Hot Marketing Acronyms: Bounce Rate related to Email Marketing

Do you know your marketing acronyms? This article explain what bounce rate is related to email marketing


Bounce rate is an important marketing metric for email marketing. Similar to returned physical direct mails, bounced emails are – in fact – something you want to avoid completely. Well, it is not likely to avoid bouncing emails, but you should strive to reach bounce rates of maximum 2%. That means, if you send your permission based email to 100 people, only 2 will not be delivered to the recipient.

This article provides you with a brief overview of the definition of bounce rate, touches slightly on the deliverability issue and reveals some stats about the matter.

Bounce rate is measured as the ratio of bounced e-mails to total e-mails sent. Bounce backs are the emails sent back to the server that originally sent the e-email. Bounced emails are not delivered to the intended recipient. And that is not good.

Deliverability is a big and highly important issue for email marketing
Having worked with many clients across many countries, I have often experienced clients putting less emphasis on the qualitity of their permission based email marketing list. It is a fact, that maintaining any database just isn’t as sexy as working with the messaging, creative, call to actions and so on.

But if you want to achieve better results with your email marketing, it is advisable that you focus more on your deliverability rates. In fact only 30% of practicing marketers don’t take the time to figure out their actual rate of delivery –  according to MarketingSherpa “Email Marketing Benchmark Guide 2008″.

And that is bad. Because – according to Lyris, Q2 Email Advisory Report Card (2007) – permission-based emails are reaching consumer inboxes about 75% of the time. In my opinion that means that 25% of your recipients are not receiving your email at all.
In the same survey Lyris found that 16% of permission-based emails are still being directed straight to a junk or bulk folder. Now if you are sending to only 1.000 people, 160 of them are not reading your email. At all.

In another study – the Internet Retailer Survey Report on Email Marketing (2007) – marketers reported these delivery rates:

  • 40.2% of marketers report deliverability rates between 90.1% to 100%
  • 19.1% of marketers report deliverability rates between 80.1% to 90%
  • 14.8% of marketers report deliverability rates between 70.1% to 80%
  • 9.6% of marketers report deliverability rates between 55.1% to 70%
  • 16.3% of marketers report deliverability rates between 55% and below

Internet Retailer Survey Report on Email Marketing (2007)

So it is fair to say, that deliverability is one of the biggest and most constant challenges for any email marketer.

Email bounces and failure to deliver your messages happen for several reason including;

– Email address no longer exists
– Mailbox is full (happens more often than you think)
– Recipients server is unavailable at the moment
– Your email is perceived as spam

This article did not intend to study this area indepth, as it is indeed a quite substantial topic. But I will write about what you can do to improve your deliverability rates in a new article soon.

Until then, why don’t you sign up for Markedu Event Alerts


By |2017-12-08T20:07:28+00:00April 30th, 2009|

About the Author:

Michael Leander
The founder and CEO of Markedu is a world-renowned, award-winning speaker who has shared his know-how on digital marketing, loyalty marketing, CRM and data-driven marketing with thousands of professionals in 48 countries around the world.