Things you should know about email sender’s reputation

Email marketing is one of those methods in the marketing sector that is quite successful and has been around for quite sometimes now. Since it is an affordable process, smaller companies and start-ups are using email marketing methods for attracting potential customers and for creating their loyal customer base.

There are certain best practices that one needs to follow to make an email marketing campaign successful. The main objective of any email marketing campaign is to reach to the target mail box. Reaching the recipient mail box is very much vital in the process of email marketing. You might have written a very good email, presented it with stunning images and info graphics but it is still useless until and unless it reaches the recipient mail box.

There are several factors that stops an email reaching the recipients mail box. One of the factors is emails getting into the spam folder. There are times when your email might be rejected by the recipients IP address.  In both the cases the target recipient is unable to read or get the mail. The quality time and money investing in these email marketing campaigns is wasted in such cases. A recent survey has shown that 30% of the total emails in the email list of the email marketing campaigns are invalid or inactive. This is a staggering number. When you have a huge email list the n 30% inactive mails and invalid mails might ruin your entire email marketing campaign.

Now to avoid these, there are certain best practices that you can follow. In this content we will try to figure out, the best practices that will help you to avoid reducing your email deliverability rate.

The important factor here is Senders Reputation.

Senders Reputation is one of those checkpoints that you need to check to make your email marketing campaign a successful one. Email deliverability depends a lot on the email sender’s performance. The sales team of any organization spends lot of quality time, energy and money to get the potential customers. A good email sender’s reputation will ensure proper utilization of that quality time and money.

What do you mean by sender’s reputation?

Based on the sender’s behaviours a numerical score is given to the IP addresses and domains of the organizations. In most of the cases it is displayed in the numerical value from “0 to 100”. The greater the value, the more good reputation the IP address and domain gets. There are other methods where the reputation is marked as “Good”, “Suspect” and “Poor”.

The sender’s reputation is calculated based on the last 30 days performance. When your IP address has the better senders reputation that means you have a better chance to reach the recipient mail box, making your email marketing campaign a successful one.

There are several Internet Service Providers (ISPs), tracking services and email service providers (ESPs) that rate your reputation. These ratings are based on several factors such as sending frequency, engagements, hard bounce rates etc.

The importance of sender’s reputation

The deliverability rate depends on sender’s reputation and this is a very important factor for a successful email marketing campaign. Following are some of the reasons why sender’s reputation is important –

  • Inbox is the target: We all know, the aim of any email marketing campaign is to reach to the correct inbox. When the reputation is less than the senders has a maximum risk of getting rejected or getting into the spam folder. This is very bad for email marketing campaign and eventually your email marketing campaign will fail.

 

  • You should never look like a spam: In both the cases of ESPs and ISPs, providing the users a great email experience is the priority. When you look spammy, you will end up in the spam folder, this will further reduce your sender reputation and email deliverability rate. The main goal of email reputation is to fight spam.

 

  • Stay Updated: ISPs and ESPs fight all the time to make sure spammers don’t get to them. But then, when you do not update and upgrade your process from time to time, the spammers might slip in and then contribute further in decreasing the sender’s reputation. That is the reason why it is very much important that you follow the latest best practices of the email marketing process

 

  • Avoid being false positive: ISPs and ESPs fight the spams all the time but in certain cases they label absolutely legal emails as spams. This can be very bad for your business.

 

  • Delivery rate: When you have a poor sender’s reputation, then it decreases your email deliverability rate. According to Return Path, almost 70% of the failed delivery is because of the sender’s reputation.

The calculation of the sender’s reputation

Actually the process is different in different organizations. They use different tactics to calculate the sender’s reputation. Below are some of the general metrics that the organizations use to calculate these senders reputation:

The rate of Hard Bounce: This is based on the nard bounces the sender is receiving when it sends an email. This can be due to faulty email Ids or other such reasons.

  • Hitting Spam Traps – This calculation is based on the number of times the sender is getting into the spam traps.
  • Authentication of the emails – How is the sender using SPF and DKIM in authenticating the emails.
  • The level of engagement – What is the response to the email that they sender has been sending to the target mail boxes. Are they showing interest in these emails, are they opening the images or forwarding the emails?
  • Complaint rate – The number of times the recipient had complaint about they never signed up to receive these mails.
  • Non Spam markings – How many times the recipients had opened the mails in the spam folder and had marked them non spam.
  • Blacklist – Checking whether the sender is on multiple blacklists
  • History – When did the sender started using IP or the domain for email sending.

Top 4 tools to check sender’s reputation

As per the above arguments we came to know that email senders reputation play an important role in the success of email marketing campaigns.

To check your report card you can go to the dash board that your ESP provided. However, there are several independent agencies that will help you to check your sender reputation score. Below are the top 4 Email Sender Reputation checking tool. These are some of the best tools on the business for checking Email Sender Reputation.

1.Sender Score

Sender Score has been one of the top companies to provide efficient email sender reputation check service. This is owned by Return Path, an email deliverability company. It can check domain reputation and IP reputation. This tool can also be used for viewing certain important things such as SSL certificates and SPF records without logging in. Once you get inside the account by logging in or by creating a new account, you can then view the sender score, the volume of the emails, the IP addresses of the senders and host name. The reputation is shown in score from 0 to 100. Here the bigger score indicates a better sender’s reputation.

