What Is a Kickback Email?

What Is a Kickback Email?

Dec 29, 2022

AudiencePoint Team

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It can be disheartening when you send out an email marketing campaign and some emails bounce, or kickback, to the sender. A kickback email can effect email engagement negatively. There are several reasons why this happens, and fortunately, there are ways to prevent or fix kickback emails. This article will outline what you need to know about email bounces, why they happen, and the best practices you can implement to prevent or fix them. Keep reading to learn more. 

What Does It Mean When My Email Bounces Back?

When an email bounces back, it means the receiving domain didn’t accept it. You will likely receive an error message or non-delivery report when this occurs. Email bounces can happen for various reasons, including full inboxes, the recipient’s email address no longer existing, servers not responding, or invalid email addresses. 

Why Are My Emails Being Rejected?

When your emails are rejected, you typically receive a “message rejected” or “message blocked” email. Having a message rejected typically happens when sending bulk emails to a large email list. An easy fix is using email sender software, which helps send bulk emails while maintaining high deliverability rates. 

Emails may also get rejected because the recipient’s email service provider (ESP) thought your content was spam, or your email/IP address ended up on a spam list. The best way to prevent this is by using best practice methods to ensure you only send high-quality content to your subscribers. 

AudiencePoint’s email insight software can help with this by providing you with actionable data into how you can optimize your email strategy for subscriber engagement, send times, and sending segmented email campaigns. 

How Do I Bounce Back An Email to the Sender?

If you’re receiving unwanted emails or spam email content, there are ways you can bounce them back to the sender to help clean up your inbox. One of the easiest ways is to simply mark unwanted emails as spam, and most ESPs will be able to automatically start putting new emails from those addresses in your spam folder or bouncing them so you don’t receive them at all. 

You can also use tools to bounce emails back to the sender. Google offers an extension for Gmail called Block Sender that allows you to block emails from a specific sender or bounce them back to the sender. Outlook also offers an option to block a specific email address or bounce emails back to them. 

Why Are My Emails Bouncing Back to the Sender?

To understand why your emails bounce back, it’s important to know the different types of email bounces that can occur. The three main types of email bounces are:

  • Soft bounces
  • Hard bounces
  • Blocklisted bounces

Each of these three types of bounces occurs for different reasons. The following sections will outline the types of email bounces and when they usually happen. 

Soft Bounces

Soft bounces happen when the server rejects an email temporarily. Soft bounces can often resolve on their own, since most email services will try to resend the email after a short period of time. The most common causes of soft bounces are full inboxes, servers being down, large email sizes, or auto-replies. 

Hard Bounces

When emails hard bounce, it means that they are permanently undeliverable. Hard bounces typically occur when emails are sent to fake email addresses, incorrect email addresses, or your email is blocked by the recipient. Hard bounces are impossible to fix, so removing those email addresses from your list is the best option. 

Blocklisted Bounces

Blocklisted email bounces can be a common problem in email marketing. ESPs create blocklists to filter out harmful content like spam or malware. However, ESPs can sometimes wrongfully blocklist emails that don’t fall under these categories. Common reasons for emails being blocklisted are:

  • Spam complaints: Spam complaints here and there can happen, but if they reach a certain level, receiving domains will start blocklisting your emails. 
  • A sudden increase in email list size or volume: If your email list suddenly increases or you start sending a lot more emails to your subscribers than usual, it can set off a red flag for ESPs. While sudden email list growth or increased volume can happen for legitimate reasons, it can also be a sign of spam or having bought an email list. 
  • High bounce rates: If you don’t remove email addresses from your list that hard bounce, it can cause problems down the line due to high email bounce rates from email marketing content. High bounce rates are a common sign of spam that cause ESPs to put you on a block list. 
  • Low engagement rates: Low engagement, such as low email open rates, may signal to ESPs that your emails are spam, and they will start bouncing. Once emails get blocklisted or start bouncing, it can be hard to recover engagement rates, so it’s essential to implement strategies for high email engagement to prevent this. 

AudiencePoint can help you optimize your email campaigns to prevent emails from being blocklisted. AudiencePoint’s email insight software analyzes email subscriber activity, so you know when to remove hard-bounce email addresses from your list and when you should re-engage inactive subscribers to recover engagement rates. 

How Do I Fix Email Bounce Back?

You can put several fixes or preventative measures in place to prevent different types of email bounces. The best ways to fix or prevent emails from bouncing back are:

  • Use email sender software for bulk email sends.
  • Track and optimize email metrics to ensure you maintain high engagement rates.
  • Provide valuable content to email subscribers.
  • Use a double opt-in for your email list to ensure subscribers are aware they are signing up.
  • Manage the frequency of email sends, so you don’t overwhelm subscribers with too much content.
  • Manage your email list to re-engage inactive subscribers and delete any invalid email addresses.

Following each of these tips will help fix or prevent email bounces from occurring. 

How AudiencePoint Can Help You Improve Your Email Marketing Strategy

If you want to avoid having high bounce rates, AudiencePoint can help. AudiencePoint’s email insight software will help you implement best practices for email marketing based on the specific needs of your email subscribers. 

Our email insight software helps analyze the activity of email subscribers, so you know the best time to send content, when they are most likely to convert, and what types of content specific groups of subscribers respond to best. 

AudiencePoint can also help with segmentation of your email list. This means you can send emails on certain topics to subscribers you know will be interested in those topics. You can also exclude subscribers who are not likely to interact with your emails, thus raising your open rates.

Implementing these aspects will help you increase email engagement significantly, so ESPs don’t mark your emails as spam, and your subscribers stay happy with the content they receive. Happy subscribers will display more brand loyalty and be more willing to purchase products.

If AudiencePoint sounds like it would benefit your business, contact us for more information about how we can help you.