How to Restore your Email Reputation: 3 Tips for a Deliverability Crisis

11 June 2019 - Sharon Beilis

Your deliverability rate refers to the number of emails that are actually making their way past spam filters and into your subscribers inboxes. If that number is down, then it’s likely that your profits are too. Not only that, but the time & effort you’re plowing into your communications is being wasted.

Achieving great deliverability rates isn’t a one stop shop or a quick route to the top – think of it more like a marathon, rather than a sprint. Building a great delivery reputation takes time and effort, focused around priming your IP address, creating a calendar of consistent sends with great engaging content and practicing great data hygiene.

But, aside from those fundamentals that you’re of course already living by, if your deliverability all of sudden falls off the edge of a cliff – what can you do to pull it back?

Our three tips of what to do in a deliverability crisis will help you out. Take a look:


1. Have a mass data clean-up

When you see your delivery rates take a plummet, the first place to look is at your data lists.

Take some time to look at your stats and to purge any data that’s suddenly returning bounces. Having high hard bounce rates in particular is something that will get you noticed from the ISPs, and we all know that’s not the kind of attention you’re looking for!

It’s also vitally important to remember the rule at this point – quality over quantity. Just because your list size will decreases considerably is not a reason to hold on to bad data. Delete what you need to delete for the sake of your email channel success. Particularly if you run a lot of competition, these can often be honey pots for spam addresses of users who are after multiple entries, so keep this in mind.

After your clean-up, validate your remaining data for typos, mis-spells and other common errors to complete your overhaul, and your list should be as good as new.


2. Check Blacklists

The next place to look once your data is cleaned-up? Blacklists.

An email blacklist is a list of email addresses or domains that are blocked from sending emails. Sudden drops in delivery or sender reputation are more commonly down to blacklists than you may think. If you find yourself on a blacklist, even if you’re unsure as to why, it’s really important to be quick and proactive in dealing with the issue. Take the noted steps depending upon the list you’re on to contact the ISP, and to make an application to be removed.  

See more from our friends at Sendgrid here and also from us at Ongage with a recording from a webinar with EmailOversight providing tips on how to deal with blacklists.


3. Start segmenting

You may already segment your email sends to a degree, but now’s the time to start segmenting even further.

Firstly, the heightened personalization and better engagement rates which comes from hyper-targeting in this way will demonstrate to the ISPs that your engaged recipients see your communications as of a high quality. Secondly, throttling your sending activity across smaller audience segments will help to re-warm your IP address and slowly build-back your sender reputation. It takes time and effort to do things this way, but you’ll be grateful in the long run.

Frequency is also key here. Now is not the time to erratically send or take a steep jump in the number of emails you’re putting out. Stick closely to your regular sending schedule and trust in the process to see success.


To summarize

Email is a great channel, but it takes time and attention to prosper.

Great delivery really is down to great email marketing. That means collecting data cleanly and organically, cleansing it often and of course, sending fantastic and engaging emails.

Great email best practice and tip-top data hygiene, teamed with our three top tips for when you’re in a pickle, will have you back to tip-top delivery condition in no time at all.



More from us

Get more email marketing knowledge and tips over on the Ongage blog which includes tips on:

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