Email sender reputation: what is it and why is it needed

The reputation of the sender is one of the indicators that affects where the letter will end up – in spam or inbox. This indicator changes with each mailing. For example, when you set up a mailing list according to all the rules, the rating remains positive. If a mistake is made in the next mailing, then the reputation may immediately fall.

In this article, we will understand how sender reputation works, how to raise it, and why it is so important.

What is sender reputation?

As we have already found out, the reputation of the sender determines where the letter will go. It is calculated by your email service provider and represents the likelihood that you are sending spam or other unsolicited messages. Providers rely on these indicators and determine where the letter will be sent in the user’s mailbox, whether it will be blocked.

Let’s take a simpler example from life. For example, you regularly send letters to another city through one private company. When you entered it, your reputation was neutral. After a few parcels it became positive, and at one point it completely fell due to the fact that you were rude to your superiors. After that, it stopped sending your emails because your reputation is at zero.

In reality, of course, it is unlikely that the same Russian Post will stop sending your letters, but if we draw a parallel with email newsletters, then everything looks as described above.

Sender reputation types

Reputation is usually divided into two types – IP reputation and domain reputation. Let’s take a look at each type and see how they differ from each other.

IP reputation

The rating of an IP address is determined by several factors:

  • the number of emails sent from one IP address;

  • content quality;

  • the level of engagement of email recipients;

  • the number of recipient complaints;

  • the number of emails caught in spam traps or sent to non-existent addresses.

These factors determine the reputation of an IP address. If the reputation becomes bad, then mail services begin to block outgoing letters.

To find out from which address you send letters, use the special service . After that, you can determine how good or bad your reputation is among email providers.

You can find out the IP rating through the SenderScore service – just enter the address and provide contact information. The score is expressed in numbers from 1 to 100, and the higher it is, the better the reputation.

If you see your IP in the list of unwanted addresses, this may be due to the following factors:

  • Email addresses with spelling errors. When a user enters their address with an error, you get an inactive subscriber, and the reputation in this case drops. To avoid all this, make a double confirmation of the subscription (for example, first on the site, and then in a special letter).

  • Newsletter on the purchased base. In most cases, black methods play badly on reputation. This is primarily due to the fact that the subscribers to whom the letters are sent do not know about you, so they will regularly send messages to spam. In addition, if you have dramatically increased your customer base, then this may be a wake-up call for email providers.

  • Base with inactive subscribers. Subscribers are not eternal – once they liked your product, but today they have forgotten about you, the product has become uninteresting to them, and all your letters go to spam. To avoid the bad influence of the old audience, it is necessary to regularly clear the base of inactive subscribers.

  • Bad content. It seems trite, but it’s better to double-check what emails you’re sending. Perhaps for your target audience there is nothing significant in them. Also, mail providers do not like emails with broken links and perceive them as spam.

  • No mailing plan. Keep track of how often you send emails – if these are daily mailings, then the ISP may consider the messages as spam, and your reputation will suffer. It is important to work out a mailing plan, since even a rare sending of letters leads to bad consequences – subscribers forget about you and start sending letters to spam.

  • Spam traps in the database of addresses. Such addresses can provide you with a blacklist, so you should regularly monitor your database. If invalid addresses appear in it, then immediately clear them.

How to improve reputation?

If, nevertheless, your reputation has fallen, then the first thing to do is stop sending emails from your IP address. Without it, you will only continue to worsen your already bad reputation.

After that, follow the recommendations:

  • check the content of sent messages and make sure that the letters do not look like spam;

  • make sure that only real people are among the recipients;

  • check that letters from your server were not sent too quickly – no more than 5000 per minute.

Domain reputation

This is the reputation of your sending domain or domains. The sending domain is the part of your email address after the @ symbol. For example, @mail.ru – here the domain will be mail.ru.

The reputation of a domain is closely related to the reputation of an IP address, which we talked about above. If the reputation of your IP is at a high level, and the domain is not trusted, then this is a reason to send your letters to spam.

Here are some examples:

  • IP reputation is tied to a specific server from which you send mailings;

  • domain reputation is unique to your domain name, regardless of IP address;

  • IP reputation can help or hurt a domain’s reputation – if you start sending mailings from a server with a low IP reputation, you risk lowering your domain’s reputation as well;

  • ISPs consider IP and domain reputation as separate values.

How to improve reputation?

The first is to set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication . It helps to ensure that the author of the mailing is identified, and therefore, to protect recipients and respectable senders from spammers and scammers. Therefore, all mailings without such settings receive a deliberately low reputation.

Second, make sure that the subscription forms are understandable to the recipients. If users do not know why they subscribe, then most likely all your messages will go to spam.

Also check the letter for the ratio of text to pictures. If it contains one large image and little text, the provider may consider such an email as spam.

And the obligatory action is to regularly clear the base of subscribers who do not interact with you in any way.

How else to improve your reputation

Email providers benefit from reducing spam, so they try to help senders monitor and improve their reputation. To do this, the most popular of them – Mail.ru, Gmail and Yandex – have special services. By registering there, you will be able to track detailed statistics on email deliverability.

Registration in such services automatically adds a few points to the reputation.

Postmaster Mail.ru

Main characteristics:

  • Reputation – The average percentage of complaints over the past 30 days. The lower it is, the higher the reputation.

  • The trend is the change in the percentage of complaints in the last 7 days in relation to the percentage in 30 days. This indicator indicates a change in reputation: a red arrow is a sign that you should carefully analyze the latest mailings.

Mail.ru has reputation limits, exceeding which can lead to being blacklisted by the service. The percentage depends on the number of emails sent:

  • less than 10,000 – 1.4%;

  • less than 500,000 – 1.3%;

  • less than 10,000,000 – 1.1%;

  • less than 50,000,000 – 0.7%;

  • over 50,000,000 – 0.4%.

Postmaster Gmail

Google shares IP and domain reputation. You can immediately understand where problems arose when one of the indicators decreases. The downside is that only those users who send at least 200-500 emails a day can see the statistics.

Basic sender rules

In order not to be blacklisted by email providers, avoid the mistakes from the list:

  1. Do not send emails to anyone other than subscribers. And preferably with double-opt-in (two-stage subscription). Although this is more difficult, but this way you will get a better base, and as a result there will be more discoveries and transitions.

  2. Don’t mail out old lists. Such subscribers most likely forgot about you, so they will send new letters from you to spam.

  3. Don’t let the base get clogged. Clear the list of incorrect addresses. Unsubscribe those who send you to spam, and transfer those who do not open for a long time to separate lists and reactivate.

  4. Do not take long breaks between mailings, especially if you have sent letters regularly before. Providers track the number of emails sent.

  5. Do not change the content of emails drastically. Focus only on your target audience and send them the content that they require.

  6. Don’t hide the unsubscribe button. Let uninterested users unsubscribe in one click. Otherwise, they will complain and spoil your rating.

  7. Do not send only promotional emails. Users will be loyal to your letters only if they receive useful content.

  8. Don’t turn the letter into a picture. Practice confirms that if the letter contains less than 500 characters, then it is very likely to fall into spam.

  9. Don’t send popular email templates. These letters may have been sent to other bases and received a poor response. By making such a mailing list, you will harm your reputation.

Conclusion

The rating of the sender of the letter is the most important indicator that allows you to be sure that the letter will reach the addressee and he will read it. If the reputation is bad, then most emails will end up in spam , and you will lose your customer base. With a good reputation, getting into spam can be completely forgotten.

You can build your reputation with the help of small newsletters for regular customers. The best way to do this is through Cheapsender , a service that is perfect for gradually increasing the volume of mailings.

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