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What Causes a High Bounce Rate

Contact Lists Delivery Updated on January 8, 2021

There are a few things that can have a big impact on your bounce rate. There are some questions you’ll want to ask yourself to help determine the cause of a high bounce rate:

Was my list formatted correctly before it was uploaded?

If your list is not set up properly in your .txt, .csv or .xls file prior to being uploaded into Benchmark Email, then you may see most, if not all, of your contacts return as “bounces.” Check to ensure that domain names are spelled correctly and that each email address is separated into one contact each. There are times when email addresses have quotation marks on one side of the address but not on the other (“, causing the file to try and squeeze everything on that line into one column. If you find this to be your trouble, a quick search online can help give you tips to resolve your file.

Is my list permission-based?

Have you used this list before or is this the first time? If, during the first mailing to the list, you notice several addresses returning as “bounces,” it may be due to how the addresses were collected. If your list was compiled from several different sources without verification that the addresses were valid, it could be that several of the contacts are fake and only placed on a list that is sold, rented or harvested. To avoid a high bounce rate, and to stay within the restrictions placed by Benchmark Email in relation to contact lists, please review what it means to have a permission-based contact list.

How old is my list?

One reason email addresses bounce is that they are no longer valid. It may be that the contacts on your list have since closed down those email addresses and moved on to newer ones. If this is the case, there isn’t much you can do. Those contacts are no longer active and have become unreachable. Staying in regular contact with your subscribers will help keep you fresh in their thoughts. If you do this correctly, without oversending or annoying your subscribers with irrelevant contact, then when they do change email addresses, they will remember to sign up for their new address with your company or business.

Benchmark Email also offers a Clean List feature that allows you to remove anyone who has not opened your email in 5-30 campaigns are soft/hard bounces, and confirmed emails. Eliminating people who do not want to receive your emails, will also help improve your bounce rate.

In addition to that, List Verification is highly recommended before uploading a list to your Benchmark account. This can help with the prevention of high bounce rate as the invalid email addresses are removed from the list. List verification improves the open and click-through rates as the campaign is sent to the legit email addresses. It also helps to reduce the cost of sending campaigns to invalid emails as they are removed during the verification process.


Am I using a public domain address?

Services like Yahoo and AOL have changed their DMARC policy to longer accept bulk emails that are using a public domain.  So if you are using a service like Benchmark Email, and are using an email address like @gmail, @yahoo, or, your emails will not get through to some services.  Unfortunately, this is something that services like Benchmark Email cannot bypass. We recommend you send any email marketing from your private domain, and of course configure your SPF Records, and DKIM information. However, with Benchmark Email, we will convert your email address to a private domain in order to successfully send the emails.  It will be a Benchmark Email domain that will be used.


If you have any questions feel free to contact our support team via Email, LiveChat or Phone.

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