Amazon SES Blog

5 Ways to Decrease Your Bounce Rate

One of our recent posts talked about what bounces are and mentioned that a good hard bounce rate is usually less than 5%. In this post, you’ll learn five strategies that will help you achieve a low bounce rate.

  1. Don’t buy or rent mailing lists. The folks who are trying to sell or rent the list to you might give you a ton of promises that the list is clean and has no bouncing email addresses, but you cannot absolutely know that the email addresses are valid unless you collect them yourself. There are many other reasons not to buy or rent lists (e.g., you’ll have a higher complaint rate), but avoiding bounces is certainly a big one.
  2. Don’t email old email addresses. People tend to cycle through email addresses fairly rapidly. As a result, you have no idea whether their email address is valid unless they have signed up or interacted with you recently. Newer is always better, and a good rule of thumb is to not email addresses over 6 months old – 1 year at the oldest. If you must email much older email addresses, make sure they’re a small enough percentage of your overall sending that you can stay under a 5% overall bounce rate even if most of the older addresses bounce.
  3. Confirm email addresses. It is very easy for people to mistype an address, like putting in example@hotmial.com rather than example@hotmail.com. By making folks fill in their email address twice and then confirming that the two match, you vastly increase your chance of getting accurate email addresses and preventing bounces.
  4. Use double opt-in (sometimes called confirmed opt-in). This requires your subscribers to confirm that they want your email (and that their address is valid) by clicking a link in the email that you send to them. This will decrease your bounce rate because people will have to use real email addresses in order to subscribe. Double opt-in usually decreases the probability of receiving spam complaints as well.
  5. Don’t email addresses that already bounced. While it may be tempting to ignore the bounces that come in, it is very important to remove any addresses that generate a hard bounce from your email list. This is probably the most direct way to decrease your bounce rate overall.

These tips should get you well on your way to making a dent in your bounce rate!