Get rid of bounces and complaints!


When your email bounces…
Have you ever wondered why your emails are returned with the annoying comment that they couldn’t be delivered? You think you did everything right, yet they still bounce! Well, everyone may know what “bounces” are, but let’s review the causes and see if we can improve your delivery rates.

First, there are two kinds of email bounces: hard and soft.
A soft bounce is an email message that gets as far as the recipient’s mail server, but is bounced back before it reaches the recipient. One of the most common causes for a soft bounce is a full mailbox. This often occurs with subscribers who use the basic (not premium) ISP email boxes, which offer very little storage.

A hard bounce is an email message that has been returned to you because the recipient’s address is invalid, the domain name doesn’t exist, the recipient is unknown, or the recipient’s mail server has blocked your server.  This is a bit more troublesome and requires careful investigation.

When you receive email complaints…
What does it mean when you get email complaints and how can you reduce them? It’s quite simple.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Yahoo and AOL provide Feedback Loop software which returns all messages marked as SPAM by their email account users.  Now, here’s where your email may get treated as an abusive message or SPAM for a variety of reasons. For example, if recipients get email they didn’t ask for and don’t want, they should click “This is SPAM”.  But sometimes it’s because they don’t recognize – or remember − the sender, even though they opted in.  Sorry, they’ll get flagged and filtered out just the same. Remember, whatever the reason, if your email message is marked SPAM by a recipient and you receive the dreaded message, they are removed from your GetResponse contact list.

Mailing lists are the email marketers’ goldmine, so it’s both productive and profitable to apply best practices to your list hygiene and message creation. Of course, GetResponse does much of it for you automatically, but here are some simple tips to help you reduce bounces and email complaints:

  • Keep your subscriber list clean.

Make sure every person you are sending messages to knows they are coming from you. Be very clear on your web sign up forms about what type of information the subscriber would like to receive, whether newsletters, blog updates, coupons, or articles, even which topics.

Double opt-in is a great way to ensure that your list is clean and free from human error. Typing errors can not only clutter your list, but cost you in lost sales opportunities. The double opt-in process makes “doubly sure” that all your email addresses are genuine and correct. And don’t forget to personalize your confirmation emails to welcome new subscribers!

  • Test your email messages before sending!

Spam testing your emails is a great way to keep your content spam free and your reputation protected. Whether you know it or not, ISP’s are constantly changing their methods and GetResponse ensures that our spam testing software is up to date and fully compliant. So all you have to do is click the spam check button and wait for the green tick!

  • wow… this is Great e-marketing guidelines…. keep it up……. Strongly believe with this article.

  • lemuel

    “Use double opt-in”
    Great points here in this article. to ensure great deliverability… double opt-in is advised. ‘coz certain instances possibly happen that subscribers may mistype their email addresses.

  • Hey,
    piece of very useful information! Besides keeping lists clean and using double-opt-in I think:
    Testing messages against widely applied spamfilters is one of the most adviced practices!
    Btw I really enjoy the information you provide in your blog!

  • I also include a unsubscribe message at the top under the subscription reminder.

    This gives the subscriber a quick and easy way to unsubscribe instead of scrolling to the bottom of the email.

    Because many people will just hit the spam button instead of searching for the unsubscribe link.

    This has greatly reduced my spam complaints…to zero as a matter of fact.

    here is an example of the reminder I use:

    [[firstname]] – If you don’t remember signing up, or would
    like to end your subscription please use [[remove]],
    or go to the very bottom of this email message.
    ~ I’ll be sorry to see you go – S. Williams ~

    I hope this helps!

    S. Williams

  • Great post but please explain a bit more what we can do with bounced emails.

    At what point can I see the bounced email so I can invetigate what’s going wrong – or delete it?

    Kind Regards

  • Ron

    Sounds good, but I have a question: What happens when you get a change in the email. How can you input that change into the system? I have not found a way. If you have any answers, let me know

  • >Spam testing your emails is a great way to keep your content spam free

    Yes, this is something a lot of people should test for if they want their emails read. Good advice.

  • Great advice here. Getresponse is a great way to make sure that your domain is not blacklisted! Don’t risk it. The money is in the list!

  • Great advise on how to keep the list clean.

    Thank you for sharing and I will keep in mind of the tips that you have mentioned 🙂


  • Hi GR,

    Great tips.

    I always use double opt-in for my email marketing campaigns. This ensure that only people who are really requesting more information from me do get my email messages.

    I certainly don’t want people complaining about me sending them spam or unsolicited email messages.

    Thanks for the tips and keep more coming.

    A loyal GR customer,
    WOW Minisites

  • Piotr Krupa

    Dear Ron,
    Thank you for your comment.

    Subscribers can easily change their email information. Every message sent from the GetResponse platform contains a “change contact details” link in the footer that allows them to change email and name information.

    We hope we answered your question. If not, please let us know!

    GetResponse Team

  • Elmer Marano

    This is a excellent posting, I discovered your site searching yahoo for a similar content and arrived to this. I couldnt discover to much different information on this piece of writing, so it was awesome to find this one. I will probably end up being back to look at some other articles that you have another time.

  • You have told me some very good points. Thans for sheding some light on me…lolz. Most of times double opt-in work for me. I like keep my list fresh ad clean and active readers

  • Admin

    I need to remove bounced emails how would i go about that?

  • Karolina_Stefanowicz

    Hi, bounces are removed automatically in GetResponse (depending on the type of the bounce either immediately or after 2 or 4 tries) so you don’t need to worry about that.

  • Lenin

    But what happens if the percentage of bounces (soft) is more than 2%?

  • KatarzynaPietka

    Hi, that probably depends on a particular account history, but exceeding the bounce rate limit may result in closing the account.