Every business, whether online or offline, needs a good reputation to survive and thrive.
Keeping a spotless reputation is a challenge and at times may not be possible but constant work towards maintaining and improving it will keep your audience with you.
Why Is It Important to Protect the Sender Reputation?
Sender reputation holds an important place in email marketing as it is a crucial part of email deliverability. It determines whether your email should be allowed to enter the inbox of the user or not. It is a score that an ISP (Internet Service Protocol) assigns to a company/organization that sends emails. A high score increases the possibility of an email getting delivered to the inbox of the recipient. The IPS may end up sending the messages to the spam folder of the recipient or may reject it outrightly if the score falls below a certain threshold.
Knowing how significant email sender reputation can be for your brand, using the service of an email verifier is highly recommended which can help you clean the email lists ensuring all the invalid, inactive disposables, catch-alls, etc are removed.
Factors that influence the sender reputation:
- Email Volume and Frequency – The frequency of campaigns sent out by a company and the volume of emails in each campaign matters in determining the sender’s reputation. For example, if your IP address is new the sender reputation is considered low. Sending a massive amount of emails from that IP address may look suspicious to ISP (internet service providers) which increases the possibility of getting blacklisted.
- Email Bounce rate – The bounces can be either hard bounce or soft bounce. Soft bounces are temporary issues that do not damage the sender’s reputation but hard bounces indicate the presence of fake email addresses in the email list influencing the sender’s reputation in the wrong way. Using an email verifier to clean email lists before sending out the campaigns is one way to avoid hard bounce
- Spam Traps – Spam trap is a honeypot not created for communication but rather to lure spams. They look like a real email address but do not belong to a real person. A mailing list with spam trap addresses indicates non-usage of double opt-in strategy which is considered a law violation by the ESPs. In most cases, the ESps blacklist such users.
- Spam Complaint rate & Unsubscribe rate – A high volume of recipients marking your email as spam results in the flagging of your domain. Similarly, a growing number of unsubscribed users show the irrelevancy of email campaigns or the frequency irritates the audience.
Best Practices to Protect Sender Reputation?
It is crucial to follow certain practices to build, maintain, and grow the sender’s reputation as high as possible.
- Verify your mailing list – Verify your email list regularly by using a highly accurate email verification tool. This way all the spam traps, invalid, outdated emails, and addresses with typos will be removed. Ultimately resulting in higher email deliverability and improved sender reputation.
- Remove inactive subscribers – Removing invalid email addresses is one thing, but removing inactive subscribers is another thing that plays an equally important role to maintain a sender reputation. Keep monitoring on how subscribers react to emails. If there are recipients who haven’t opened your emails for an extended period of time either send them a reactivation email otherwise cut them loose.
- Use double opt-in – Double opt-in involves sending an activation link after registration to establish the genuineness of a user. Also, it will ensure that they are interested in receiving email messages from you.
- Warm-up your IP – A new IP has a low sender reputation and is termed ‘cold’ as its credibility is not established. Avoid sending bulk emails in the initial stages and go for slow and gradual warming up of the IP address. Maintain the quality and relevance of the email marketing campaigns while doing so.
- Monitor email delivery – Pay close attention to your email delivery rates by tracking the bounce rates as well as response rates. Regular monitoring will help you catch potential failures in advance.
- Pay attention to bounce codes – Not just hard bounce, soft bounce can be equally dangerous if the reason for the bounce has not been detected. A hard bounce indicates a clear defect but a soft bounce can be for multiple reasons so it’s important to look at the accompanying bounce code to determine how to handle that address.
- Allow setting preferences – For the best results create personalized emails allowing your audience to set their preferences towards the frequency and types of emails.
- Create valuable content – Valuable content is the essence of email marketing. Provide users with valuable content to generate their interest and keep a steady open rate.
- Avoid purchasing an email list – A purchased email list full of risks as you cannot trust the quality of the list, you may come across as a spammer and your sender reputation might end up hitting the ground.