your last campaign? If you can’t come up with a reasonably confident answer at the drop of a hat, you're not paying enough attention to this matter. Your boss wants to know that you can perform similarly to other marketers in the email bounce percentage department. Your goal percentage will vary based on the industry of the company you're representing (some average higher than others - the highest bounce average on this list by Constant Contact is real estate at 12.6%), but it should usually fall somewhere in the range of 6-8%. Obviously, if you can achieve an even lower rate than that, that's even better. In most cases, though, it should be considered absolutely unacceptable to be measuring bounces in the double digits.

  • Reflect Badly On the Company

As mentioned in the point above, bounces don't only happen on emails going out to inactive or non-existent leads. When an email bounce happens to an active and engaged lead, it's even more harmful to your brand. Imagine that you’ve signed up to receive emails from a particular company and are really looking forward to it. You wait, and wait, and wait, but that first email never comes – it’s been blocked by a spam filter somewhere along the line. How does that make you feel about that company now?

Unchecked email bounces lead to a chaotic pattern of delivery and make the company you are representing look shady and unorganized. A person who has this kind of negative interaction with a company is less likely to buy from them in the future - but if similar customer service statistics are anything to go by, they may be more likely to badmouth that company to everyone they know. Those other people are then also less likely to become customers themselves, shrinking your potential market share bit by bit. If your brand reputation falls low enough, you may even have trouble keeping the loyalty of the customers you've already gained. These effects are difficult to quantify directly, but they are both real and devastating, and they are almost certainly on your boss' mind.

  • Are Sometimes Your Fault

Yes, bounces sometimes happen due to unavoidable problems. All email servers go down from time to time and many people accidentally leave their inboxes filled long enough to cause some rerouting issues. Sometimes bounces are also due to lead error or intentional misuse; accidental misspellings are common, and it’s no secret that leads sometimes give false email addresses when prompted. However, that doesn't absolve you from all the blame.

Sometimes, your email bounces expose your deeper flaws as a marketer. If you send out poor-quality emails or send to people who haven't indicated an interest in your brand, you shouldn't be surprised to see your emails bouncing due to having been marked as spam. If you purchase subscriber lists instead of building them organically, you might fall victim to a lot of spam traps that will push up your bounces rates. Your boss needs you to understand that you can't chalk bounces up to random chance - you have to investigate them properly to be able to say you've done your part.

  • Can Always Be Corrected

While it’s impossible to say with absolute certainty that you will never have another email bounce again, there are steps you can take to cut down on all kinds of email bounces, even the ones that have no clear cause. There are certain general guidelines that are almost always effective in helping to fix a high bounce rate. If you take the time to revise your email content, review your list, and make sure your formatting works properly, you should be able to get a handle on the problem. If you're still having trouble getting your bounce rate where you'd like it to be, you can use tricks like the double opt-in method to try to target more engaged subscribers.

The point is that no matter how bad things are right now, they can almost certainly be improved. It's never too late to turn things around, especially when you're talking about something so important to a critical part of your operations. It's a safe bet that your boss wants you thinking proactively about this problem!

  • Are Worth Seeking Help For

Some firms really do operate on shoestring budgets and can’t afford more than the bare essentials, even if shelling out a little extra money for some preventative care could yield big returns in the future. Most, though, are more than willing to invest in something with such a high potential rate of return.

There are many tools and services available on the market to help you in your quest to lower your email bounces and keep them stable. You might try a private company email server to ensure that your IP address' reputation isn't being contaminated by the actions of others on the same server, and use email quality verification to prune off dead-end leads and keep you up-to-date on your list over time. Whatever you're having trouble with, there is probably a commercial solution available to fill in the gaps. Consider asking your boss for more funding to purchase these things, making clear what an impact they could have on your overall financial health. You might be surprised by the answer you receive.

  • Are Ultimately Your Responsibility

No matter how excellently or poorly your email bounces are being handled right now, it's important to remember that maintaining this metric falls squarely under your jurisdiction as a marketer. In other words, your boss probably doesn't want to have to tell you to take care of this issue or how to do it. You need to realize that you are accountable for everything involved with this process and the results that are produced; you must do the work required to keep things in order, preferably before any crisis point is reached. Show your professionalism as a marketer by procuring an exceptionally low bounce rate and your boss will understand how lucky they are to have you.


Don't Let Email Problems Stand In Your Way

Bosses love when their teams perform so well that they barely need direction at all. It's always better to be proactive about potential issues like these than to stall until they become truly vexing roadblocks. Implementing a real strategy to watch and reduce email bounces could be the key to stronger sales for your company and a better internal reputation for you. Give these things some thought before your next email marketing campaign and see if it might help you get the recognition you deserve.

Email Quality Management can help you explore amazing opportunities within your email bounces and uncover potential revenue growth that was going to be ignored. Check it out in the below calculator.

ROI for contact data quality management

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Topics: Email Marketing, Marketing performance, Contact data quality management