How to check your email sender reputation

Your email campaigns’ effectiveness heavily depends on the sender reputation of your emails. It determines whether your emails are opened by the intended recipients or are filtered as spam. Businesses that use email as a communication and marketing tool must monitor and maintain a positive sender reputation. We will discuss the idea of email sender reputation in this article and offer helpful tips on monitoring and improving it.

What is email sender reputation?

The term ’email sender reputation’ describes how internet service providers (ISPs) and email service providers (ESPs) like Yahoo and Gmail rate a sender’s credibility and dependability. It serves as a gauge for the sender’s email-sending habits and the caliber of their email content. With a good reputation, your emails will be sent to recipients’ inboxes instead of being marked as spam or completely blocked.

Several factors contribute to an email sender’s reputation. These factors include:

  • IP reputation: The reputation of the IP address from which you send your emails.
  • Domain reputation: The domain’s reputation used in your email addresses and links.
  • Email engagement: The level of recipient engagement with your emails, such as opening, clicking, and replying.
  • Complaint rate: The number of spam complaints received for your emails.
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of emails that fail to reach the intended recipients.

How to check your sender reputation?

Various tools are available to monitor your email sender reputation, providing valuable insights into your sender score and reputation. These tools analyze different aspects of your email-sending practices and provide actionable recommendations for improvement.

  • Google Postmaster helps you to monitor emails sent to the Gmail domain and gives you insights into how Google sees your sending domain.
  • Talos IP and Domain Reputation Center provides real-time threat detection and reputation scores based on data drawn from millions of deployed web, email, firewall and IPS appliances.

Monitoring your sender reputation is not a one-time task but an ongoing process. Regular check-ups enable you to identify and resolve any issues promptly. Moreover, it allows you to track the impact of your efforts to improve your sender reputation score.

Tips for improving your email sender reputation

  • Build and maintain a clean email list: Always obtain consent for email marketing. When gathering email opt-ins, ensure that your data sources (webforms) produce valid subscriptions in the first place using a double opt-in process and a tool like reCAPTCHA which helps to stop bots and other automated attacks while approving valid users. Regularly cleanse your data by validating your lists and remove invalid or inactive email addresses. High bounce rates will negatively affect your sender reputation.
  • Avoid spam traps: Good list hygiene helps you to avoid spam traps, which are email addresses that look like regular email addresses, but which are specifically designed to identify deceptive email senders. If you inadvertently send emails to spam traps, it can significantly damage your sender’s reputation and result in lower deliverability rates.
  • Authenticate your emails: Implement authentication protocols like SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) to verify the authenticity of your emails. This helps in building trust with ISPs.
  • Segment your email lists: Targeted email campaigns to engaged recipients yield better results and reduce the chances of your emails being marked as spam.
  • Use domain warm up best practice: When starting to send from a new domain it is crucial that you slowly increase the volumes, concentrating on sending to highly engaged recipients, then to people recently active, and then to the rest of your email list. This helps to quickly win the confidence of ISPs that you are a valid, reputable sender. Our ‘getting started with email’ documentation is valuable resource with plenty of practical advice.
  • Send engaging and relevant content: Create valuable, personalized emails that resonate with your recipients. Interesting, relevant, and useful content increases open rates and reduces the chances of your emails being marked as spam.
  • Monitor blocklists: Stay vigilant about your presence on email blocklists. If you find yourself on a blacklist, immediately address the underlying issue and request delisting.In most cases, senders receive indications when their emails are being blocked. ISPs or ESPs may send bounce notifications or provide feedback loops to alert senders about blocked emails. Additionally, monitoring your sender reputation regularly helps you identify potential blocking issues.

In conclusion, monitoring and maintaining a good email sender reputation is critical for successful email deliverability. By understanding the factors that influence sender reputation, regularly checking your reputation score, and following best practices, you can ensure that your emails reach the intended recipients’ inboxes. Protecting and improving your sender reputation enhances your email marketing efforts and strengthens your customer communication strategy.

Remember, email sender reputation is not a one-time task but an ongoing commitment. By dedicating time and effort to monitor and improve your reputation, you can maximize the impact of your email campaigns and establish trust with your recipients.

Email sender FAQs

1. Why is email sender reputation important?

Email sender reputation determines whether your emails reach the recipients’ inboxes or end up in spam folders. Maintaining a positive reputation ensures successful email deliverability and higher engagement rates.

2. How often should I check my email sender reputation?

Regularly monitoring your sender reputation is recommended. A monthly or quarterly review is a good starting point, but adjust the frequency based on your email sending volume and engagement rates.

3. Can email sender software improve my reputation score?

Email sender software usually provides valuable insights and recommendations to improve your sender reputation. Following the software’s recommendations and implementing best practices can positively impact your reputation score.

4. What should I do if my emails are being blocked?

Your first step should be to analyze the block error messages, for example:

“451 Content looks spammy, number of connections limited”.

You can then directly address the cause and focus on improving your sender reputation by addressing complaints, reducing bounce rates, and following the best practices for email marketing that we have decribed.

5. How can I prevent my emails from being marked as fake senders?

It is strongly recommended to adopt DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) which is a free and open email authentication protocol that is designed to give email domain owners the ability to protect their domain from unauthorized use and spoofing attacks.

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Aug 8th, 2023
5 min read