Reducing and managing the number of email bounces has never been so critical for an email marketer. Frequent managing of email bounces reduces the email delivery costs and boosts the conversions and transactions. This is a sign of a good email program.
The list needs to be cleansed on a timely basis. The cleansing process can be done manually or through list hygiene service by which incorrectly formatted addresses, and invalid typos and domains can be checked for. Most companies experience an email address churn of two to three percent per month. Here the Email Change of Address service or ECOA service can be employed to deal with this problem. According to reports, many of the ECOA companies receive at least one million email address changes every month.
Email addresses need to be confirmed regularly. This can be done by sending auto-reply confirmation to customers when they register, subscribe or make a purchase. If the message bounces, attempt can be made to correct the email address. The problem can be tackled by including a second email address line in the opt-in form which can confirm whether the email address entered was correct or not.
One of the basic steps to be taken is to make the update process easier by including the website account and subscription management link in the emails. The customers must be prompted to update information. They can be asked to verify or to update information at the time of completion of transaction in the shopping cart. If any transaction has not been made in a while, phone or direct mail can be used for information update. People who have bad email addresses and whose phone numbers or postal addresses are stored with the company can be contacted for email address correction.
Major domains such as Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, etc. can be used to track bounces and open rates. If one is different from the others or if there is a sudden change, this can be attributed to blacklisting or filtering. Therefore, it is also a good idea to check major blacklists and spam databases for your company’s or email provider’s name. If the name has been blacklisted, no bounce message will be received even if the message wasn’t delivered. Monitoring and understanding of spam filters helps in dealing with spam complaints more efficiently. The terms and conditions of the spam filters must be reviewed carefully. Quite often the spam flag addresses are added maliciously. These flags must be removed. Email providers also process bounces. Only understanding them can solve the problem. The basis on which soft and hard bounces are to be pronounced should be studied and later on, managed accordingly.
Because of financial troubles, mergers, and other announcements a big list of service users of one particular ISP decide to shift over to a different ISP or account for their email. Such members on the subscribers list must be emailed with a question raised on the domain name. They should be asked whether they want to update their email and other information. It is a good practice to pretest the emails before distributing the email to the entire list of subscribers. The test can be performed on oneself, company employees and a trusted group of current readers. Try including all the major email services being used by majority of the subscriber list members.
When every other attempt fails, it is best to delete or suppress recurring bouncers. For this purpose a suiting bounce deletion and suppression strategy should be designed according to the email program. Hard bounces should land directly in the trashed list as they are permanently undeliverable.