If you aren’t reducing bounces before your marketing message goes to Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, and or Yahoo email servers Its too late.

Bad emails bounce on arrival, and they take more good emails down with them.

The damage is done, and your sender reputation takes a hit. And until you fix this, you can expect more and more of your emails to valid subscriber addresses to be sent directly to junk email folders and never read.

Verifying an 85k email list

At Emailable we recently verified an 85,638 email list and with every email list being so unique we’re always curious to see the results:

  • Deliverable: 67,573 (78.86%) – Confirmed deliverable
  • Low Engagement: 7,243 (8.46%) – Role-based emails (e.g. sales@, help@, etc) or Accept-all servers where the email cannot be guaranteed deliverable
  • Unknown: 1,671 (1.95%) – Receiving email server took too long to respond but there is a high chance soft-bounce.
  • Undeliverable: 9,151 (10.69%) – Hard-bounces that should be removed immediately

We always recommend immediately unsubscribing Undeliverable (hard bounces) and Unknown (likely a soft bounce) leaving 87.36% of emails left as being valid.

Besides reducing bounces, what happens when you remove 12.65% invalid emails?

Would you expect your open rate to shoot up?

Well, that’s exactly what can happen.

how to increase open rate (hint: Gmail is Watching You)

Yes, your open rates will go up because you have the same number of opens on a smaller list but that’s not where the real increase comes from.

We saw improvements in open rates because more of this customer’s emails made it into their subscriber’s inboxes. The reason for this is that email providers are “punish” senders of bad emails by marking them with bad sender reputations.

Google and pretty much every other major email provider (Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, etc.) fight spam with algorithms that punish email campaigners that resemble the behavior of email spammers.

When you bounce emails, your sender reputation takes a hit. And the worse your sender reputation, the fewer and fewer of your emails will ever be opened by your subscribing customers.

Here’s how:

Each time you, as a sender (identified by your sending email domain address) sends a large number of emails to invalid Gmail accounts on Google servers, they will then deliver a percentage of your good emails directly to the junk Gmail folders of valid customers.

For the customer noted above, this meant that, had they been sent out, the customer’s 9,151 emails would have hard bounced and a large percentage of the 1,671 unknown emails would have soft bounced. Google would have seen this and factored it into their sender reputation downgrading their ability to reach the inbox (yes even for valid opt-in subscribers).

On average, sender reputation blocks 1 in 5 emails meaning for the 74,813 valid emails on average 13,466 (18%) would be delivered to spam.

Recovering those 13k emails and getting them to the inbox can have a major impact on email results.

So its simple, reduce your bounces, increase your opens.

Value a Cleaned List Over a Long List

Your top priority should be to have an actively clean and an accurate list of email subscribers. A clean list means reducing bounces and more inboxdelivered emails.

And, this means your audiences will actually see your intended emails arrive in their inbox.

If you clean your lists, you fix your sender reputation, you fix your deliverability problem.

Good habits

So, adopt these two easy good habits to protect your sender reputation.

  1. Use email authentication best practices (free checklist here)
  2. Verify your full email list or each new batch of leads – Test email verification free
  3. Implement integrated real-time email verification into your forms (10 minutes) – More information here.