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How to Fix Undeliverable / Bounce Back Emails

On occasion, when running email campaigns, you will receive emails that look like the following:

We call these Bounce Back emails. Bounce Back emails are emails that we send out that are undeliverable for one reason or another. These undeliverable emails will then "Bounce Back" to us along with a warning message (such as the one in the image above) that briefly explains why the message failed to deliver.

The most common reason that we receive these emails is because the email address that we attempted to send to was invalid. This could be for a number of reasons; The email could contain a typo, the person that we are attempting to email may no longer have an email address with that organization, or potentially we only have a zero stored as their email (remember we zero out contact info that we can’t find). When we receive these Bounce Back emails, it is a good reminder to take a minute to use our resources to attempt to fix this missing or invalid email.

Methodology for Correcting Bounce Backs

  1. *ZoomInfo – The most reliable ways of fixing Bounce Back emails is through ZoomInfo. There are two effective ways of using ZoomInfo to do this. The first approach is to navigate to the candidate’s LinkedIn profile and use the ZoomInfo extension to pull open their ZoomInfo profile, and from here check if they have contact information listed. The alternative route is to go directly to ZoomInfo*.com and use their advanced search function to search for the candidate. To do this effectively, enter their full name, the organization that they work for, and if possible, a location, and you should yield good results. Click on your candidate (if they are within the search results) and grab their email address if it’s provided.
  2. Company Reference – Another fairly surefire way of determining an email address is to look within our database and look at other employees within their organization (if they exist). Specifically, take a look to see if any of them have emails listed for themselves. We want to pay attention to the naming convention used across the other contact's email addresses and determine if a pattern is used. For example, common email naming conventions / patterns include:

    It’s incredibly common for companies to use the same email naming convention across most, if not all, of their employees. If you can tell that other employees for an organization have emails that follow a naming convention, try that same naming convention for your candidate with a missing email.

    Note: Keep in mind, while the above is effective for finding company emails, we need to remember that these are company emails that we are finding and do not belong on candidate profiles. This would primarily be for contact Bounce Backs. 3. Company Websites – Another approach to obtain reliable company emails is to check the company's website, specifically on the 'About Us' and 'Team' pages where they exist. Success rates will vary wildly, it’s entirely hit or miss what companies will include a team page or contact info on that team page, but when it exists you can be confident that the information is accurate. This is effective for finding the emails of higher ups within the company, it’s less common for lower leveled employees to be included in team pages, unless the company is smaller. 4. LinkedIn – When all else fails, a direct approach through LinkedIn is an effective, albeit slower, method of obtaining an updated email address. There are two main approaches you can take. The first is simply connecting with that profile. Upon a successful connection, navigate to their profile and check their contact information. If an email exists, grab it. The second approach is to essentially take the email that bounced back (usually a marketing email that we sent that bounced back) and resend it to the candidate or profile through LinkedIn InMail. Follow this message a request to connect via phone call or email, as well as a connection request on LinkedIn if you have not already sent one.