meaning of email bounce rate

Say the postal worker who drops off your mail at home, kept 3% of your daily haul to take home for her cat's litter box. You would be apoplectic, right? A portion of your email marketing campaigns  willl end up in the litterbox, too. We fixate on the open and click rates of our campaigns, and ignore the bounce rate, which may flag a systemic problem. Your email platform should account for all of the bounces. The reasons for getting rebuffed include the recipient left the company and or changed their email address, the receiving server has blacklisted your company or the sending platform, or your email set off a SPAM detector.

Acceptable bounce rates vary between 3 and 5%. If you have a small (>1000) list, you should start asking questions when you exceed 1%. Here's why:

  1. You might lose track of a valuable prospect because they left for a new practice or healthcare system. Action: research new address.
  2. When a clinic or hospital's server, blocks your mail, it can affect dozens of people in the same organization. Action: find out why, correct if need be, and ask the doctor or hospital to whitelist your email.
  3. Having campaigns consistently marked as SPAM by receiving servers demand immediate attention. Action: have the company that sends your email to review your content for SPAM triggers. They are numerous, ranging flagged terms like "new and improved" to a suspiciously large or small amount of code. 
  4. Even if your bounce rate is low, the losses can add up. You'll need to replace the bouncers with new names to maintain the size of your database.