What is a hard bounce?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - hard bounce

If you think that a hard bounce is that thing kids do on trampolines to launch their friend even higher, then this article is for you. A hard bounce is a digital marketing term that is applicable to direct mailing receipt and website traffic. Hard bounces are not good things by any means, and thus marketing professionals have classified them and worked on ways to prevent bouncing altogether. This article takes a look at what email and website hard bounces are, and offers some ways to reduce your hard bounce rates:

  • Email
    Hard bounces with regards to sending emails imply that there is a permanent reason why it was not possible to deliver the mail to the recipient. In most cases, this is due to incorrect email address input. Still, hard bounces can also mean that the recipient’s mailbox is full, the email address doesn’t exist anymore, or their email service provider is blocking certain types of emails.
  • Website
    When it comes to digital marketing, hard bounces are bitter pills to swallow. A website hard bounce occurs when an internet user clicks on your website link, then immediately exits the site. It means that there is most likely something wrong with either the website’s infrastructure or the specific page visitors are bouncing from.

Why hard bounce rates are bad

  • Email

    The problem with email bounce rates is that they imply negative connotations regarding the sender – even if the bounce is not their fault. A domain assigns a score to email addresses that send emails to people who have addresses on the same domain. Hard bounces from a sender will whittle away their score until eventually no emails they send will be delivered to that domain.

  • Website

    A website’s core purpose is to provide information and services to people who use the internet. Therefore, if people aren’t browsing a site’s pages – or at least taking time to read the page they’ve clicked through to – it serves no purpose. Unfortunately, Google and other search engines take bounce rate into account and will penalise a website with high bounce rates through lower SERP rankings.

Ways to reduce hard bounce rates

  • Email

    The first step is to perform a database scrub. Marketers can list the email addresses that are causing hard bounces and remove them from their mailing list. Another step to take is to contact the recipient telephonically or via other channels to confirm your identity and inquire as to whether recipient email inboxes are full or if any addresses have been discontinued.

  • Website

    Pages that don’t load within 3 seconds (and that’s the absolute maximum) suffer high bounce rates. So, the first hard bounce reduction technique is to speed up your website. Another tool is to improve your CTA (call-to-action) placements and appearance and ensure that your landing page is visually appealing with high-quality imagery and video elements.

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