Bounce Definition: Understanding Bounce Rates in Cold Email

Have you ever wondered what it means to bounce? No, I’m not talking about jumping on a trampoline or dribbling a basketball on the court. I’m referring to the concept of “bounce” that goes beyond the physical realm and enters various aspects of our lives, from digital communications to sports and even finance.

In this article, we’ll explore the diverse dimensions of bounce and its intriguing definition in different contexts.

First, we’ll delve into the realm of cold email outreach, where bounce takes on a whole new significance, impacting our efforts to connect with others.

Mailarrow Logo
Send cold emails that get responses
Start Free Trial

We’ll also uncover the relevance of bounce in the world of digital communications and marketing, where adaptability and resilience play pivotal roles.

So, get ready to explore this multifaceted term and discover how its essence resonates with our daily experiences.

Bounce Definition

In a broad sense, the term ‘bounce’ refers to the action of an object, such as a ball, rebounding after repeatedly striking a solid surface. It can be a tennis ball soaring high after a forceful thrust, a rubber ball gleefully after rebounding from an impact, on a playground, or even the first bounce of a freshly served ball in a match of Australian Rules Football. The ‘bounce’ is all about the sudden, self-propelled movement upwards, the leap suddenly out of the expected trajectory, and then returning back to the ground or other surface for a second bounce or more.

To help you visualize, think about how a ball bounces. You bounce a ball and it performs a series of leaps, each time hitting the ground and springing back. This is a result of the elastic object’s kinetic energy being converted into potential energy when it hits the ground, causing it to spring back or ‘bounce and jump’. The rubber ball bounced off the garage door and over the shortstop’s head, giving a clear picture of the self-propelled movement upwards.

In essence, bouncing is about repeated striking against surfaces, energetic manner, and sudden springs. This playful leap captures the very heart of bouncing and what it means to bounce.

The Big Bounce and More Bounce

Beyond the physical world, ‘bounce’ has found a significant place in informal speech and cultural references. The “big bounce” is a term used in cosmology to describe the theoretical cyclic model of the universe’s origin and eventual collapse. On the other hand, “more bounce” typically refers to a very sudden increase, temporary increase in energy, activity, or popularity. For instance, an underdog team in a series of nine games may experience a “big bounce” in their election polls or internet service provider rankings after a streak of victories.

Bounce is also a key term in the world of finance and banking. If a check bounced, it means that the bank refused to transfer money from the check writer’s account to the receiver’s because there were insufficient funds. You might hear phrases like “the check bounced” or “the bank bounced my check” often. In this scenario, the bank account is metaphorically the solid surface from which it bounced when the check rebounds without the intended result.

Bounce in Cold Email Outreach

In the context of cold email outreach, ‘bounce’ has a specific meaning. A bounce in this field refers to an email message that couldn’t be delivered to the recipient’s email account. The reasons can vary from the recipient’s email server being down to the email address being incorrect or non-existent.

Bounce in Sports: A Game of Energy

One of the places where ‘bounce’ finds frequent use is in sports. Here, the term often describes the movement of a ball or similar object. Consider how a tennis ball or rubber ball bounced, creating a fascinating interplay of energy and physics. The force with which such an object hits a surface determines the height and speed of the subsequent bounce.

In Australian Rules Football, ‘bounce’ holds a special place. The game begins with the ‘first bounce’, a unique spectacle where the referee bounces the ball on the ground, and it springs back to be contested by opposing team players. It’s a thrilling moment, setting the tone for the match with a high bounce and a scramble for control.

In basketball, dribbling involves continuously bouncing the ball off the floor, with players demonstrating an energetic manner in each bounce. Here, the bounce is a self-propelled movement, adding an extra layer of challenge and excitement to the game.

Mailarrow Logo
Send cold emails that get responses
Start Free Trial

Bounce in Life: Sudden Springs and Lively Manner

In colloquial English, ‘bounce’ carries a variety of meanings, often encapsulating energetic or lively behaviors. Phrases like ‘Moira bounced into the room’ describe a person entering a space in an energetic or lively manner. Similarly, ‘the box bounced down the stairs’ describes a box falling downstairs in a manner that suggests a playful leap or jump.

In a more metaphorical sense, ‘bounce’ can also refer to a quick recovery from a setback or disappointment. When you ‘bounce back’ from a failure, you recover quickly and resume your usual behavior or performance. This sense of bounce is all about resilience, showing a robust ability to rebound from an impact.

Bounce in Finance: Checks and Funds

In financial contexts, ‘bounce’ has a distinct, less energetic meaning. If a check is ‘bounced’, it signifies that it has been returned or refused by a bank due to insufficient funds in the check-writer’s bank account. The act of a check being returned by the bank is visually akin to how a rubber ball bounced off a solid surface, hence the term ‘bounced check’.

