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    What is sender’s reputation and how to save it



    You've spent time building a targeted mailing list. Your creative team writes great email newsletters. But there is a problem with the deliverability of your email. The reason can be in an invalid contact database. That’s why you have to improve your email lists management.

    When you send out an email campaign, the mailbox providers run an initial set of validation checks.

    This is called an email reputation check.

    What factors determine the reputation of the sender


    And they are a bit like email credit checks, which are influenced by:

    • Domain or IP blacklisted;

    • Frequency of bulk mailings;

    • Customized email authentication;

    • Content;

    • Spam mailing and recipient complaints;

    • Open rate (the number of deleted emails that the recipient has not read);

    • Number of clicks on links;

    • The number of invalid contacts and spam traps in the database;

    • Quality ESP (Email Service Provider) ー mass mailing programs;

    • Feedback from the reader.



    Today we will figure out what a sender's reputation is, how to define and improve it.

    Sender reputation is the rating that email providers use to rate the quality of a campaign. It depends on this assessment whether the emails will get to the "Inbox" or to the "Spam".

    Usually sender reputation is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100 to give you a sender rating. And the return path sender score has to be as low as it is possible.

    What factors affect on the sender scores


    Each campaign sent affects the sender's reputation. Therefore, the estimate changes regularly. Moreover, the rating does not depend on one indicator, but on many factors. Here are the main sender scores:

    • Configuring SPF and DKIM records. These authentication protocols confirm that the sender has the right to broadcast from a specific domain. SPF and DKIM records help email providers fight phishing and block spam. Configuring authentication protocols increases deliverability.

    • Spam complaints. If subscribers send messages in bulk as spam, email providers can place such mailings in the appropriate folder or block them. Therefore, following spam complaints, there are issues with deliverability and sender reputation

    • Refunds. Hard bounces occur when emails are sent to invalid addresses. Such mailings inform email providers about the likelihood that the database of addresses was purchased or collected by illegal methods. In email marketing, it is extremely important to monitor this indicator and remove invalid addresses in time.

    • Falling into spam traps. Problems with such addresses arise for several reasons, and one of them is the lack of hygiene of the mailing list. To avoid falling into the spam trap and to avoid mailings to invalid addresses, it is important to use a two-step subscription. Also, you should regularly clear the database of inactive subscribers and invalid addresses. Otherwise, the reputation of the sender will get lower with each mailing.

    • Unsubscribing. If subscribers do not read company emails en masse, then they are irrelevant. A high percentage of unsubscribes for email providers serves as a signal that low-quality content is being sent. As a result, the sender's reputation is reduced.

    • Frequency of mailings. If you immediately send a huge number of mailings from a new IP address, you can get into the black list. Email providers are suspicious of this surge in activity. Therefore, it is important to gradually increase the number of letters sent and in the future to do mailings regularly.

    Some factors from this list depend on the correct setup of the technical side of the mailings, others on the quality of the content and the ability to engage subscribers, and still others on the cleanliness of the mailing list. Let's take a closer look at why it is so important to regularly clean up the address database.

    What sender’s ip score is


    IP addresses are unique identifiers for email streams. They can be general or dedicated. With a dedicated IP, you can control your reputation on your own without worrying about fraudulent actions by other senders from a common domain name.

    A high-quality mailing list, compiled through dual subscription or professional tools, is not yet a guarantee of the reliability and authority of your IP (Internet Protocol). This parameter is determined by the quality of the environment in which you send mailings.

    Increasing the authority of your IP score is a top priority. This helps email services rate emails from you as relevant and route them to the inbox, not the spam folder. Therefore, before registering an account on a mail domain, it is advisable to check the IP of the service, and only after that launch email campaigns.

    How to build a good email sender reputation


    Here are the most important factors that you need to implement in order for your reputation to be good:

    • Quality brochures

      It's best to build them from scratch and not even think about buying.

    • Double Opt-In Emails

      With the Double Opt-In option, you can literally ask people for permission before sending emails to them. Recipients will have to click on the link in the body of the activation email to subscribe to the newsletter.

      The list of contacts who have given you permission to receive messages is a guaranteed reliable prospectus of real people who regularly check their mail. Remember, a successful email campaign starts with a quality list of live recipients. Email address reputation depends on that.

    • Domain reputation

      ISPs also monitor domain reputation email quite often. Therefore, it will not be superfluous to configure the authentication of your mail domain in accordance with the standards and applicable laws.

    • White list

      Include a whitelist request in your welcome email. Everything here is like in the app store: you would hardly be evaluating a particular app if you were not given such an opportunity. Alternatively, you can politely ask your followers to add you to their address book.

    • Only targeted and relevant content

      Optimizing and targeting content is much more convenient after segmentation. In this case, you can see the specific needs and interests of your audience. Thanks to this, the number of clicks and the percentage of openings of your emails will increase, and your bad reputation will gradually begin to improve.

    • Accurate timing

      Time is of the essence in email marketing and sales. It is not enough just to have relevant and targeted content: it must also reach the right person at the right time. Millions of emails are sent every day. And if you don't want your messages to get lost in this multitude, you need to know when your audience will be interested in your email bulk sending.

    • Interaction with the audience

      Redefining your engagement mechanisms will help you identify leads who are interested in relevant content and filter out those who are not interested in it. You can achieve this by refining your targeting.

      Also, audience engagement can be increased through tools, new communication paths, and strategies for maintaining constant communication across all touchpoints.

    • Automation

      Finally, one of the most effective ways to improve your reputation is by automating your email campaign. Reliable and multifunctional software today allows you to find target leads, check the mailbox of each subscriber and automate the full distribution cycle - from start to finish.

    Email spam score


    In order not to get into spam when sending emails, use an email verification tool to check email spam score.

    And follow the rules:

    • contact only those who are waiting for your letter;

    • let people unsubscribe;

    • don't go overboard with links, pictures and spammy words;

    • bring value in emails and keep track of statistics.



    Improving email sender reputation is all about improving email deliverability. It is one of the key factors in sales growth and successful email marketing.

    Now you know what to look for in order for your ad campaigns to be successful. Read other articles on our blog for a lot of useful information about email marketing!

    Written by:
    Ira Byvalkevich
    Back to blog
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