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How to lower my bounce rate?
How to lower my bounce rate?

Bounce rate is one of Woodpecker’s stats which indicates how many emails couldn’t be delivered to your prospects.

Weronika Wróblewska avatar
Written by Weronika Wróblewska
Updated over a week ago


Is my bounce rate too high?

Where can I check my bounce rate?

You can check your Bounce rate by going to Campaign view and looking through general statistics or those per step in your sequence. Here you can read more about How to use cold email stats »

General stats with Bounced percentage highlighted
Stats for every step with "Bounced" status highlighted

In the Woodpecker Inbox, you can also find a separate folder for Bounced emails where you can review return messages from your prospects’ servers.

Bounced emails in Woodpecker Inbox

When should I start to worry?

You should pay close attention to this stat from the moment you start your campaign and especially close once you’ll notice that your open/reply rate is dropping down.

We recommend keeping your Bounce rate below 5% per campaign. Keep in mind that this is the general number and it might differ depending on other aspects such as, for example, your prospect base volume or the quality of your content.

Reasons why email bounce

Once the email bounced you’ll receive a response from your prospect’s server with the reason why the email couldn’t be delivered. You can review them in the Woodpecker Inbox:

Bounced message with the response from server (a code)

It is worth looking through them from time to time to check for signs suggesting that your emails might be getting blocked because of SPAM content or your reputation as a sender is getting worse.

Bounce reasons

In bounce messages, you can find the response from your prospect’s servers why the email couldn’t be delivered. You should look out for those that will suggest that your email couldn’t be delivered because you’re not recognized as a valid sender – those might indicate problems with your domain or email reputation. Also, for the ones pointing out your content.

The reasons you should watch out for:

Access denied, traffic not accepted from this IP

550 High probability of spam

Message blocked due to spam content in the message.

Bounced message with information about spam in it

Sometimes your email may bounce because the address of your recipients is invalid or deactivated.

If you’ll get a lot of those, it’s a sign that it might be a good idea to work on the quality of your prospects’ list. How to Build a Quality Prospect Base for Outbound: 5-Step Tutorial »

Bounced message with information about nonexistent email address

How to lower your bounce rate

Check your reputation and domain settings

Domain settings

Raising the bounce rate is one of the first indicators that there might be a problem with your deliverability. That is why the first thing you should do once you notice it is to check your SPF and DKIM in our Domain Check-up tab »

Domain Check-up tab in Accounts

Setting up an SPF record is crucial in order to achieve good email outreach results, so if you’re missing this one, check out our article What is SPF? which will help you with setting it up.

SPF with red cross mark (not set up)

DKIM record is nice to have, but not crucial for lowering your bounce rate, especially since not every provider supports it. Here you can learn What is DKIM? and how to set it up.

DKIM with red cross mark (not set up)

Once you’ll add those records to your domain settings, resume your Woodpecker campaign and check if the stats will improve.

Domain reputation

The next thing worth checking is your domain reputation to make sure you’re not listed on any blacklists, which might cause your emails to bounce.

You can check your domain reputation using websites like Cisco Talos. Just enter your domain or IP address and check the results for it.

Results showing reputation details of a domain on Cisco Talos website

In case your reputation will show different than Trusted, you might want to consider starting regain process, which we’ve described in our Step-by-Step Guide to Regain a Good Domain Reputation »

When it comes to checking if your domain is listed in one of the public blacklists, just use an online tool like MXToolBox and simply type in your domain name.

"Blacklist Check" button on MXToolBox website

If your domain happens to be listed on one of the lists, you’ll need to contact its owner in order to get delisted or get instructions on what you need to do in order to have them delist you.

Domain age

After creating a new domain it is important to warm it up properly before you can start using it for cold mailing. The warm-up process lets you establish and verify your domain reputation for sending.

Usually, if the warm-up process is skipped or shortened, there will be bigger chances of a high bounce rate than with the domain that had proper time to be warmed up for email outreach.

How to check your domain age

STEP 1: Open a domain age checker

For example, and paste in your domain name.

Picture showing website

STEP 2: Look for information like:

If your domain is younger than 3 months, you need to stop your sending through Woodpecker and proceed with the warm-up process, which you can learn all about in our article How to warm up a domain »

Also, newly created email addresses also need to be warmed up before you can start sending emails using them. This process is similar to warming up your domain but shorter and you can read more about it in our article How to warm up an email account »

After the proper warm-up process, you can resume your cold mailing campaigns and you should notice that your bounce rate will be lower than before.

Q.: When will I notice an improvement in my bounce rate?

It depends on the cause of your issue: in case you need to warm up your domain or regain its reputation you can go back to sending campaigns after a few weeks or even months. However, if you simply need to update your domain settings, you can resume your campaign right after making those changes.

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