Why Sender Scores Matter in Email Marketing

Sep 14, 2022
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Whether you are a business owner or a marketing professional working for a business that uses email marketing to engage with and advertise to customers, it is essential to consider your sender reputation or sender score when sending marketing emails.

Even if you have put a huge amount of time and effort into crafting the perfect messages to your subscribers, a low sender score or reputation could mean that all your efforts go to waste, and messages land straight in the spam or junk folders, which will prevent you from running a successful email marketing campaign.

What is an Email Sender Score?

Your email sender score or reputation is something that you can build over time. It works similarly to a credit score for your finances. The better your sending habits, the more reputable you will be and the higher a score you will have as a sender. Many factors can have either a positive or a negative effect on your sender score, which you may or may not be aware of as a sender. Obvious factors, such as sending spam emails, should be avoided as this is a sure way to damage your sender reputation and end up with fewer messages being delivered to inboxes where they can have an impact.

 Your sender score is directly linked to your email domain and is a record of your email sending habits and practices. While it is possible to repair a damaged sender score, it’s not easy, so it’s best to understand sender scores and how to keep yours high from the get-go. Focus on creating and sending marketing email campaigns that offer relevant content to recipients with the right message sent to the right audience at the right time.

Why You Should Know Your Email Sending Score

As a business owner or an email marketer, getting to know and understand your email sender score has many benefits. Perhaps you have been putting a lot of time and effort into creating and sending email marketing campaigns. Still, your results haven’t quite been what you expected based on the amount of research you have carried out on your audience or the work you have put into creating excellent email content. Understanding where your sender score is can help you determine if you need to improve your email content or if your reputation might be to blame when it comes to the poor results you are getting. Sender score is often overlooked as a factor by marketers who are trying to determine why their open and click-through rates are not as expected. However, it may be the main reason if recipients are never getting the emails you send in the first place due to a poor sender reputation.

What Impacts your Score as a Sender

There are a few different factors that all play a part in your sender score and how it is determined. Whether you are interested in finding out more about your sender score or want to improve your reputation as an email marketer for better future success, some of the main things to be aware of that will have an impact on your sender reputation include:

Email List Quality and Hygiene

When it comes to improving your sender score, one of the first things to do is make sure that you are taking the time to clean your email list and only send emails to accurate, up-to-date contacts that have agreed to receive email marketing materials from you. If you send many emails that end up bouncing back to you because you do not have the correct email address for the recipient, this can have a majorly negative impact on your sender reputation. Make sure you set aside time regularly to go through your email address and remove any outdated or incorrect contacts.

Content Quality

The quality of your email content also plays a huge part in determining your sender core over time. Low-quality content, especially spammy or content that could easily be mistaken for spam, will negatively impact your sender score over time. On the other hand, sending high-quality content that is interesting and valuable to recipients can have the opposite effect, boosting your sender reputation. Low-quality content could refer to email messages with many spam trigger words, are very link-heavy, have poor formatting, or are overly promotional, for example. These emails are more likely to be picked up by spam filters, which can damage your sender score over time.

Email Sending History

When your IP address has built up an established history of sending marketing emails, this can help to improve your sender score. Just like a credit score, where it’s going to be poor if you don’t have any history of borrowing, your sender score will increase once you have started to send more successful campaigns, so don’t worry too much if you are beginning. Once your IP address has built up an established history as a marketing email sender, this will improve your sender score by proving your legitimacy.

Open Rate and Engagement

More recently, mailbox providers have begun to monitor subscriber interactions more heavily, noting how many emails are opened and engaged with and where those emails come from. If an email you have sent to a subscriber has not been opened and none of the links within is clicked on, similar types of emails in the future may be filtered out based on the user’s preferences. Over time, having too many emails filtered out due to low engagement can hurt your sender score.

Email Volume and Consistency

The volume of emails you send and how consistently you send them can also significantly determine your sender reputation. Both internet and email mailbox providers are always analysing sending patterns to pick up on and deter spammy senders. Because of this, you should stick to best practices regarding volume and consistency, as this will be looked at in a more favourable way.

How To Do an Email Sender Score Check

Whether you’ve been having some problems with email marketing and are not sure what the cause might be or are simply interested to know more about your sender score and reputation, there are several ways to check it. You can find a range of third-party inbox delivery and spam filtering tools that can be very useful for measuring your email sender reputation by finding out more about the volume of emails being delivered and those that are going to spam. When evaluating where your sending score is currently, deliverability is one of the significant factors to consider, or your ability as a sender to successfully deliver emails that end up in recipient inboxes rather than junk and spam folders. Deliverability analysis tools can help you determine your overall sender score, offering a range of tools, tips, and features that you can use to improve in the future.

How to Improve Your Email Sender Reputation Score

If you are concerned that your email sender score might be low, then the good news is that there are many things you can do to improve it. Best practices for email marketing will help you increase your sender reputation by taking actions that are preferred by internet service and mailbox providers. Some of the main things that you can do to improve your sender score include:

Start Slow

If you are starting with email marketing, build things up slowly. Suddenly sending many emails from your IP address will immediately flag up as potential spam, which won’t help your sender score. Instead, start with a smaller list and gradually build up as your history and reputation grow.

Avoid Spam Trigger Words

When writing the content for your marketing emails, it’s essential to know what to avoid to ensure that your messages don’t get caught by spam filters. Sadly, due to the prevalence of spam in the email marketing industry, there are hundreds of words that spam filters are always looking out for to try and catch these unsolicited emails. Words like ‘free’, ‘sign up’, and other common phrases might be mistaken for spam depending on the type of emails you are sending, so it’s always best to be informed and look for alternatives.

Keep Your Email List Clean

Finally, one of the best ways to keep your sender score high is to clean your email list regularly. Only send mail to subscribers who have opted in, and check your list often to remove any mistakes, unsubscribes, or inactive subscribers.

When using email marketing to advertise to and engage with your customers, understanding your sender score and how it impacts your email marketing campaigns is more important than you may realise.

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