Creating an authentic and relevant email campaign takes a lot of strategizing, experimenting, and testing. Just imagine how disappointed you would be if you learned that your hard work did not pay off.
One of the greatest problems email marketers face is high email bounce rates. The email marketing bounce rate is the percentage of newsletter subscribers that did not receive your message because a mail server returned it.
Bounces make your brand invisible to your target audience. They compromise your brand’s reputation and affect customer engagement. Fortunately, you have the power to control the email bounce rate. Here is how.
1. Segment your Email Recipients
Personalization is critical for the success of your email campaigns, and that is where email segmentation helps. When segmenting an email list, you slice it down into narrower and more meaningful segments. That way, you tailor your email campaigns to your target audience’s specific needs, problems, and preferences. Creating email content that resonates with your audiences reduces your email bounce rate and encourages open rates and conversions.
You can segment your newsletter list using numerous variables, such as customers’:
- Education level
- Job title
- Past purchases
- Buying frequency
- Content topics
- Stage in a buyer journey
- Change in a shopping behavior
- CTA clicks
- Shopping cart abandonment
2. Update your Email List Regularly
The hygiene of your email database is essential to engaging audiences and reducing the email bounce rate. You want to build an email list consisting of engaged recipients that are interested in purchasing from you. By filtering out such contact, you will improve your deliverability rates and open rates, as well as minimize your email bounce rate.
If your list is old, it is time to revamp it. For starters, segment out the recipients and use a validation program to eliminate accounts that do not exist anymore. There is a wide range of email validation tools to use, including ZeroBounce, AeroLeads, Xverify that will help you detect invalid subscriber addresses.
On the other hand, if your subscribers are inactive, try to engage them. There are many tactics, from creating interactive content to offering discounts, which may help you win your customers back.
3. Produce High-Quality Content
Content is the nerve center of your email marketing strategy. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. For example, would you open an email with a generic subject line? How much time does it take you to close an email if it does not pique your interest and engage you right from the start?
From its subject line to text and visuals, any aspect of your email newsletter needs to be engaging, authentic, and straightforward. Above all, keep it personalized and interactive. The quality and relevancy of your email content determine how servers will perceive your message and whether it will end up in spam.
Here are a few practical tips on how to improve your email content:
- Nail the subject line: Short subject lines, between six and ten words, work the best. Make sure your subject line is attention-grabbing. Use action words, include intriguing statistics, or ask questions to stand out and entice users to click.
- Make it personal: As mentioned above, newsletter list segmentation is critical for delivering personalized user experiences. By slicing your list down, you will be able to understand customer needs and provide them with relevant content. For example, if someone recently purchased from your online shop, why not ask them to review the product?
- Avoid spamming your emails with links and multiple CTAs. Offer a single call-to-action that is persuasive enough to motivate a user to visit your website.
4. Avoid Using Free-Sender Domains
Before you launch an email marketing campaign, make sure you have a company’s domain. When using free sender domains, such as Gmail or Yahoo, your emails may end up in spam. That may harm your business’ reputation, reduce open rates, and increase your bounce rates.
Sending emails from your company’s domain will position you as a legitimate business and prevent your newsletters from hitting the Spam folder.
5. Authenticate your Emails and Avoid Spam
Email authentication is essential for preventing email fraud, boosting email deliverability, and ensuring the continued delivery of your content. It is particularly important to marketers using a third-party ESP, such as SendX. That way, you give permissions to the third-party ESP to send emails on the behalf of your domain.
During the email delivery process, receiving email servers focus on determining the legitimacy of your content. They want to check who the email is from and how relevant and secure it is. SPF, DMARC, and DKIM are the three fundamental methods of email authentication. By authenticating your domain name, you prevent negative security alerts from reaching your recipients and, unsurprisingly, lowers the email bounce rate.
6. Avoid Spam and Strengthen Website Security
Mail servers also observe the quality of your content, previous user engagement practices, and other reputational factors. Precisely because of that, you should align your website content with your email content to reduce your mail bounce rate. For example, when promoting products or content, make sure your CTAs and links point customers to the right pages.
Above all, keep your website safe. Using SSL certificates is critical for maximizing brand awareness and boosting customer trust. If your website does not use HTTPS, browsers will warn customers that your website is not secure. Not wanting to risk their data security, customers will probably abandon the purchase, stop opening your email, or even mark them as spam.
7. A/B Test your Email Marketing Tactics
Designing an engaging and converting email right off the bat is not easy. Your audiences have different needs, problems, and habits. Unsurprisingly, some emails perform better than others. Your goal is to A/B test key elements of your email content to understand which ones resonate with your recipients the best.
In the context of email, A/B testing means creating two variants of your campaign and comparing them. The complexity of the process varies. For example, you could manually create and send different subject lines to test open-rates. On the other hand, most email service providers allow you to automate this process and gain invaluable insights faster.
You can A/B test:
- Subject lines
- The length of subject lines
- Word order
- Email content
- Power words in subject lines and email body
- Emails with and without images
- Calls to action
- Using buttons vs. text
8. Analyze your Email Campaigns Regularly
In email marketing, you should never rely on your gut. Only by tracking the effectiveness of your campaigns will you be able to make informed decisions, minimize bounce rates, boost open rates.
First, establish a tracking schedule. Whether it is weekly, monthly, quarterly, or campaign-by-campaign tracking, always track email performance regularly. That is how you will be able to track your progress, compare results, spot patterns of improvement, and identify new trends.
Second, outline your email marketing goals. That way, you will know what you want to measure and choose the metrics that illustrate the performance of your campaigns.
Third, choose the right KPIs. Focus on the metrics that are aligned with your goals and performance. Some of the most common ones are:
- the clickthrough rate
- the conversion rate
- the bounce rate
- the list growth rate
- the open rate
- the unsubscribe rate
- the overall ROI
Over to You
From these examples, you can conclude that mails bounce for many reasons, from incorrect email addresses and invalid domain names to poor IP reputation and spammy content. To reduce your mail bounce rate, you need to plan your campaigns strategically.
- Start by segmenting and updating your email lists.
- Avoid free-sender domains to gain recipients’ trust.
- If you use a third-party ESP, always authenticate your emails.
- Create high-quality and personalized content.
- Avoid spammy keywords and links to avoid ending up in spam.
- Boost website performance to encourage customers to open your emails. That way, you will show to receiver servers that you are not a spammer and prevent messages from bouncing.
- Finally, A/B test email variants and analyze your performance regularly.