Fixing your email sender reputation

Intro

Being an email marketer, your ROI depends on your emails reaching your intended audience. This will not happen when you have a bad email sender reputation.

 

Email sender reputation

Email sender reputation is a score based on either your mail server’s domain name or its IP address. It is usually calculated by ISPs to determine if they should allow your emails to reach their users. Like a person’s reputation, the better your email sender reputation, the higher the probability that your emails will reach your audience.

 

Some factors affecting your reputation

The exact formula for calculating your reputation is not publicized by the ISPs but there are some factors that will have a big impact on your reputation. They are broken down into the below:

 

New IP address or new domain: When you have just acquired a new mail server or just changed hosting, your IP address will not be known to the ISPs. If you try to send out a large number of emails without first performing IP warming, you’ll trigger the ISPs’ spam detection algorithm. The same goes for a new email domain.

Solution: Perform IP warming. Learn more about IP warming.

 

Shared IP address: If you use the free tier or a cheaper paid plan from an Email Service Provider (ESP), you could end up sharing the same mail server IP address as many other users of that service. Some of these users could be spammers which will taint the IP address you are using.

Solution: Consider upgrading your plan to include a dedicated IP address. This means you and only you will have any effect on the reputation of that dedicated IP address.

 

Email bounce rate: It is advisable to send your email marketing content via an ESP. Some have a free tier for users with small mailing lists. But the most important part is that they keep track of your bounce rate. If you have a high email bounce rate, your reputation will suffer and ISPs will be less likely to let your emails through.

Solution:  When an email bounce, you must unsubscribe that email address from your list. A better solution is to screen your mailing list before sending using MailboxValidator bulk validation to remove invalid or stale emails.

 

Spam complaint rate: ESPs are also great for checking your spam complaint rate. A high rate means your mailing list recipients are treating you as a spammer.

Solution: Assuming you are not a spammer, you will need to take a good look at your email content. If it’s too generic, it may lose its relevance with your audience and get your email marked as spam. Personalize your email content with the recipient’s name and tailor your content based on their interests. It also helps to have a highly visible link for your readers to click in the email if they wish to unsubscribe from your mailings.

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