If you’re writing a check, it’s crucial to ensure you have enough money in your account to have sufficient funds to cover the check’s amount. If the bank determines there are insufficient funds, they will refuse payment and ‘bounce’ the check back to the person who attempted to cash it.

Bounce in Email Outreach

When diving into the world of digital communications, ‘bounce’ takes on yet another distinct meaning. Within email outreach, a ‘bounce’ happens when an email message cannot be delivered to the recipient’s email account. There could be various reasons why an email bounces, from temporary issues such as the recipient’s mailbox being full, to more permanent issues such as the email address being invalid or non-existent.

Just like a rubber ball bounces off a solid surface when it can’t go any further, an email message ‘bounces’ back when it can’t reach its intended destination. Every bounce is an opportunity lost in connecting with a potential client or stakeholder.

Bounce Rate in Online Marketing

In the world of online marketing, particularly in web analytics, ‘bounce rate’ is a key metric that measures the percentage of visitors who leave a website after viewing only one page. Imagine a ball entering a box and then leaping suddenly out without touching any other surface within the box. In this analogy, the ‘box’ is your website, and the ‘ball’ is your site visitor. A high bounce rate could indicate that the site’s content or user experience needs to be improved to keep visitors engaged and explore more pages.

Bounce as Slang

In the realm of informal language and slang, ‘bounce’ takes on additional interesting meanings. In fact, ‘bounce’ can be quite a versatile term in colloquial English. For instance, you may hear someone say ‘I gotta bounce’, a phrase often used to express the need to leave a place quickly or suddenly. It gives a sense of self-propelled movement upwards or away from a current location.

Similarly, ‘bounce’ can be used as a synonym for ‘dismiss summarily’ or ‘throw out’. In the context of a private club or event, security personnel might ‘bounce’ people who aren’t behaving properly. This terminology is actually one point where the term ‘bouncer’, referring to an ex-boxer’s job or anyone employed in a similar role, originates.

Informal Vitality and Resilience

‘Bounce’ is often used to describe an energetic or lively personality. It’s not unusual to hear someone say ‘He has a lot of bounce’, indicating the person is full of energy or enthusiasm. This informal vitality implied by ‘bounce’ draws from the physical characteristics of a bouncing ball, which seems lively and full of energy as it continually leaps off the ground.

‘Bounce back’, as we’ve explored earlier, also finds a lot of use in everyday language. People often talk about ‘bouncing back’ from a setback or adversity, indicating a quick recovery or return to normal condition. This term is particularly relevant today as we all look to ‘bounce back’ from the global challenges that have marked the past few years.

Linguistic Roots and Evolution

The term ‘bounce’ has interesting linguistic roots. It’s believed to have imitative origin, appearing in Middle English as ‘buncin’ and has parallels in the Low German ‘bunsen’, which means ‘to hit or strike’. As you can see, even in its linguistic journey, ‘bounce’ carries the sense of energetic action and reaction.

Bounce in Physics: Energy in Motion

In physics, ‘bounce’ describes the action of an object, typically an elastic object such as a ball, hitting a surface and rebounding from an impact. It’s a process involving transfer and transformation of energy. When a ball hits a solid surface, it temporarily deforms as it absorbs some of the impact energy. It then returns to its original shape, releasing the stored energy as kinetic energy, and propels the ball back into the air.

The phrase ‘ball bounces’ is commonplace in describing this phenomenon. Each time a rubber ball curls bounced or a tennis ball bounced, the forces of gravity, energy, and friction come into play. The first bounce is always the highest as it possesses the maximum kinetic energy. The ball then undergoes a series of smaller and smaller bounces, often referred to as the ‘second bounce’ and so on, each one less energetic than the previous, until it finally comes to rest.


From describing the motion of a ball, the return of an undelivered email, the resilience of a person, to the refusal of a check by a bank due to insufficient funds, ‘bounce’ is indeed a word of many layers. It permeates through various realms of life, carrying with it a sense of energy, action, and resilience.

Mailarrow Logo
Send cold emails that get responses
Start Free Trial

At Mailarrow, we embrace the ‘bounce back’ spirit. Our cold email outreach software ensures your messages hit their mark, rebounding from the barriers of undelivered emails. Remember, to bounce forward in your email marketing efforts, sign up for Mailarrow.


What is bounce slang for?

In slang, bounce verb ‘bounce’ is often used to indicate leaving a place quickly or suddenly, as in ‘I gotta bounce a ball’. It can also refer to dismissing someone summarily or removing them from a place, often used in the context of a security personnel at a private club or event.

Serge Shlykov is the founder of Mailarrow. Rotterdam Business School graduate and a long-time software engineer he has been running his own agency and SaaS business before realizing how many people are struggling with cold email outreach. This made him create Mailarrow, the cold email outreach software that helps you build great relationships at scale. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *