Getting a better email reputation is very similar to improving your overall brand reputation. The better your reputation, the higher your profits. If we’re talking about brand reputation, the more reputable you are, the more likely people are to buy from you. The same is true if we’re talking about email reputation. The better your email reputation, the higher your deliverability gets. And in turn, the more people get exposed to your offers and end up buying.
What is email reputation exactly?
It’s basically a score showing how your mailing practices fit into filtering criteria set by ESPs and ISPs. Mailbox providers care about delivering a quality user experience. To this end, they use a set of metrics to rank senders by email desirability and decide whether your emails should go to the inbox, junk, or even get blocked.
Different providers use different algorithms to assess your “inbox-worthiness”. These algorithms change often to counteract the ever-evolving nature of spamming attempts.
There are several key metrics that determine your reputation as a sender:
Bounce rate – this is the percentage of messages that couldn’t get delivered. When a message bounces, the sender receives a delivery failure notification, explaining the reason.
- Soft bounces describe a temporary delivery issue. They can be caused by a full inbox, server malfunction or large message size.
- Hard bounces refer to delivery failure due to a permanent problem. Reasons include mailing to invalid or non-existent addresses, closed accounts, etc.
ESPs and anti-spam networks use bounce rates to determine your future inbox placement. As a result, high bounce rates will affect your sender reputation and deliverability rates.
Complaint rate – shows how many users labeled your email as spam. This informs the ESP that people don’t care about your content and that it doesn’t belong in the inbox.
Spam trap hits – these happen when your emails get delivered to addresses that serve as spam catchers. These addresses are not available for regular use. So, if they receive any email, it’s clearly sent without user consent. The higher the number of spam traps that you hit, the poorer your reputation. Worst case scenario, you’ll get blacklisted or blocked by the provider.
Number of recipients – as we all know, spammers send large quantities of emails. As a result, mass emails raise a red flag with the ESPs. This, in turn, creates a problem for legitimate senders when they want to send out lots of emails. To avoid compromising your sender reputation, increase the number of outgoing emails gradually.
Content – your choice of content plays a huge role in your email reputation and deliverability. Subject lines, links, attachments, wording, and punctuation – all of these can trigger the spam alarms. When it comes to spam filters, design and deliverability are closely connected.
Things you can do for better email reputation
To keep your reputation spotless and your campaigns effective, you should follow proper practices. We’ll go over some of these practices right now.
Track engagement and take action
One of the best ways to increase your sender reputation is by monitoring user engagement. Track open and click-through rates, bounces and replies. You can measure the quality of your marketing campaigns by the activity that they generate. Attractive content generates opens, clicks, and reads. Unattractive content gets deleted or blocked.
Consider creating a separate group for users that view all your emails; In other words, people whose responses you can count on. By sending them several campaigns, your reputation will grow. Then, you can increase the number of people you email without damaging your reputation.Track the actions of your email subscribers, and act on what you learn. It will boost your reputation and profits.Click To Tweet
Try to monitor for inactive subscribers. Those who aren’t opening or clicking on your emails. If a recipient has had zero engagement for several months, it means you should remove that address. Fortunately, with Emercury, this is very easy.
Hard bounces damage your reputation fast, so remove them without delay. For soft bounces, you can set a number of attempts before removing them from the list. Remember that some soft bouncing will definitely occur when you start emailing from a new IP address.
Set up sender authentication protocols
There is an ongoing battle in the email world. ESPs work diligently to keep their networks spam-free. At the same time, cybercriminals are working just as hard to bypass spam filters and blacklists as well as bend the rules.
Email spoofing is one of the tactics used by nefarious senders. Spammers can easily change the email source address. This will make it appear as if the emails are coming from a legitimate sender. They can also imitate the appearance of emails sent by reputable senders, luring readers to click on links. These links take users to false websites where sensitive data can be easily stolen.
You can prevent these fraudulent practices by configuring your domain for email authentication. Email authentication helps verify the legitimate origin of your emails. There are 3 main authentication protocols used by email marketers – SPF, DKIM and DMARC. These protocols complement each other, enabling different aspects of authentication.
For the best protection, use all available authentication methods available to you. This is because different providers use different technologies to authenticate messages.
Pay close attention to the content
Poorly designed content can kill your campaigns. And since providers track user engagement, it can also harm your sender reputation score. So, make sure your content is relevant and engaging.
Your subject lines are the first thing people see. Keep them short but clear enough to convey your message. Use the same names and addresses in the “from” and “reply to” fields so people know it’s you. Don’t use subject lines starting with “Re” suggesting previous correspondence with the sender.
Make sure to deliver what you promise when people sign up for your content. This also applies to the mailing frequency. If they sign up for monthly content, don’t email them every day.
Don’t send the same email to all recipients. Segment your lists and personalize content according to interests or usage patterns. Limit the number of links and images in your emails. Excessive links and low text to image ratio are spam triggers. Also, avoid aggressive punctuation, such as multiple exclamation points, question marks, or dollar signs.
Keep your mailing list “clean”
Only send your campaigns to the people that give you their consent. Include a subscription form on your site or blog. Before adding them to the list, ask people to respond to an email confirmation request. This is known as double opt-in. As an added benefit, it also confirms the address is valid so it won’t bounce.
Don’t ever use purchased mailing lists because of the danger of spam traps. Also, the people on that list don’t know you, so they’ll probably label you as junk or spam.
Be proactive. Remove unresponsive contacts before they hurt your reputation. If people keep deleting your emails without opening them, there’s no point in keeping them on the list. Rid your list of all invalid addresses and bounces. Respond to unsub requests quickly.
Working to avoid spam filters is a full-time job. You have to ensure each of your email campaigns are okay to get into people’s inboxes. Consistency is key here.
To make this job easier, it’s best to entrust your campaigns to a reliable email marketing provider. Emercury can help you create awesome campaigns and steadily grow a clean mailing list. Thanks to the variety of tools and features, our platform will turn you into a campaign pro in no time.
Need to remove malformed addresses and complainers? No problem. Our list hygiene features will keep your list clean.
Want to know how people engage with your content? Use our reporting features to track your campaigns and view bounces, opens and clicks.
Need to test the waters before you dive in? Test and trim your campaigns with our A-B testing feature. You can sign up for a free account today and start experiencing unparalleled deliverability.
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