Key to Successful Email Marketing (Pt. 5): Improve Your Sender Reputation

key to successful email marketing - improve your sender reputation - mailmonitor

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As you already know, email marketing is still an extremely effective way to reach out to your

customers in the digital world. A report from Radicati, a technology market research firm, found that the number of worldwide email users continues to grow at a healthy pace.

Even when email usage continues to increase, your email marketing campaigns won’t give you the best possible returns if your emails can’t reach their intended destinations.

Sender reputation plays a vital role in email deliverability, which is why it’s important to focus on maintaining good standing.

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What Is Sender Reputation?

The email sender reputation, more simply called sender reputation, is a score assigned by an internet service provider (ISP) to a person or organization that sends an email. This score is an important component of a user’s email deliverability.

A higher email reputation score means that the ISP will be more favorable in accepting the sender’s emails and ensure that they arrive successfully in the inboxes of their recipients.

A low score could mean the ISP sending messages directly to spam folders or even rejecting them straight away.

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Does Sender Reputation Affect Email Deliverability?

If your email reputation is poor, you can seriously cause problems for your email marketing campaigns. Being marked as spam could easily result in low performance, and you might even have your domain blacklisted if it happens often.

Your mail reputation score is always connected to the email domain you are using. Your score builds up over time as it records how well or poorly the messages you’ve sent have performed. You might have an excellent sender history, but just a few mismanaged campaigns can bring it down quickly.

The good news is that it’s possible to repair bad email sender reputation, but it will take time and hard work to bring it back.

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How To Check Your Sender Score

As hinted above, even email senders with high reputation scores can still have problems landing their emails. That’s why it’s important to constantly keep track of the performance of your email marketing campaigns regularly. As soon as unusual activity or strange trends occur, you should look into it immediately.

MailMonitor can provide you with a suite of solutions that can help you manage sender reputation and ensure you stay off of email blacklists. The suite can also provide the following:

●     IP warm-up

●     Proactive email setup and monitoring

●     Deliverability audit

●     Whitelisting and removal from blacklists

●     Building and repairing sender reputation

Besides the tools available from MailMonitor, you should also use TrustedSource and Barracuda Central to check email sender reputation scores. These two platforms provide users with added information regarding their web reputation. They also give details on your domain name system (DNS), mail server, and affiliations.

When you use these two quick lookup systems together with the MailMonitor suite, you will have a great set of tools ready to protect and maintain your email marketing strategies.

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How ISPs Determine Your Reputation Score

There are several factors ISPs consider when determining email sender scores. These include:

●     The number of emails sent by the user

●     The number of times the emails of a user have been reported as spam or other complaints

●     How often do the emails of the user trigger ISP spam traps

●     If the user has been included in email blacklists

●     The number of times the user’s emails have bounced due to sending messages to inactive email addresses

●     The number of opens, replies, forwards, deletes, and clicks the emails of the sender get from recipients

●     The number of recipients who unsubscribe from the sender’s email list

Every ISP selects what factors they want to include and how heavily they wish to weigh them to calculate sender reputation. One sender can have different reputation scores for different providers. For senders that have several domain names and use them to send emails, each domain will have their own respective scores.

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Tips To Improve and Maintain Your Sender Reputation

Your reputation as an email sender is tied directly to the engagement your messages get from recipients. Positive engagements increase your score while negative engagements result in the opposite.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach in addressing email reputation as it requires a comprehensive and holistic email marketing strategy.

However, these five tips can be used as an ideal starting point when you want to improve and maintain your mail reputation.

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1. Maintain a Quality Marketing Database

One of the biggest factors that can help get your messages to your subscribers’ inboxes is to have a clean list. Unengaged subscribers can easily lower the opens and clicks of your emails.

Email service providers keep track of your engagement metrics to assess your sending quality. Continuously sending emails to contacts that are no longer interested in interacting with your messages will only damage your reputation in the long run.

To build an ideal marketing database, you want to make sure that you are compiling a list of contacts who want to receive your emails. Besides that, you might also have to comply with privacy laws depending on your geographical location. Using a double opt-in with a clear unsubscribe process is also recommended.

You may also use engagement scoring, so you can identify contacts that are engaging actively with your messages. This will let you identify users that may not be compatible with your current marketing approach, allowing you to reach them in a different way.

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2. Give Them Excellent Content at the Right Time

When your contacts are more engaged, your emails have a better chance of reaching their inboxes. It’s best to leverage personalization so that you can customize your marketing emails. This should also help develop your ability to reach certain users at important stages of their journey.

As you write your emails, you want to stay away from potential spam filters while ensuring that your emails stay engaging. Here are some tips to help you out:

●     Avoid using all caps, too many exclamation marks, links to shady websites, and emails with missing unsubscribe buttons

●     Make sure your text-to-image ratio is 60/40

●     Keep your emails simple and avoid unnecessary formatting

●     Send messages from a personal account

You want your emails to engage readers, so it’s important to consider what would capture their attention and then optimize that way. You should also write as if you are having a casual conversation with your recipients and make sure you have a strong call-to-action at the end.

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3. Optimize Your Emails for Maximum Deliverability

If you plan to email a big batch in your mailing list, you would do well to send your messages based on engagement level. This means you’ll be sending emails to your most engaged contacts first to increase the chances that your messages will reach their inboxes.

