StoneShot Learning > Reporting > Bounce Meanings

Bounce Meanings

What is a Bounce?

A bounce is classed as any email address that cannot receive an email and a ‘return to sender’ message is sent from the recipient’s server back to the sender. This has nothing to do with the recipient’s desire to receive the email (which is controlled by unsubscribing or a preference centre), it is a technical issue physically preventing your email from reaching the desired recipient’s inbox.

Below you can see the total number of selected recipients in your list. In an ideal world this number would equal the number of people who receive your email and have the potential to engage and read what you’ve sent them. However, as it’s not always possible to anticipate a contact bouncing it is unrealistic to expect everyone in your list to receive your email successfully.

Quick Bounce Analysis

Once your email has been sent you can examine the metrics below to determine the quality of your distribution list. Sent is the total number of email addresses in your distribution list, Reached is the actual number of contacts who received the email and excludes those that Bounced. The higher proportion of your list that has been Reached the better.

A low bounce rate suggests a very healthy, up to date, and well managed contact list, whereas a high bounce rate could mean there are a few issues you need to address with how you are sourcing and maintaining your lists. The StoneShot Platform allows you to click into and review the bounces you’ve received and try and determine what action you need to take with their email addresses.

Types of bounce

To improve your bounce rate, it helps to have an understanding of the different kinds of bounces. There are two main types – hard and soft. A hard bounce is a permanent delivery failure whereas a soft bounce is a temporary prevention of emails reaching a contact.

Hard bounces

A hard bounce is an email address that is not valid or is no longer being used. This could be due to a simple spelling error, a change in the contact’s domain in their email address, or it could be that they’ve left their company and their email address has been deleted.

Soft bounces

A soft bounce is when your email has been received by the recipient’s email server but was not delivered into their inbox due to a lack of space, your email failing a spam detector, or the sender name and email address being blocked. A soft bounce suggests that you’ve got a correct email address for the contact, but there’s an issue with your email or sender credentials that need to be marked as safe by your recipient.

What you can do?

It’s a good idea to regularly check the contacts that are bouncing from your email sends. In doing so you may notice trends, for example a high proportion of contacts bouncing from a particular company. This could be due to stricter email security measures being put in place by a firm and unless you inform them that your emails aren’t getting through, many perfectly valid email addresses could be lost. Be aware of your bounces and keep your contact lists clean and up to date. Your email campaigns will benefit greatly as a result.

For more information on Bounces, take a look at our training video below.