Holiday Email Marketing Tips: 5 Best Practices to Avoid High Bounce Rates

Email marketing is one of your business’s most powerful tools. It gives you a direct line to your customers and potential clients, allowing you to send promotions and offers this holiday season while also building relationships with them.

The great thing about email is that it helps you nurture leads, drive traffic back to your site, and even collect information about subscribers that can be used for other purposes down the road.

However, one thing can make all this good work go bad is: high bounce rate. Aside from a low open rate, a high bounce rate is also a drawback that prevents businesses from achieving the best results in their email marketing campaigns.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide for holiday email marketing tips so you can learn about the five best practices for creating successful holiday email campaigns.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to avoid high bounce rates while maximizing your ROI during the holidays!

Before we dive into the details, let’s figure out first why emails bounce.

2 Types of Email Bounce  

During the busy holiday season, you may find that your emails aren’t being delivered as reliably as they usually are.

If your email campaign bounces over 2%, you should look closely. If your bounce rate is more than 5% or as high as 10%, this indicates a serious problem that requires attention.

Email bounce can be permanent or temporary, and here’s the difference between the two:

Soft Bounce  

A soft bounce means that the email delivery service interprets this type of rejection as temporary, indicating that it maybe possible to deliver the message later at a better time.

The email address you entered was valid. However, the message did not reach its intended recipient for some reason. It happens when the recipient’s mailbox is full and cannot accommodate new ones unless they delete emails or the server is down when you send an email.

A soft bounce is only temporary, and your email will reach its’ intended recipient once the issue has been fixed.

Hard Bounce  

A hard bounce is a delivery failure notification that indicates that the recipient’s email address could not be found, invalid, or fake. This type of email bounce is permanent, and there is no way that the recipient will receive your email.

Try to check the email address of the recipient. There might be errors that made the email bounce.

5 Common Reasons Why Email Bounces  

Every bounce back impacts your success when you’re running a holiday email marketing campaign. To reduce bounces, you’ll need to know why they occurred and make changes accordingly.

Here are five common reasons for emails to bounce back!

Non-existent emails  

As they say, people come and go. This is true even in business — people change jobs, conquer new heights, and even face downfall. The pandemic is an example of why there are a lot of non-existent emails nowadays.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Logistics, in June 2021, a total of 6.2 million people did not work because their employers closed or lost business during the height of the pandemic. Some of these businesses permanently shutdown, forcing employees to find new jobs.

Aside from that, in response to inflation, supply-chain problems, and geopolitical turmoil that hurt sales, many tech companies have laid off workers.

According to the timeline report in Computer World, almost 60,000 employees have been laid off in the U.S. starting September 2022, with Meta and Twitter as the most talked tech companies.

Employers cut the corporate emails of these employees once they are clear to leave the company. For sure, emails bounce if you have recipients from the list of tech companies that laid off employees.

Blocked Emails  

Sometimes, you will not be able to send your email. This might be because the recipient’s server blocks your email.

Factors that may affect getting blocked would be:

  • Too large email or incorrect formatting
  • The “from” address doesn’t match an account on the server
  • The server is reading emails as spam

Spammy Email Content  

In 2021, 45.1% of all emails were spam. To avoid catching the attention of spam filters, you should avoid using spam trigger words in your emails, especially shady, denote urgency, overpromising, and unnatural.

You may use a spam checker tool to detect and remove spam words that may catch the attention of spam filters.

Server Issues  

Sending an email while there is a server issue highly affects the deliverability of emails. This issue may result in a soft bounce until the server is up and running again.

Invalid Emails Due To Typo Errors  

People sometimes type in incorrect emails. Suppose you do not have an API to combat such invalid emails. In that case, your database will record emails that go to the database.

A simple error of forgetting a single letter or misspelled email provider will result in your emails getting returned.

5 Best Practices To Avoid Getting a High Bounce Rate  

Knowing these is important before starting your last-minute holiday campaign for the year 2022. You only have a few days to get noticed, so make sure your email counts!

To help you with your holiday email marketing campaign, here are the best practices to avoid getting a high bounce rate of more than 2%.

Send Opt-in Reconfirmation Email  

Before sending out your primary holiday email, you should send out a reconfirmation email that tells your subscribers to permit you to send out marketing and promotional emails.

This helps you, as a business owner, focus on subscribers who want to hear what you offer. They can opt-out from getting emails by unsubscribing. If they didn’t hit the unsubscribe button, you may tell them that no response or action to the email you sent means they still want to hear from you.

Have a Consistent Branding  

Do not confuse your email recipients. Have consistency in branding to let them know that the email comes from someone they know and trust. This applies to the brand colors you used in email campaigns, the email sender, and the tone of your email content.

Send Targeted Emails Instead of General Emails  

Email segmentation has many benefits, one of which is intentional and personalized.

Do not send irrelevant emails to people who should not receive them or do not apply to their status as recipients. This is especially true for businesses that offer different services. Some companies cater for B2B and B2C clients, and only some people can relate to a single email, especially if it doesn’t cater to their needs or problems.

Instead of sending an email that applies to all email subscribers, prepare different email content for every group or audience you have.

Verify Email List  

This is the most important thing you should do before sending marketing emails. Use an email validator to check the status of the email addresses in your list. An email validator can detect emails that are invalid, fake, disposable, toxic, and spam traps.

Knowing which ones are not useful allows you to correct them before it hurts your email statistics.

Enhance Your Contact Data  

Once you have figured out the invalid emails, try your best to find your recipient’s valid or updated email. This is to give them a chance to hear from you, especially if the email subscriber didn’t opt out.

There might be issues that flagged their email address as invalid. As long as you are familiar with data enrichment, you still have the chance to turn the bad leads into workable and good leads.

You may use a Data Append tool or integrate an API into your internal system to find a person’s contact details, such as names, phone numbers, mail addresses, and email addresses.

By using data append, you can be sure that all the contact details in your list are up-to-date, working, valid, and reachable.

If there are incorrect or invalid email addresses, a data append tool can replace them with the most updated contact information in its database.


Due to the high volume of emails sent out during the holiday season, you may find some of your emails bouncing back. People receive many emails daily, some of whom may have hit the limit of receiving emails.

Aside from that, the recent massive lay-offs and business closures have contributed to a higher bounce rate since the pandemic started. That is why you need to clean off your list to keep up with the recent changes in the workforce, especially if you are a B2B company that deals with corporate people.

Good thing there are email verification, cleansing, and enrichment tools to help you identify invalid emails and replace them with the most updated ones.

Before we gear up for 2023, ensure you have done the best practices mentioned above to make your email marketing campaigns successful this holiday and moving forward.

Do you need help with email validation and data enrichment? Feel free to connect with us today to discuss how these tools help businesses like yours.