Tips on how to manage Invalid Emails

Every email marketer knows the value of valid customer email contacts. In every way, it is a bad practice to include those contacts which are unresponsive or not valid. They only lead to high bounce rate. And this can wreck your campaign, because a high bounce rate has the same negative impact as high spam complaints.

Bounces which occur due to invalid email addresses are considered as permanent hard bounces. If your email campaign is receiving high bounce rate of over 10%, then it is very bad for your marketing initiatives, and the chances are your email marketing company will disable your account until it can find the cause of the bounces. In addition, high bounce rate will also damage the reputation of the senders, and your prospects may put you in the spam filter. Ultimately, poor performance of your email campaign.

Remember that blocks and bounces are not the same—If you remove an address from your file because of a general ISP blocking message, you will be removing a potentially good customer. Make sure you separate true bounces, where the e-mail address is no longer valid, from messages that indicate that a valid address is being blocked by the server, and treat them differently. When you resolve a block, re-mail to your subscribers at that domain to confirm that delivery has resumed.

So, maintain a good record of your contact list and keep them clean and up-to-date. If you are receiving high rate of hard bounce, consider following types of email addresses:

  •  The list that is years old (2-3 years) is prone to high bounce rate
  • Those emails contacts which are not valid because they are from old companies and no longer in active mode
  • Email addresses that are used just to test ( e.g. )
  • Emails with typographical errors (, )
  • Emails that are invalid because they don’t exist

One of the best ways to maintain a clean and valid contacts list is to actively monitor the subscriber engagement, and clean inactive subscribers from your customer information bank. It will be beneficial if you add a second field that asks people to enter their email address again, insert a captcha to your sign-up form to prevent the fake addresses, and keep good records of when and how people were subscribed. Also, keep improving the process of collecting and maintaining your contacts to ensure you only assemble a quality customer database, specially:

  • Set “bounce rules” to define how many bounces you will incur before removing an e-mail from your list.
  • Define a “bounce” with subscribers in mind.
  • Manage bounces by ISP if the majority of those bounces all come back form one ISP.
  • Analyzing files that can point to problems you are having at particularly mail servers.

Do you have any strategies or process in place to manage invalid emails? Share your thoughts on how you are managing your invalid emails.