Email Bounce Rates: The Bane of Your Email Marketing

2 minute read

According to the HubSpot State of Sales Report, 41% of sales reps said email is their primary channel for prospecting. Corresponding to that, a massive 18% of the salesperson's time is dedicated to email prospecting, according to the same study. 

While we all know a crucial piece is managing your email campaigns, flows, templates, and automated campaigns, most sales managers overlook how vital handling email bounce rates can be for their bottom line. 

If you don't pay attention, you risk wasting valuable time and resources on prospects who won’t even receive your emails. What of the nightmare of being blocklisted by email providers due to your high email bounce rate?

We worry about email open rates, click-through rates, email spam filters, email reputation, email deliverability, email blocklisting, email, email, email; we would die from paper cuts if it were not digital. This blog will cover email list hygiene with actionable takeaways to improve your email marketing game. Ensuring that your emails hit just the correct email inbox is essential.

Some Stats on Email Marketing, Deliverability and Bounce Rates

We have all sent an email only to have it bounce back as undeliverable. It can be infuriating, especially when reaching out to existing clients. And while it is somewhat expected with potential customers, it still feels like hitting a brick wall. 

According to The Ultimate List of Email Marketing Stats for 2021 by Hubspot, the average email open rate across all industries is just shy of 25%. For those in the marketing and advertising sector, however, that number drops to just over 17%. This means a large number of your emails are getting caught in filters or rejected due to bad addresses. 

According to Mailer Lite, the average click-through rate across industries is 8.93%. Click-through rate (CTR) is a good measure of engagement by calculating how many email recipients clicked on a link within the email.

Now, coming to bounce rates, the average email bounce rate in 2023 is around 0.3%. With the construction industry performing worse, clocking 1.32%. While media and publishing industries are hovering around 0.19%, which is the bottom line for bounce rates. Here’s a rundown of email bounce rates by industry:

It's important to remember this when planning your email campaigns and take a hard look at your contact lists. A shorter, highly current list will save you money and get you farther. Don't let bad addresses hold you back - stay on top of your email game and keep those email bounce rates low! The accuracy and utility of those email addresses should far outweigh their number.

Understanding Email Bounce Rates - How Bounce Rates and Spam Filters are Causing Emails to Go Unread

As businesses rely increasingly on email marketing campaigns, understanding email bounce rates and spam filters is the only way to protect your email reputation and avoid the email blocklist. Emails that go unread not only hurt the search engine ranking and domain reputation of a company but they also represent a missed opportunity to engage with customers and increase conversions. 

Email spam filters have become more sophisticated, and email service providers are now flagging emails from domains with high email bounce rates, causing further damage to a company's reputation. As your email spam score goes up, it can render 50-75% of your emails undeliverable. By recognizing the factors that contribute to email bounce rates and taking action to reduce them, businesses can improve the effectiveness of their email marketing campaigns.

Emailing into a Black Hole: Accidentally Ghosting Yourself

Just like being ghosted on a date can leave you wondering what went wrong, dropping a contact on an email list can leave you wondering why they never responded. In the business world, lost contacts mean lost opportunities. But are you ghosting yourself? 

Emailing into a black hole and accidentally ghosting yourself is a common problem when employees move away from a company or an email account is closed.

Email service providers leverage AI to filter and flag emails sent to inactive accounts, resulting in permanently losing valuable connections. This can also happen if you only have the disposable email address of a contact and not their company email. 

One effective solution is to utilize LinkedIn and ensure you are emailing an active employee. Read this blog for details. Additionally, it is wise to have a backup point of contact within the company for key accounts in case an employee leaves suddenly. With an estimated turnover rate of 33.7% in 2021 for the professional and business services industry, having a backup email can save you from experiencing the frustration of lost contacts.

Reducing Your Email Bounce Rate

Email list hygiene, cleaning, and management, no matter the name, the meaning is the same. 

  • Use opt-ins to make sure you are only sending emails to a known audience
  • Ensure your email list is current, with only first-party intent or high-engagement leads. Plena can help you do this! 
  • Using email list segmentation can ensure that leads and contacts receive emails that a relevant to them. 
  • Watch your email unsubscribe rate to gauge if you are sending too many emails
  • Avoid email spam filter triggering subject lines 
  • Add value to every email, make your email content relevant for the user


In summary, invalid email addresses are a bigger problem than most people think. They can cause lasting damage to businesses in more ways than one. 

Not only do they set email spam filters against your domain, but they also lead to lost opportunities due to potential customers becoming ghosted accounts. 

Email marketing campaigns rarely reach their full potential without proper email list management. Curate your email lists to target your audience by demographics (email segmentation) and filter good from bad (email list hygiene). Businesses should utilize email validation to help ensure their email open rates stay high. 

Companies like Plena that offer automated solutions can enable organizations to track authentication status so that money is always spent on false business leads and, more vital, that you don't end up blocklisted from an ESP (Email Service Provider). By determining legitimacy quickly and effectively, Plena is an ideal solution for any company. Let Plena help filter those LinkedIn contact emails for you today!

Each day without Plena = Lost Sales

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