            Site LinkSenderScore

2. Talosinteligence

This tool is provided by the popular networking and telecom equipment company CISCO. With the help of this tool you can check for domain reputation, IP reputation and Network owner. This tool provides a very detailed report. The report includes host name, are you in any blacklist, the volume of your emails and several other information. The reputation here is shown as Good, Neutral and Poor.

            Site LinkTalosIntelligence

3. Reputation Authority

Reputation Authority is a tool owned by the cyber security firm, Watch Guard. You can check here for domain reputation and IP reputation. Here you can view several things such as IP addresses, ISP, country and the main thing which is the reputation. The reputation here is shown as good, suspect and Bad.

           Site LinkReputationAuthority

4. Barracudacentral

This tool is owned by a security and networking company, Barracuda Network. With the help of this tool you can check the IP reputation and the Domain Lookup. You can check whether the IP is spammer of not. This tool also manages URL history, the quality of the URLs and several other things. The reputation here is shown by telling you whether you are in the Barracuda block list of not.

            Site linkBarracuda.

Interpreting the senders Score

As we all know from the above discussion that the different tools use different methods to score your senders reputation. As for an example, Return Path scores your sender reputation between 0 to 100, 0 being the least and 100 being the maximum. If your sender’s reputation is above 80, then it is doing really good. If your sender reputation is below 50, then you are close to a spam. That is when you need to work out to make your sender reputation better. There are certain parameters that you need to focus on to improve your sender reputation score. Here are the top 11 ways to make your sender reputation good.

11 top ways to improve sender reputation

If you check out your sender reputation calculation process then you might know the basic things about what to do to improve your sender reputation. Although your sender reputation score is doing well, it is important that you check out from time to time and follow the best practices from time to time to maintain the good sender reputation. Below are some of the best ways through which you can maintain your sender reputation easily.

  1. Check your sender score – Whatever the state you are going through, the first and foremost thing that you need to do is to make sure you know your sender reputation. If you are above 80 then, you are doing quite well. In case you are between 50 to 80, then you might have a close look at your email delivery process. If you are below 50, then you need to act immediately as it is close to be a spam.
  2. Get quality emails – When you are capturing emails, try to get high quality emails. You can use real time email verification method while verifying the emails you are getting.
  3. Cleaning your mailing list – To avoid hard bounces, it is important to clean your email list. You can use bulk email list verification service to clean your email list.
  4. Using authentication protocols – It is very much important to back your emails with proper authentication protocols. You need to authenticate by using SPF (Sender Protection Frame Work) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail).
  5. Checking blacklists – It is very much vital to check whether you are in the black list or not from time to time. For that you can go to the top email blacklist to see you are there or not.
  6. Throttling your IP – You need to warm up your IP, especially if you are using a new IP by a process called throttling. Here you need to send a small number of emails and then you can increase the number slightly every day. Also you need to check out for the most engaged recipient and start using that lists.
  7. List segmentation – You need to segment your list of email by checking out the engagements. If you notice a very less or null engagement list, stop sending emails to that list. In those email list, send a confirmatory email whether they would like to receive your emails of not.
  8. Be consistent – Your mailing patter should have some kind of discipline. Your emails should be properly formatted and consistent.
  9. Improving your email copy – When you have too many spammy words such as “No Credit cards required” or symbols such as “$$$” can make your email look spammy. Avoid such words.
  10. Connecting to your ISPs – It is a very good idea to get connected to those agencies that are rating your sender reputation score.
  11. Your email strategy – It is very much vital to check out your email strategy from time to time because internet is a very fast platform and black hat practices catch up very fast. From building your list to sending the emails, you need to check out your strategies.

Facts and fictions about sender reputation

Here are some interesting facts and fictions about sender reputation –

Fiction – If you have a sender reputation of 98 or more, then there is no one that can stop your email to get into the inboxes.

Facts – Although email sender reputation is a very important parameter there are others parameters that the mail server looks into before deciding what to do with the email.

Fiction – There are several mail servers that do not use email sender reputation.

Fact – Most of the mail server’s use email sender reputation as an important yard stick.

Fiction – In case your domain has been very good with the engagement in the past, it will not effect if you change your IP

Fact – When you are using a brand new IP, the mail server will treat it as a complete stranger.

Conclusion –

Sender reputation is a very important part but it’s not everything.

It is also a fiction that when your score I above 90 you will get 100% deliverability as there are several other factors that you need to check out. It varies from situation to situation. A higher sender reputation does not mean that your email will be delivered what so ever. Similarly, a lower sender reputation also does not guarantee that your email will not be delivered. It might get delivered.

There are several other factors that influence deliverability. A particular ISP might have its own rules laid down to check out whether the email has the standards to comply with theirs. A sender Score generally does not look into the sender email content structure but at the same time an ISP will have a look into the email structure and content.

Finally, it is very much important check out the senders reputation score from time to time but it is also important to check out the other factors that influence your email deliverability. That is why equal importance should be given to all the factors.