Ask an Expert: Can I Reconfirm Hard Bounces?
This week’s Ask-an-Expert question is: Can I mail to my hard bounces and try to get them to reconfirm their status?
For the answer we turn to Rick Buck, vice president of privacy and ISP relations, CIPP, e-Dialog:
Buck: No, this is a very bad idea.
In general, it is a good best practice to try to rejuvenate non-responsive segments of your list. You should regularly reach out to this portion of your database to request that they confirm their interest in getting your e-mail. Those that do confirm, continue to get your e-mail. Those that don’t should be suppressed from future marketing messages.
Hard bounces, however, are not just non-responsive, they are undeliverable. They are incorrectly entered e-mail addresses, they are expired e-mail addresses, and they are obsolete domains. Worse yet, they are now spam trap addresses. They are very serious threat to the health of your IP reputation. Rather than trying to send an e-mail to these people, think about other options such as a postcard mailing or an ECOA [email change of address] program to reach them.
One thing to take into account before making the investment to reconfirm non-responders or recapture invalid addresses, is who of those people are actually worth investing in? Did they ever spend money with you? Are they likely to spend money with you again? If they are not worth the investment you should add them to your suppression files. Keeping your list clean and engaged will reduce bounces and complaints. This translates into a better IP reputation, opens, clicks and conversions.