Complaints, bounces, and unsubscribes all indicate the health and overall quality of your list. They are a direct representation of how happy your recipients are in receiving your emails and affect your Sender’s Reputation.
If you regularly send engaging content to a list of people who are waiting to open your email, these numbers should be 0 (or very close to it). Each complaint or hard bounce you generate is a mark against you.
A “hard” bounce: the address no longer exists (worse, maybe it never existed… Did you send a confirmation email?) . If not addressed, these can have dramatic consequences to your account, sometimes going as far as getting it suspended. As a result, all hard bounces will be removed from the list.
A “soft” bounce: the email is currently not available for a “temporary” reason. If there are 4 soft bounces on a single email address, the email address will be automatically removed from the list. Note: Your reports will provide you with very detailed information about the bounces on your emails, including several different types of bounces not listed above.
Total bounces / Total number of people you sent your email to
0% – 1%
Hard Bounces rate should always be less than 1%
- Type of industry
- How current is your list?
- How frequently do you send to your list? The more often you send, the lower the rate for each campaign.
Total number of unsubscribes / Total number of people email was sent to
Understand that is much better for someone to unsubscribe than to flag you as spam.
You should expect an unsubscribe rate below 1%.
Total number of complaints / Total number of emails sent to specific internet service providers
As soon as someone marks you as spam, they are definitively removed from the list.
0% – 0.1 %
- Use best practices to avoid complaints and send a test to yourself (see where it lands) before sending out your campaign. Should never exceed 0.25% (1 out of 400 emails sent)
Keep in mind that ISPs look at these numbers too. If you have consistently mid to critical bounce/spam levels it is only a matter of time before your emails get sent to a recipient’s junk folder and/or get blocked permanently.