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Email Sender Reputation: How to protect it?

Mar 10, 2020

Sender reputation is a major component of your email deliverability. That is why understanding the importance of it is crucial for maintaining your email communication. 

The bit that we all want to know is HOW to keep it decent and healthy! What steps and actions you should implement in your email sending practises to keep on getting your emails into your recipients’ inboxes?

Your reputation is impacted by several factors. Unsubscribe rate, spam complaints, bounce rate, your recipients’ engagement rates, being blacklisted or sending to spam traps. To secure your reputation you have to ensure that your list is well maintained! If your emails are actually being delivered into the inboxes, your readers do engage with your content. Plus no one will dare to mark you as spam.

What is email sender reputation?

To make sure that this article is about the sender reputation that you are interested in, let’s quickly sum up what a sender reputation is. It is a score that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) assign to a sender. If a sender has multiple domains and sends emails from different IP addresses, each one of them has its reputation. The better the reputation is, the bigger chance of getting your emails into your recipients’ inboxes. If the score gets below a certain threshold, the ISP may put your messages to spam folders or even reject them due to bad sending practices. Understanding what factors impact the reputation is very difficult, as the reputation itself is not static. The things that were important yesterday, may not be enough today.

Factors that impact the sender reputation

  • The number of emails sent
  • The number of complaints (how many recipients mark your email as a SPAM)
  • The engagement rates (open, reply to, forward, click rates)
  • Bounce rate (the quality of the email list)
  • Domain or IP blacklisted
  • The number of emails sent to spam traps
  • The number of unsubscribes from the email list.

It is unclear which of those would be the most important, as each ISP decides which factors impact the reputation score more heavily.  Undoubtedly, each sender should always follow the proper sending practices!

How to protect the sender reputation?

In short: just be a good person on the Internet! Follow the simple rules, and by that, keep your sending score as high as possible.
If you use a new domain, make sure you have a good warm-up plan, before sending any mass email campaign!

List Management

Start with proper maintenance of your email list. Remove non-responders and clean it from undeliverable emails with an email checker . Any email that might result in a hard bounce affects your sender reputation.

Rates, rates, rates!

Always monitor your delivery and engagement rates. It will help you notice any abnormalities quickly so you can take the appropriate repairing actions before it will turn into a full-on email disaster. If your open rates suddenly dropped from 20% to 5%, you should know that something is not right.

Respect your subscribers!

Remember that they’ve shared their email address with you, as you have promised them specific content around the subject of their interest. Therefore, make your content relevant, attractive, and clickable as it will help you with keeping open rates high, if your previous messages were interesting and personalized your subscribers will be keen to open your emails in the future.

 Stop from unsubscribing

Good content will also reduce the number of unsubscribers! Imagine that someone has subscribed to your newsletter to get the best cooking recipes. Instead, you’ve sent them emails with some other content, but no actual recipes! Can you blame them for unsubscribing?! Furthermore, if for some reason, you’ve decided to hide the unsubscribe button,  your spam complaint rates will explode! Let’s hope we don’t really have to mention the fact that if you are sending spam, this will kill your inbox placement quicker than you think!
All those metrics have an impact on your email sender reputation. Clearly, the interaction with your messages is crucial in securing your email deliverability.

Buy a list? NO!

Never use a purchased/rented/free email list! Those are usually packed with email addresses that you shouldn’t contact (invalid, spam traps, disposable). By emailing those, you are putting your sender reputation at very high risk, and you may get yourself blocked from any email communication. You can read more about the consequences of using such lists in our previous article here.

Softies can be bad

Hard bounces are bad but don’t forget about soft bounces! Always check what was the reason of your soft bounces, pay attention and take actions with those that have soft bounced more than 3 times.

Email verification for your sender reputation?

Okay, so you know the basics now! As we are an email verification company, and this is our expertise, let us talk you through ‘maintaining email list’ bit in more detail. Keeping your list clean is essential! What you don’t want among it, are unengaged subscribers, spam complainers, and invalid email addresses. To decrease the number of the last one, you can use email checkers like Bouncer! How getting rid of outdated or invalid email addresses can have anything to do with your future deliverability? A bad list equals trouble with ISPs, as each time your email message bounce, your reputation takes a hit! That is why you have to implement email verification in your email marketing strategy!

How can Bouncer help?

Bouncer will establish a connection with the mailbox server provider.  Next, it will analyze the reply from the server to provide you with the information if the email is real and valid, without sending any message to the recipient! T check what is the quality of your list now with 100 free verification credits, just sign up here.

Wrapping up

By now you should be fully aware that if you are planning to use email as your communication channel with your clients or subscribers, you must protect your sender reputation. It is a decisive factor of your email deliverability. Carefully monitor your email marketing performance and act quickly when you observe any abnormalities. Follow the tips within this article and always prioritize the security of your reputation. Above all, just be a good person on the Internet, and don’t do to others what you don’t appreciate yourself.

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