Email Bounces And Insurance Agency Email Marketing

Posted on

November 6th, 2015


Insurance Email Marketing
Insurance Agency  Email Marketing

Let’s begin with a definition of an email bounce, then do a deep dive into the different types of email bounces. Emails which are returned to the sender because they cannot be delivered for any reason, are called bounces. The major types of email bounces are separated into two categories, hard bounces and soft bounces. Hard bounces are permanently undeliverable emails, often caused because the email address is invalid. The second type is a soft bounce, emails which could be delivered but are returned to the sender due to a full mailbox, an unavailable mail server, or numerous other reasons described below. Read on and learn the various types of email bounces, and why email bounces are important when it comes to insurance agency email marketing.

Hard Bounces

Hard bounces are email addresses which are permanently unreachable. Reasons can include: email address no longer exists, the email syntax has changed, the targeted email server has blocked delivery, the server no longer exists, the server hosting configuration has permanently changed, the domain name does not exist, etc. Many email marketing platforms immediately and automatically remove hard bounces from email marketing lists.

Soft Bounces

These are email addresses which are temporary unavailable, possibly because their mailboxes are full or their server is having temporary issues accepting mail.  Other soft bounces include DNS failure, the message is too large (exceeds server size parameters), no email address was found, a general bounce where an email is refused without providing a specific reason, spam blocks where email is identified by the server or filter as spam and is refused, or a relay denied where the server refuses to accept and relay email for a specific domain.

Other Bounce Related Definitions

Attachment Blockers: Email recipients reject emails due to attachments or suspicions attachments.

Campaign Bounce Rate:  The number of bounced emails divided by the total number of emails sent in a given campaign.

Click Through/Bounce Ratio: Some email marketing providers monitor the ratio of clicks to bounces to determine if campaigns are exceeding spam thresholds.

Email Blacklists: Blacklists identify both IP addresses and domain names of suspected spammers.

Gray Mail (AKA Graymail, Grey Mail): Gray Mail isn’t considered spam, though the content may be perceived as spam-like, as recipients are often uninterested in the email and may mark it as spam.

Honeypot: This is a spam trap where email addresses are created to lure spam. These addresses would never be used to solicit email communication, thus all emails sent to these address are immediately considered spam. Marketing automation platforms often cannot identify or remove these, as their design is to catch email marketers who are not closely adhering to opt in best practices.

ISP complaints: (See Spam Complaints below).

Open/Bounce Ratio: Some email marketing providers monitor the ratio of opens to bounces to determine if campaigns are exceeding spam thresholds.

Spam Complaints: Complaints can be the result of a human registering a complaint using a button provided by their ISP or email system, or an automated complaint emanating from spam filtering services. There are also “hard” complaints when a user sends a personal email to an ISP.

Why Bounces Matter

ISPs and email marketing providers monitor bounce rates to determine if agencies and brokers are sending poor quality email campaigns, using low quality (or old) email contact lists, or are sending “spammy” email content. There are also spam traps and black lists which are designed to catch poor quality emails or email marketing methods (and inexperienced insurance email marketers). Careful planning, educational content, easy opt out and manual opt out processes should be the mantra for every insurance marketing campaign. With honeypot and spam traps on the increase, both ISPs and email marketing providers are committed to cutting down on spam and gray mail. Agencies which lack the expertise in house to do a high quality job when it comes to insurance email marketing, should either outsource it to professionals, or invest in a different marketing method, such as social media marketing, to carry their message to their markets. Contact at (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary insurance email marketing and lead generation review.

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