Email reputation is one of the most important scores for an email marketer.  The easiest way to think of it is as the credit score for your company’s email marketing — the higher your score, the more likely you’ll be rewarded by having your email delivered to the inboxes of your target audience.  However, if you’re score is lower, you’ll be more likely to land in the spam folder or possibly, find your company blacklisted.

Monitoring your company’s email reputation is critical.  Let’s dive into what it is exactly and how to do it successfully.

What Is Email Reputation

Email reputation is how ISPs and ESPs decipher who is a trustworthy email sender and who is a spammer.  Whether or not you have a good or bad sending reputation can greatly affect whether or not your emails are successfully delivered.

Your email sending reputation is tied to the domain you are sending your emails from, typically your company’s URL or domain.  As a result, your sending reputation will follow your company, no matter what email platform you move to or use for sending your emails and newsletters to your target audience.  Ensuring your marketing success means you must make the effort to protect your email reputation.

ISPs review multiple factors of your email marketing activities including the following:

  • Subscriber complaints or user-generated spam report
  • The volume of hard bounces
  • Email spam scoring
  • Spam trap engagement
  • Your company’s domain reputation
  • Your company’s overall email history

 

What Causes a Bad Email Reputation

As we touched on above, your email reputation is a cumulative score made up of several variables.  Some of the most common contributing factors include high bounce rates, low open rates, and high spam complaints from users.  If you have an exceedingly low score, you can find yourself on a blacklist.

There are a number of blacklists in the industry, including SpamCop, Spamhaus, SURBL and Barracuda Reputation Block List.  The criteria each blacklist company uses for accepting inbound email varies based on their own company determined standards. However, all of them can have a long-term damaging effect on your delivery rate.

Understanding that every decision you make when it comes to data sources, email list quality, subject lines, and content can have ramifications, both positive and negative, on your email reputation, so staying vigilant is imperative.

 

How to Protect Your Email Reputation

One of the best ways to protect your email reputation is to ensure you’re using permission-based email lists and not purchased lists.  While it might sound tempting, never purchase an email list from any vendor.  Also, as part of your marketing roadmap, include a task, either monthly or quarterly, to clean your email lists.

You should manage your company’s bounce and spam rates as well.  If too many emails bounce or a large number of users mark your emails as spam (i.e. complain about you), then your sender reputation will take a hit.

When it comes to frequency, control your desire to spam your audience.  Create a marketing schedule and stick to it — try and avoid emailing your customers multiple times a week.  You want them to look forward to your emails, not dread them.

Reputation management is something we take seriously.  Check out some of our other posts on the subject for more details and tips on how to protect your company’s email reputation:

Looking for more details?  Check out our series on how to Spam Proof Your Email Marketing Campaigns for more information and tips on how to create marketing emails that will grow your business and check out MailMonitor’s reputation management tools.

Want to see how MailMonitor can help you protect your email reputation?  Contact us and request a demo!

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