Calculating email bounce rate is a critical component of measuring the effectiveness of your email campaigns. By understanding and tracking this metric, you can evaluate the quality of your email list, identify potential delivery issues, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your email marketing strategy. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of email bounce rate calculation, providing expert insights and step-by-step instructions to help you measure and improve the success of your email campaigns.

Understanding Email Bounce Rate

email bounce rate

What is Email Bounce Rate? Email bounce rate is a metric that measures the percentage of emails that fail to reach the recipient's inbox. It indicates the number of bounced emails divided by the total number of emails sent, expressed as a percentage.

Types of Bounces: Email bounces are typically categorized into two types: hard bounces and soft bounces.

  • Hard Bounces: These occur when an email fails to reach the recipient due to permanent reasons like an invalid or non-existent email address.
  • Soft Bounces: Soft bounces are temporary failures caused by factors such as a full mailbox, server issues, or message size exceeding limits.

Calculating Email Bounce Rate

Formula for Email Bounce Rate Calculation: Email Bounce Rate = (Number of Bounced Emails / Number of Emails Sent) x 100

Gathering the Necessary Data: To calculate email bounce rate accurately, you need to gather the following data:

  • Number of bounced emails: Count the total number of emails that failed to reach the recipient's inbox.
  • Number of emails sent: Determine the total number of emails sent in your campaign.

Interpreting Email Bounce Rate

  1. Benchmarking: It's essential to have a benchmark or industry average to compare your email bounce rate against. This helps you assess the performance of your campaigns and identify areas for improvement.
  2. Factors Influencing Email Bounce Rate: Several factors can influence your email bounce rate, including the quality of your email list, email deliverability practices, the reputation of your sending domain, and the relevance and engagement of your content.

Strategies to Reduce Email Bounce Rate

  1. Maintain a Clean Email List: Regularly clean your email list by removing invalid or inactive email addresses. Use email validation services to verify email addresses before sending campaigns.
  2. Implement Double Opt-In: Double opt-in requires subscribers to confirm their email addresses, reducing the chances of typos or false email addresses.
  3. Monitor Deliverability Metrics: Keep an eye on deliverability metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and spam complaints to identify any potential issues that may contribute to high bounce rates.
  4. Improve Sender Reputation: Follow best practices for email deliverability, such as using authenticated domains, authenticating your email server, and adhering to email sending guidelines.


What is an acceptable email bounce rate?

The acceptable email bounce rate varies depending on industry and campaign type. However, as a general guideline, a bounce rate below 2% is considered good, while anything above 5% warrants further investigation.

Are soft bounces a cause for concern?

Soft bounces, unlike hard bounces, are often temporary and may resolve themselves in subsequent email attempts. However, monitoring soft bounces is crucial, as persistent issues could indicate underlying problems that require attention.

  1. How often should I clean my email list?

It is recommended to clean your email list at least every three to six months. Regular list hygiene helps maintain a high-quality subscriber base and reduces the risk of high bounce rates.

  1. Can email bounce rate be improved over time?

Yes, by implementing effective strategies to reduce bounce rates, regularly cleaning your email list, and monitoring email deliverability metrics, you can improve your email bounce rate over time.


Calculating email bounce rate is a crucial step in evaluating the success of your email campaigns. By understanding the calculation process, interpreting the results, and implementing strategies to reduce bounce rates, you can optimize your email marketing efforts for improved engagement and conversion rates. Remember to continuously monitor your bounce rate, experiment with different tactics, and stay up to date with industry best practices to ensure the long-term success of your email campaigns.