The Great Resignation renders email databases out of date: bounce-rates increase

The majority (69.4%) of marketers have seen email bounce-rates increase over the past two years, causing databases to become out of date more quickly.

More than four in five marketers (82.8%) report that at least 20% of their marketing database is out of date, according to new research.

The study, conducted by end-to-end prospecting platform Outbase, found that 26% of the 500 marketers and business professionals surveyed say that more than 40% of their database is out of date.

As a result, bounces have become a major problem for email marketers, with 69.4% reporting a general increase over the past two years and 91.0% experiencing issues at some level. Bounced emails have caused significant problems for 45.5% of survey respondents.  

Staff churn hurts bounce rates

One major contributor to the widespread increase in bounce-rate is the so-called “Great Resignation.” As people resign from their jobs or move jobs more frequently, email marketing

lists become out of date more quickly. It’s no surprise, therefore, that 74% of marketers are struggling to keep data up-to-date.  

However, despite these challenges, engagement levels have increased for 70% of email marketers, showing that marketers are getting better at using email marketing as a tool – one of the channels that saw increased return on investment (ROI) as a result of the pandemic.

Scott Logie, Customer Engagement Director at REaD Group and Chair of the Customer Engagement Committee of the DMA – who contributed to the research report – said: “It seems paradoxical to be getting better results while missing more often, but it’s really the result of a greater focus on targeting. It’s a classic ‘quality not quantity’ issue – marketers do best when they’re sending emails directly to the people who want to read them and nobody else.”   

The time cost of keep an email database up to date

Many marketers are trying to contend with the out-of-date data issue by updating their databases more regularly. 

The research found that most marketers (89%) update their database at least once per quarter, and 42% update them monthly or even more frequently. However, even this energy-intensive approach still struggles to keep up, so marketers are beginning to turn to smart solutions instead.  

Rob Harlow, Co-founder of Outbase, said: “It’s the youngest marketers – professionals under the age of 25 – that are working the hardest to keep databases up to date, and they’re seeing the best engagement, albeit at a significant time cost. The good news is that there’s a better solution: modern prospecting platforms eliminate the out-of-date data problem and make it simple to contact the right people and businesses every time.” 

View the full report from Outbase here.