From time to time I get an email asking that question – I just ordered 5,000 email leads and half of them were bad. Is this normal? Why are there so many bad email addresses?
Let me try and answer that.
Regarding why an email comes back as undeliverable, bounces, or shows up as bad – my best answer is:
I don’t pretend to know all of the reasons why an email bounces back, goes undelivered, or shows up as a bad address, but let me share with you real quick about why some leads bounce.
Just Because It’s Bad Doesn’t Mean It’s Bad
I do know that you can take a list of 1000 email addresses that are 100% good, you can have half of them bounce back, get filtered, and go undelivered. The fact is, good email addresses do bounce.
It is not as cut and dry as a phone lead that has a wrong number. Either the phone number is good or it is bad. With email leads, it is much different. Just because an email bounces back does not mean it is a bad email address.
There are many reasons that an email that is actually good, can bounce, be undeliverable, get blocked, get filtered out, etc., and it can vary from person to person and from day to day. One person can use a list and have 90% deliverability, while another person using the same list can have 50% deliverability or less. There are many variables beyond just the email address itself.
ISP Level Issues
Much of this has to do at the ISP level. ISP’s can shut down delivery from certain IP addresses or email addresses for an hour, for a day, or permanently. Therefore, no matter how many good email addresses you send to them, if your IP address is blocked, all of those emails will bounce.
There are also many other ways of getting your emails blocked, such as account filters, spam filters, etc. You need to understand that there are many, many filters that your email must pass through to get delivered to someone’s inbox. Most of these filters you do not have control over. They are on the ISP level.
For example, I have zero filters on my email account. I want all email. I would rather be in charge of deleting rather than letting a robot determine whether or not it’s good or bad. Even so, I would say that I miss about 5-10% of my emails because of filter’s that exist on my ISP level, and by website host, Hostgator. There isn’t anything I can do about it.
Stuff You Did To Make It Bounce
Many people don’t realize that what you type, attach, or use as a subject line can and probably will get many of your emails bounced.
What you are using for sending out the emails (your autoresponder, bulk email program, etc), the subject line of your email and the body of your email are critically important. Those are other major factors that can either get your email delivered or bounced back.
This may be one of the biggest issues because certain words in your emails can trigger spam filters and will get your email blocked (avoid using words like free, MLM, home business, make money, network marketing, etc.). There are some words and phrases that will get instantly rejected.
How We Help
There are several other things, but all of this is to say… this is one of the reasons why we at National Leads include so many extra leads with a customer’s order. Due to ISP level blocking, filtering, or the content of one’s emails, a customer can easily lose 20-50% of their leads. Some you will never know as they drift into cyberspace. Others you get back as a bounce or undeliverable email.
Rather than saying “This list was bad,” maybe there are other factors at work here, and that you may need to tweak (not twerk) some of the words in your email, slow down your delivery rate, etc.
We have had great success with our email leads over the last 10+ years. I do believe in the quality of our leads, but I also know there will always be a certain percentage of leads that are going to be undeliverable, and it will vary from person to person. But, hopefully, with the extra leads we provide there will always be more than enough leads to cover the invalid or bad ones.