Understanding email addresses you aren't reaching

Every contact in your database is a valuable name. It's a relationship you have with that person. You need to maintain that relationship to keep permission to deliver to their inbox.

Sometimes you have a contact who you can no longer deliver email too. They may opt out, hard bounce or maybe it's a soft bounce.  What does that all mean and is there anything you can do about it?

Unsubscribes/opt outs - These people have said they do not want to receive emails from you anymore. You've lost the right to send them a message. This is something you have to take seriously and you can not send them any more promotional emails.

Hard bounce - These email addresses can not be delivered for any of a number of reasons. The most common would be that the email address was incorrect in the first place. It may be malformed or mistyped.  Perhaps the email address was valid, but the person closed that email account and it no longer exists. Hard bounces are like sending regular mail to a wrong address - undeliverable.

Soft bounce - These addresses can't be delivered (right now). The most common reason would be that the email inbox is full. Soft bounces you may be able to deliver to later. But after a series of soft bounces - this email address might no longer be in use and may be on the path to becoming a hard bounce.

So, what can you do to keep your valuable email addresses?

There are a number of steps email marketers take to maintain the integrity of your list.

The most important thing you as a business owner can do is be proactive and not lose them.  Do this by delivering relevant, personal content to your list. Send messages you believe they will want to read and that will make them want to receive more messages.

When addresses are lost due to a hard or soft bounce, if you have alternate contact information you can contact them to see if they have a new email address to provide.