How To Handle Email Newsletter Bounces

How to Handle Email Newsletter Bounces

Email marketing can be a great way to communicate with present, past and potential clients. Contacts who have subscribed to your email list are warm leads who can be nurtured through your conversion funnel by providing information of value. Even if contacts on your list don’t always open your newsletters, your name stays top of mind when a user scans his or her email in-box or uses a preview pane.

So while you want to focus on growing your email list and increasing the number of contacts who open your newsletters, it’s also important to be sure that your email newsletters are received by those contacts already on your list. Read on to learn about managing your email newsletter bounces.

Email Bounces

First, a quick definition. A “bounced” email is one that is not received by the contact on your list. As shown above, email bounces come in several types. Since you’ve already invested substantial time to create your newsletter, taking a few minutes to increase the number of contacts who receive it is a wise investment. You’re probably familiar with the metric that it costs seven times more to acquire a new customer than to market to an existing one.

How To: Start by selecting one bounce category at a time to view the list of email addresses. For each type of bounce, quickly scan for typos, search your personal contacts to double-check email addresses, or make a quick phone call to confirm an email address. If you have an alternative email address for a contact, send a personal email to advise of the address that’s bouncing and ask whether you should use a different one. Depending on your email service provider, you may be able to send a personal email directly from the  bounced email category screen to advise your contact of the bounce and ask for an alternative email address.

Bounce categories:

  • Non-Existent Address: There could be a typographical error such as a missing period or transcribed letters; a contact may have left a company; or a business may have changed their email address format. Follow the steps above to reduce the number of non-existent email addresses in your list.
  • Undeliverable: The ISP (such as gmail) didn’t accept the email. Most email marketing systems will try to deliver for several days, so this issue may resolve on its own. Follow the steps above prior to deleting this email address from your list.
  • Blocked: These emails are being blocked by a subscriber’s ISP, possibly due to a concern that your email is spam. Minimize this issue by avoiding headlines with all capital letters or special characters. In certain cases, blocked emails may be unavoidable as some ISPs routinely block emails from email service companies.
  • Mailbox Full: If your contact’s email box is full, you can try re-sending the email at a later date or follow the steps above to use an alternative email address.
  • Vacation/Out of Office Reply: Emails in this category are delivered but the recipient has an “out of office” in place. No action is required.

Email marketing can be an impactful way to connect with your customer base. But to maximize its value, it’s important to review and act on the information that’s available. View our prior post if you’re interested in learning more about using your email marketing metrics.



  1. Barry

    Thank you for this blog post!!! I am pretty good about sending email newsletters each month but I never know what to do about the bounced ones. When I read your post I looked into Constant Contact and was able to send personal emails to a bunch of people whose email addresses had bounced. I already heard back from a couple of them with different emails to use instead. Your how-to posts are really helpful – keep em coming !

    1. Online Amplify

      Great to hear, Barry. For social media “how-to” help, consider downloading our guides for LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

  2. debbie c.

    Thank you for the explanation. I assumed that all bounced emails were not delivered and I was re-sending to everyone including vacation out of office replies.

    1. Online Amplify

      You’re welcome Debbie. Generally re-sending is a good approach for “mailbox full” or when you are able to get an alternate email address.


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