How to Build Your Email Sender Reputation

09 April 2019 - Sharon Beilis

Your email marketing reputation score is the measurement of your email sending practices, and how closely you follow the industry standards and regulations established by the ISPs. 

Your email reputation, also known as sender reputation, is an important thing to monitor as it directly affects how many of your emails get through to your recipients. This means how many emails land in your recipients’ inboxes versus how many land in the spam folder or, worse still, bounce back.

 

Our three tips for building a great email reputation

To get you started on the road to building your sender reputation, take a look over our three top tips:

 

1. Take time to warm up your IP address

Warming your IP address is key to establishing a good sender reputation. Because mailbox providers are often suspicious of a new or an unestablished IP address, they can be very easily marked as spam. To avoid this, you should warm-up your IP according to industry best practice, which will help to build a solid sending reputation.

Warm your IP by starting with small-batch emails sends, and gradually increasing the number of emails you send out in one go. This drip-feeds your sends through the ISP filters over a period of time, usually months. As your recipients open and engage with those emails, this will demonstrate to those ISP filters that your sending domain is safe and not spam. Read more in our blog.

 

2. Use clean, double opt-in based data

Cleaning your audience data sets regularly is key for great overall email marketing performance, as well as maintaining a great sender reputation.

Using double opt-in to only permissioned data ensures that spam or incorrect email addresses don’t make their way through to your mailing lists, reducing your bounces and therefore your risk of obtaining a low reputation score.

Furthermore, regularly cleansing your email mailing lists of non-active subscribers or bounced email addresses will also ensure that you don’t continue to send to bad data. This is because these bounces will flag to the ISP filters, therefore being detrimental to your sender reputation score. Using behavioral rules such as ‘didn’t open X number of times’ will ensure you don’t send everything to your least-engaged subscribers, or could be used to help cleanse those recipients out of your lists for maximum data health.

 

3. Master your content 

As well as staying consistent with how many emails you send and when, you should provide your recipients with content that’s relevant to them and the reason they signed up, plus the preference settings they might have provided you with.

Use simple tactics like a branded From Name so that the end receiver knows it’s you sending the email, and then more advanced tools like dynamic content to serve up the most valuable content possible.

You should also be careful with the wording that you use, ensuring you avoid spam words within your email subject lines and content. Spam filters are smart and will track these elements too - take a look at Hubspot’s list of words to avoid!

 

To conclude

Our biggest tip when it comes to sender reputation is to stay patient - building a solid reputation takes time and effort, but the long-term benefits are second to none. With the right authentication, optin-processes, content and a custom warm up plan, you have a real chance to boost your ROI.

To find out more on email deliverability, check out our comprehensive guide!