An unsubscribe occurs when someone clicks an auto-generated unsubscribe link in your email, or the unsubscribe button in their email program.
- Old or stale recipient email addresses. Email addresses have a short lifespan. Recipients change jobs, change names, and create and delete email addresses at will. As a result, email address can become invalid over time, so only send to clean and current addresses to avoid issues with stale lists.
- Fake email addresses or email addresses that don’t exist are also a source of bounces.
- Using unconfirmed or single opt-in lists. If recipients aren’t required to confirm their subscription, this opens the door for allowing typos, old, fake, or stale email addresses into your list.
Reducing or Preventing Bounces
Remove stale or old email addresses. If you’ve been sending on a regular basis and tracking opens and clicks, you may consider removing inactive recipients. Inactive recipients are people who haven’t opened or clicked your emails in several months.
This will help eliminate bounces and ensure a high-quality list and high engagement. High engagement helps your deliverability as many ISPs use engagement-based filtering. You’ll also ensure you’re only sending content to people who want it and who are more likely to engage with you and your company.
Clean your list prior to sending. SmartSender should not be used to clean your list, and there are a number of online services that can do this for you.
Validate email addresses before adding to your application or database. If users are inputting email addresses through an online form, validate the email address using a bit of code to ensure the email is technically sound (i.e. contains only one @ symbol, has a valid local and domain portion, etc.). You can also require that users type the email address twice and make sure that both instances match.
Be careful with online contests or promotions. For example, if you run an online contest and require that users enter in their own email address as well as refer a friend, they may be inclined to enter a fake or non-existent email address for the ‘friend’, to bypass that requirement. The same is true if there’s no verification of their email address before offering an incentive or reward—you’re then left with emails in your database that will eventually bounce.
Use a confirmed or double opt-in process when collecting email addresses. When you use the double opt-in method, you’re targeting only those recipients who really want to hear from you. Double opted-in lists have much higher engagement levels over time which translates to more opens and clicks and fewer bounces and unsubscribes. When you use a double opt-in process, people won’t be able to sign up with fake, non-existent, or stale email addresses. They have to have a valid email address to opt-in.