What is an Email Bounce Checker and How Do You Choose the Best One?

You spend countless hours and dollars cultivating your email list. You invest time and energy in creating the perfect emails that will turn your leads into paying customers. There’s just one more step before you press Send: put your emails through an email bounce checker.

All that hard work you put into your email strategy will only work if your emails actually get delivered. But when you have dirty data, misspellings, fake domains, or other errors, your emails will never reach their intended party.

Here’s how a mail bounce checker can help you make more connections in the inbox, lower your email marketing costs, and enjoy greater success with every send.

What Does an Email Bouncing Back Mean?

By definition, an email bouncing back is an automated message notifying the sender that the message delivery was unsuccessful. Your recipient’s mail server has either not accepted the message, or there may be another underlying issue preventing the delivery (follow our guide on how to test email deliverability.)

Here’s what it really means:

Bouncing emails are a problem if you rely on email marketing as part of your strategy. When your emails are undelivered, your recipients cannot receive your message. The result could be lower conversions, fewer sales, less revenue, and most importantly, less time to build valuable connections with your prospects.

The Benefits of an Email Bounce Checker

One way to combat the effects of an email bounce rate is to send your list through an email bounce checker tool. Here’s why you shouldn’t skip this step:

Lower Email Marketing Costs

Sending messages isn’t “free,” per say. True, you’re not spending money on postage, but you are putting your time and effort into every email and maintaining your list. Plus, if you’re using an email platform like AWeber or Mailchimp, you’re having to pay for that technology.

You can lower your cost per message when more of your emails are delivered. A bounce rate checker tool ensures you’re only sending to valid recipients and not spending money on emails that will never result in sales.

If you are looking for a free solution for your marketing campaign, check out our top picks of the best free email list cleaners.

Improved Sender Reputation

Everyone who sends emails has a digital sender reputation. This reputation is how mail servers determine whether to send your message into the user’s inbox, their spam folder, or bounce your message altogether. The higher your reputation, the more likely you are to end up in the inbox.

Things can harm your sender reputation, however. For example, if you have a high email bounce rate, your sender reputation is likely to suffer.

Using an email checker tool can help you keep your bounce rate to a minimum and preserve your sender reputation. This ensures you can continue delivering to valid addresses without the risk of winding up in spam (check out our guide on how to check if an email address is valid.)

Better Quality Leads

No one wants to waste time, money, and effort on emailing bad leads. Those leads will never convert. Instead, verifying your email list can free up your time to focus only on valid leads.

Higher Accuracy in Email Stats

Every time you send a message, you have a number of stats that track your progress (e.g. open rates, click-throughs, conversions, etc.). Your bounce rate can skew these numbers, though. When this happens, it’s hard to assess the true results of your marketing campaign.

Cleaning your list prior to sending can give you a more realistic picture of how well your email performed. From there, you can use this data to make more informed decisions about how to improve your next email campaign.

Our Top Picks: Free Email Bounce Checkers

One or two bouncing emails here and there is nothing to be concerned about. But bouncing back emails can be a problem if left unaddressed. Using a free email bounce checker tool is a great way to ward off the effects of a dirty mailing list. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Mailfloss

If you have a large mailing list you need to verify in bulk, Mailfloss is a favorite tool among professionals. They’re an automated email bounce back checker so you don’t have to manage the process.

You can get a 7-day free trial for Mailfloss, along with two free months when you opt for an annual subscription.

2. EmailListVerify

A top-rated bounce rate checker tool, EmailListVerify looks for syntax errors, inactive and nonexistent domains, and spam traps that might prevent your message from going through. This tool is used by some of the top names in email marketing, including Mailchimp and Shopify.

You can verify 1,000 addresses for free, then opt for pay-as-you-go credits or a monthly subscription service.

3. Clearout

Clearout lives up to its name by clearing bad mail addresses with a variety of signals. It identifies emails with spam traps, emails from blacklisted domains, and emails with a history of hard bounces. Put Clearout to the test with 500 addresses for free, then you can pay as you go based on your list size.

Final Thoughts

The integrity of your mailing list is too important to leave to chance. After all the hard work you put into building a list and crafting your messages, don’t forget to spend a few extra minutes to ensure your messages will reach the right people. Even if you don’t send many emails, an email list bounce checker will quickly become a must-have tool in your marketing suite.

For more insights on what email validation is and how to validate an email address, head back to our blog.

Email Bounce Checker - FAQs

What does it mean when email bounces?

A bounce back is where your mail server tried to deliver a message, but it was unsuccessful. It “bounces back” to you in the form of an automated message letting you know the delivery did not go through.

What is a good average bounce rate?

The average bounce rate varies by industry. Ideally, you’ll aim for a bounce rate of 0%. Using a free email bounce checker is a great way to reduce the number of bouncing emails in your campaigns.

How do I reduce email bounce rate?

When your emails bounce back, it’s usually because the mail address is invalid. The best way to reduce bounce rate is to verify your mailing list prior to sending to ensure you’re only sending to valid addresses.

What is a hard bounce in email marketing?

A hard bounce refers to a message that has failed to be delivered for permanent reasons. For example, the domain might not exist or there may be a misspelling in the address.

What is a soft bounce email?

A soft bounce email happens when a message is delivered to your recipient’s mail server, but bounces back before it reaches their inbox. This may be a temporary delivery issue and can still result in a successful delivery.

How long does Gmail try to deliver email after soft bounce?

Soft bounces are typically delays in delivery. Gmail will try to deliver a soft bounce email for up to 14 hours.