Boosting Email Reputation: A Guide

Oct 09 2017

To make an impact with your user, you have to make it into their inbox. Not their spam folder or their separated bulk email folder, their inbox. You can imagine that this isn’t something an email just stumbles into. The success of any campaign is reliant upon a domain’s email reputation. A poor reputation will doom you to the spam folder, but a good reputation along with a well-planned, creative campaign? Now that’s what email marketing dreams are made of. But boosting email reputation is not a simple task, and to do it effectively, you’re going to need some help from the experts. Luckily, that’s what we’re here for.

What is Email Reputation?

Email reputation is a measurement used by email service providers (ESPs) to decide the validity of a domain and determine if emails from said domain should be forwarded to their users. Also referred to as a sender score, email reputation is decided by a number of factors, all that involve the actions of a domain and the users the domain sends to. Some of the most influential aspects of email reputation are the age of a domain, hard bounce rate, and spam complaints. So to help boost email reputation, we’re going to take a look at these three important factors.

Domain Age:

A new domain is automatically considered suspicious. Just like your reputation in day to day life, it takes a while to build. So, if you have a new domain, go in expecting ESPs to view you suspiciously and act accordingly. What does that mean? Essentially, it means don’t dive head first into an email campaign. Sending an abundance of emails from a new domain sends off warning signs to ESPs that you are a dangerous sender. Instead, try IP warming and easing into an email marketing campaign. Generally, you won’t be seen as a safe IP until the IP has existed for 2 to 3 weeks.

Hard Bounce Rate:

A hard bounce happens when an email is sent to an address that doesn’t exist. The email is immediately rejected because the address isn’t real, hence the hard bounce. This negatively effects your email reputation because it signals risky sending habits. A domain that is neglectful enough to send to non-existent emails, is also likely to send out dangerous content and endanger users. The user is an ESPs’ top priority, so endangering them will put your reputation at risk.

To boost email reputation, you need to avoid hard bounces. Thankfully, this is very simple. An email verification service verifies all emails on a list. Verifying that an email is active and in use assures that hard bounces will not occur. Simply by implementing this service, you’re saving yourself from one of the biggest pitfalls of email marketing, and sky rocketing your email reputation.

Spam Complaints:

When a company prioritizes their users, they listen to the users. That’s why spam complaints are such a pivotal part of email reputation. A high volume of spam complaints will totally tank a sender reputation. Aside from tanking your sender reputation, being sent to spam ruins your relationship with the user and damages your brand image. To avoid these detrimental complaints, there are a few thigs to keep in mind.

First, make sure your email list is opt in only. Few things will send you to spam quicker than emailing users without asking their permission. Then, avoid spam words in your subject line. Phrases like “Act now!” or “Cash Bonus!” signal to both the user and the ESP that the email is potentially spam. Having these words in your message increase the chance of being sent to spam. Lastly, and most importantly, make it easy to unsubscribe. If your unsubscribe button is difficult to find or the process is long and tedious, the user is more likely to simply send you to spam and ruin your sender score.

Paying attention to these three factors will get your email marketing campaign off to the right start, boosting email reputation, and increasing sales.

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