It’s also possible to suppress certain contacts — particularly those in high-touch stages of the customer lifecycle — from receiving emails that are less important. This helps ensure that you aren’t overwhelming them and that they only receive the most relevant messages from you.

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4. Practice Good Email Sending Practices

Your email sender reputation is affected by your domain — including the IP address you use to send messages. If colleagues in your marketing team are also using the sending domain but not following the best practices, this can impact the email deliverability of everyone who uses the network.

That’s why it’s essential that everyone involved in email marketing is aligned in using and following the best practices when sending an email. Doing so can help you avoid being flagged for spam or blacklisted whenever an ISP does a sender score check on your domain.

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5. Build Your Own Email Lists

Did you know that there are platforms today that sell email lists so that marketers can save time and effort in getting their own contacts? Although this may sound easy, the best practice to follow is always to build your own email lists from scratch.

The main reason for this is because buying email lists will put you in direct violation of the anti-spam laws such as the one provided by the CAN-SPAM Act.

Additionally, purchasing email lists can be a sure way to land into a spam trap. This is because most providers that sell email addresses get these accounts without getting confirmation from their users.

Upon sending an email to these email addresses, you can trigger spam filters and put your email reputation at risk of being flagged as spam or even blacklisted.

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6. Use Double Opt-in Emails

One of the best methods that you should keep in your email marketing arsenal is to use the double opt-in option. This means that you’re explicitly asking permission from your recipients before you send emails.

In a double opt-in, your recipients will need to click on a link in your email to confirm that they are interested in hearing from you. This option helps in building a good quality email list, especially because it is made up of individuals who are engaged with your brand.

When your email marketing campaign has a quality mailing list, you have a better chance of driving quality prospects than following the standard approach. It also ensures high email deliverability for you as a sender.

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7. Send Targeted and Highly Relevant Content

Once you’ve asked your recipients to opt-in to your content, you should also ensure that your emails in the future are useful, targeted, and relevant to their needs. Failing all of these can result in your messages sounding spammy and annoying.

Just because these users opted-in to your email list doesn’t mean that you can send them whatever content you want. Your recipients can still send complaints and even mark your emails as spam if they are irrelevant to them.

To remedy this issue, you should implement segmentation in your email marketing campaigns. The segmentation that you do will be based on your specific marketing goals and the information you currently have of your contacts.

With segmentation, you can readily put out content that is targeted and relevant to your recipients. Doing this right can result in improved open rates and clicks.

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8. Ask Your Contacts to Whitelist Your Account

When you are blacklisted by an internet service provider, your mail reputation will significantly decline. This is especially true since these providers will also share data about your account being blacklisted to others in their network.

Being blacklisted means that your emails have triggered spam filters or aren’t reaching their intended inboxes. No email marketer can afford to be placed on any blacklist.

On the other hand, being whitelisted has the opposite effect. Being added to a whitelist has proven to help users improve their email sender reputation score.

You can achieve this by including a request in your welcome email to have your account whitelisted. Make sure that you ask your subscribers politely so that you have a better chance of being accepted.

Just to be sure, you can add subtle hints in your following emails to remind users to whitelist your account in case they haven’t done so yet.

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9. Send When the Time Is Right

Timing is everything when you’re doing email marketing. Creating highly relevant and targeted content isn’t enough when you can’t reach your target audience at the right time.

With more than 300 billion emails sent each day, you want your emails to arrive at the inboxes of your recipients at the time they will most likely engage. Experts suggest sending out emails between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM.

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10. Remarket to Your Disengaged Subscribers

A lack of user engagement often results in a negative sender reputation. One major indication that your emails lack engagement is when you notice your open rates beginning to decline.

Any good email marketer would want to remarket to disengaged subscribers to hopefully bring them back in the fold.

With a re-engagement email campaign, you can help determine which subscribers would still want to receive content from you while filtering out those who are no longer interested. You can do this by sending more targeted content to your recipients.

There are many tools you can use, such as our suite at MailMonitor, to improve your customer engagement and maintain ongoing communication with them across various touchpoints.

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A Distinguished Reputation Ensures a High Deliverability

Your email reputation score is a way to measure how well you follow the best practices in sending emails. Knowing your email sender score can help you identify which areas of your email marketing campaign needs improvement to get the results you want.

However, your sender score isn’t the only aspect you should consider to ensure excellent email deliverability. There are also other elements that play a vital role in email reputation health. This is the reason why you should look at the overall wellness of your email strategy instead of just focusing on one area.

Following the tips provided in this guide should help you get a good head start in increasing your sender reputation score.

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Keep a Prominent Sender Reputation with MailMonitor

It’s safe to say that keeping an eye on email sender reputation is essential if you want to ensure high email deliverability. However, it’s also equally important to prioritize other factors such as understanding your recipients and providing them with relevant content.

With our services you will get to know how your clients interact with your campaigns, do email testing before sending them, secure your reputation with email authentication and many more features that will help you improve your email deliverability and make the most out of your marketing efforts.

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With our especialiazed email monitoring tools you can make sure you deliver the most relevant content to your clients and improve your sender reputation.

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