Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to engage with their audience and drive conversions. However, one challenge that marketers often face is managing email bounce rates. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the concept of email bounce rates, its significance, and how HubSpot users can effectively manage and optimize their email campaigns to minimize bounces and maximize deliverability.

Understanding Email Bounce Rates

When you send an email campaign, not all messages reach their intended recipients. Some emails 'bounce' back, indicating that they were undeliverable. The bounce rate is the percentage of emails that fail to reach the recipient's inbox. It is an essential metric that provides insights into the quality of your email list and the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy.

Types of Email Bounces

There are two types of email bounces: hard bounces and soft bounces.

Hard Bounces:

A hard bounce occurs when an email cannot be delivered permanently. It happens when the recipient's email address is invalid, the domain does not exist, or the email server blocks the delivery. Hard bounces should be promptly addressed as they indicate a fundamental problem with the email address or recipient.

Soft Bounces:

A soft bounce is a temporary delivery failure. It occurs when an email cannot be delivered temporarily, usually due to a full mailbox, a server issue, or a large email size. Soft bounces may resolve themselves and successfully deliver the email in subsequent attempts. However, persistent soft bounces should be investigated and managed to maintain a healthy email deliverability rate.

Impact of High Bounce Rates

A high email bounce rate can have significant consequences for your email marketing efforts. Here are some key impacts:

Email Deliverability: Internet Service Providers (ISPs) closely monitor bounce rates. A high bounce rate signals poor list hygiene and can negatively affect your sender reputation. ISPs may label your emails as spam or even block them from reaching the recipient's inbox.

Suspension or Blacklisting: Excessive bounces can lead to email suspension by your email service provider or, in severe cases, getting your domain blacklisted. This can have a severe impact on your ability to send emails and engage with your audience.

Wasted Resources: Bounced emails consume your email marketing resources, including server capacity and time. By managing your bounce rate effectively, you can allocate your resources more efficiently and focus on engaging with genuinely interested recipients.

Reducing Email Bounce Rates in HubSpot

As a HubSpot user, you have access to powerful tools and features that can help you reduce bounce rates and improve your email deliverability. Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Maintain a Clean Email List

Regularly clean and update your email list to remove invalid or inactive email addresses. HubSpot provides list segmentation and cleaning features that allow you to identify and remove contacts with high bounce rates or low engagement.

2. Use Double Opt-In

Implement double opt-in for your email subscribers. Double opt-in requires subscribers to confirm their email address before being added to your list, ensuring that you have accurate and active email addresses.

3. Monitor and Act on Hard Bounces

Monitor your hard bounce rate closely and take immediate action when it exceeds acceptable limits. Remove hard bounced contacts from your list and investigate the root causes to prevent future bounces.

4. Segment Your Email Campaigns

Segmenting your email campaigns based on subscriber preferences, demographics, or engagement levels can help you send targeted and relevant content, reducing the likelihood of bounces and unsubscribes.

5. Test and Optimize Email Content

Test different elements of your email content, including subject lines, copy, and design, to improve engagement and reduce bounces. HubSpot's A/B testing capabilities can help you identify the most effective content variations.

6. Monitor Email Deliverability

Regularly monitor your email deliverability metrics in HubSpot, such as open rates, click-through rates, and spam reports. Identifying trends and addressing issues promptly can help maintain a healthy sender reputation.

Commonly Asked Questions

1. How can I differentiate between a hard bounce and a soft bounce in HubSpot?

In HubSpot, hard bounces are automatically flagged in your contact records, and you can use filters and lists to identify contacts with hard bounce statuses. Soft bounces are not flagged automatically, but you can monitor bounce rates in email performance reports.

2. Why did my email get suspended in HubSpot?

Email suspension in HubSpot can occur due to various reasons, including a high bounce rate, spam complaints, or violations of HubSpot's Acceptable Use Policy. Review your email sending practices and address any issues before contacting HubSpot support for assistance.

3. Can I re-engage with bounced contacts in HubSpot?

Yes, you can attempt to re-engage with bounced contacts by implementing re-engagement campaigns. Offer valuable content or incentives to encourage them to update their email preferences or provide an alternative email address.

4. How can I prevent email suspension due to a high bounce rate?

Preventing email suspension requires actively managing and optimizing your email campaigns. Follow best practices, maintain list hygiene, and promptly address issues related to bounces and complaints. Regularly monitor your email deliverability metrics and take necessary actions to maintain a healthy sender reputation.

5. Can HubSpot automatically remove bounced contacts?

Yes, HubSpot can automatically flag hard bounces and provide options to automatically unsubscribe or suppress these contacts from future email sends. However, it is recommended to review the flagged contacts manually to ensure accurate classification.


Understanding and effectively managing email bounce rates is crucial for successful email marketing. As a HubSpot user, you have access to a wide range of features and tools to monitor, analyze, and optimize your email campaigns. By implementing the strategies outlined in this comprehensive guide and leveraging the capabilities of HubSpot, you can reduce bounce rates, improve email deliverability, and drive better engagement with your target audience.