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AP 0748: Why Is My Email Bounce Rate Increasing?

AP 0748: Why Is My Email Bounce Rate Increasing?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 748 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 748 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining for me today. As always I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions, five day a week.

We have a great question today from Sean, but before we get to his question, I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is So if you’re hiring, one of the hardest thing to do is to take the time to post your job to all the different job sites out there to find the best candidates, because it just takes so much work, well that’s what Zip Recruiter helps you do, they help post your job, with one single click, to a hundred different job sites and social media networks. And you can find candidates in any city or industry nationwide, all you have to do is post once, and your qualified candidates start to roll into Zip Recruiter’s easy to use interface. No juggling e-mails or phone calls or nothing like that, they quickly screen the candidates for you, they rate them, you can hire the right person fast. So you can get your jobs up on for free by going to again that’s and you’re on your way.

All right, thanks so much and here’s today’s question from Sean.

Sean: Hi Pat, this is world’s fastest hypnotist, Sean Michael Andrews, I listen to SPI and AskPat every week and I always find sound, actionable advice. Please keep up the great work. Here’s my question, I’ve been producing a weekly newsletter for over eight years that teaches tips and tricks on how to do hypnosis. I have 4,700 subscribers. Two years ago, the bounce rate for my e-mails was around 4.3% but it has steadily climbed to almost 10%. I’ve made no changes in my e-mails, subject lines, or opt-in procedures and I’ve only done one sales call to action in the past eighteen months. Is this increased bounce rate an industry wide trend, or do I need to find another e-mail subscription service? Thank you again for all you do Pat.

Pat Flynn: Hey Sean, thanks so much for the question. I wish I could speak to you now because I am trying to define bounce rate for e-mails. Bounce rate is something we typically hear when it comes to website traffic because when somebody bounces on your website, that’s somebody who visits your site and then depending on the analytical tool that you use, different analytical tools use different definitions for bounce rates, but typically it’s somebody who comes to your site and within a short time period doesn’t click anywhere else, they just end up leaving. That’s the bounce, they’re landing there and they are coming back or going elsewhere. For e-mail, I imagine it could be a couple things and maybe you had just used the wrong terminology. I expect it’s either unsubscriptions, so people who get your e-mails and just decide to unsubscribe, so I’ll talk about that in a minute. Or it could be e-mails bouncing back to you, meaning those are not legit e-mails.

So let me talk about both of those really quick, I’ll start with the latter. So e-mails bouncing back to you, typically if you have a large number of e-mail subscribers on your e-mail service provider, you’ll send an e-mail out like a broadcast to everybody and immediately you’re going to get bounces back, meaning people whose e-mail addresses aren’t live anymore. And that is something you should take care of, because you’re paying for that e-mail address, but the e-mail address doesn’t exist anymore. So you can go into your system and then actually delete those ones and actually ConvertKit, if you use ConvertKit, has just a really quick and easy one click way to do that, which is really handy. You’ll also get e-mails immediately back from people who are, for example, on vacation. So those are e-mails that quote “bounce back” immediately to you. And I wouldn’t delete those e-mails, it just necessarily, it just, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re gone, it just means they’re gone for a short period of time. So it could say, “Sorry, I’m not in my office right now.” Or “I’m on vacation, I come back on this date.” And those ones you just want to just keep in there because people are just not there right now, and they can find your e-mail later.

Now the other one that I was talking about, the unsubscribes. So when people see your e-mail they’re like, “I don’t need this e-mail anymore.” “I’m just annoyed.” Or whatever, “Well I’m just trying to decrease the numbers of e-mails in my inbox, I’m going to unsubscribe to my list.” And that has been happening quite a bit lately and I’ve been noticing, at least across all my different websites and businesses and when I’ve talked to other people. That it has slightly increased in the amount of unsubscribes because it is getting a little bit harder for people to convince others that your e-mail should continue to come in their inbox. And the reason is because we’re just getting so inundated today with all these different e-mails from all these different subscription services, that a lot of people are now finally getting overwhelmed to a point where they’re just kind of deleting and unsubscribing to everything. The trick with that is you really need to deliver high quality value to your audience and make sure that they, when they read your e-mail are very excited to read it. So they know what’s coming, for one, but also you deliver so much value in that e-mail that they would be stupid to unsubscribe. You want them to have them realize that they are on the right list, that they’re getting great information and that they can’t wait for your next e-mail.

So one thing that I would do, Sean, is if you have an auto responder sequence, I don’t know if you’re just sending broadcasts, but whether you’re sending broadcasts or e-mail auto responders, doesn’t matter. Look at the analytics and see which e-mails are actually getting higher unsubscribe rates and start to try and figure out why that’s the case. Maybe there’s a particular offer, maybe there was something that you had said that, I don’t know, for whatever reason triggered more people to unsubscribe. Maybe it was, I don’t know, it could be anything. One trick I have for you is, every once in a while, and I don’t know what you send out in your e-mails, but one thing I love to do to keep people on, and this is something that I do in the very early stages after people subscribe, but also I tend to do this every, I don’t know, six or seven e-mails, or I try to at least. And that is, provide a quick small win.

Those quick small wins are great little triggers that make people say to themselves, “Oh this is great, I’m getting good information from this and I’m actually seeing results.” And when people see even the smallest results, it’s going to form that habit that they’re going to want to come back to you for more stuff. It’s actually a great tactic to lead into bigger and much bigger transactions by starting with a very small simple win that they can have. It’s a, there was a whole chapter in Charles Duhigg’s famous book, The Power of Habit. It was all about the small quick win. So provide small quick wins every once in a while. That’s going to sort of refresh people and make sure that as they get into your e-mail list, and stay on your e-mail list, that they’re going to be reminded of why they’re there in the first place.

So Sean I hope this information is helpful and I’m hitting on the right notes, if not, shoot me an e-mail, hopefully I figured out the right thing in terms of what you were saying. Because bounce rate for e-mails typically are the first one I mentioned, which is e-mails bouncing back to you, and that could be, in terms of reasons why that’s happening, it could potentially be happening more, but I think people just over time, they’re getting overwhelmed with e-mails, they’re declaring e-mail bankruptcy and they just escape an e-mail address to start a new one fresh and maybe that’s why that’s happening. But either way, just keep up the good work, provide value to your audience and provide those quick wins every once in a while and you should see everything decrease and people want to stay on your list.

So thank you, Sean, I appreciate it, I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show, and for those of you listening, if you have a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to and you can ask right there on that page.

Thank you so much, I appreciate you, and here’s a quote from somebody unknown, but I really like it. And that quote is, “When someone betrays me or lies to me, I’d never try to get even, I just change their role in my life.”

Pretty cool. All right, thanks so much and I’ll see you the next episode of AskPat. Bye.

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