High bounce rate statistics 2022: what’s causing the issue?


In 2022, one of the top issues in email marketing is a high bounce rate. This is a serious issue – you can’t market to an audience that isn’t receiving your emails. But in order to solve an issue, you must be able to understand it first.

What is a high bounce rate?

The bounce rate is the percentage of emails that do not arrive.

A high email bounce rate is:

  • one over the industry benchmark of 2%.

There are many potential culprits for a high bounce rate, including outdated entries in the database because people have left the business.

Here, we’ll cover engagement, the current state of email marketing bounce rates, and how organisations can reduce them.

You can see all of the data here:

But we’ll run through what’s important…

First, the good news: overall engagement is up.

People today are not just more likely to read a carefully crafted and well-targeted email, they’re also more likely to engage with it. Over 70% of marketers say they have experienced an increase in engagement with their emails during and after the Covid pandemic and lockdowns.

How have your engagement rates for your email marketing campaigns changed in the past 12-24 months?

Significant increase29.8%
Slight increase41.6%
Neither increase nor decrease22.0%
Slight decrease6.4%
Significant decrease0.2%

Younger marketers are driving the biggest increases in engagement.

There’s a clear generational divide in the results that email marketers have delivered over the past two years. Almost all Gen-Z marketers have seen engagement increase, with numbers tapering off with each generation behind them. This is not especially surprising, since these digital natives are often the first to embrace new tech and platforms.

Increase in engagement reported by different email marketer age groups:


The media sector has seen the largest increase in engagement.

Engagement is up across the board, but marketers in the media industry have beaten out other sectors when it comes to increasing engagement. A respectable 78.3% of email marketers in media have experienced a “slight” or “significant” increase in engagement.

Increase in engagement by sector:


But bounce rate is also on the rise…

Of the 500 email marketers we surveyed, 69.4% said that the bounce rate for their campaigns had increased over the past 24 months. This is quite alarming, and it means that many marketers have likely exceeded the ideal bounce rate of 2%.

Have much have your bounce rate changed for your email marketing campaigns changed over the past 12-24 months?

Significant increase22.2%
Slight increase47.2%
Neither increase nor decrease21.0%
Slight decrease7.0%
Significant decrease2.6%

…and that’s causing problems.

Most email marketers, 91% in fact, say that they have seen some impact from high bounce rates, and 45.5% describe it as “significant.” If almost half of the marketers are having “significant” issues, there is clearly something going on – so what’s the root of the problem?

The media and tech sectors have seen the biggest increase in bounce rates.

While more than half of marketers in every sector have seen an increase in bounces, marketers in media (73.9%) and tech (73.3%) narrowly beat out retail, automotive, government, and healthcare as the most affected by the “bounce boom.”

Increase in bounce rate by industry:


Data accuracy is a widespread problem.

Old databases are behind the high bounce rate – emails are bouncing because the addresses they’re being sent to are out of date. Almost three in four marketers say they struggle to keep their data accurate. The rapid pace of change in the job market is reflected in the portion of database entries that fall out of date.

Big chunks of marketers’ databases are out of date…

Today, a shocking 82.8% of marketers told us that at least 20% of the entries in their database are out of date. Over one in four, 26%, report that over 40% of the entries are out of date. This means that a significant portion of the emails that marketers work so hard on are going straight into the bin.

Do you think your contact database is currently out of date?

Up to 20%6.2
Over 61%1.2

…but not for lack of regular updates.

The best way to address an out-of-date database is to update it. However, most marketers, 89%, already update their databases at least every quarter. A further two in five, 42%, review their databases at least monthly. Despite this, they still struggle with a rising bounce rate and invalid entries.

How regularly do you update your contact database?


The healthcare, government, and automotive sectors face the biggest challenges.

More than three in five marketers in each sector we studied are struggling to keep their database up to date, but that number increases to four in five for email marketers targeting the healthcare (85.5%), government (85.2%), and automotive (84.5%) sectors.

Percent of marketers struggling to keep their database up to date by sector:


It’s time for a self-updating database.

When employees change roles every two years, it only takes one year for 50% of a database to become obsolete. As many move even more frequently than this, it’s no surprise that a major portion of the average database is out of date. Even quarterly or monthly updates aren’t enough – so what is?

For marketers wondering how to reduce bounce rate, we can provide an answer: automation. Choosing a prospecting database that updates itself with the latest information on people and businesses saves time and keeps the bounce rate low. Outbase maintains over 230 million automatically updated entries and is constantly validated to ensure that it’s never out of date.

To learn more about what you can do to beat high bounce rates and overcome the out of date database issue, check out our report: How has the great resignation impacted sales and prospecting data?

Skyrocket your sales with Outbase.

Written by:
Lily Ruaah Content Writer