Email Inbox Placement: Mastering Sender Reputation

How To Get Your Emails Into The Inbox: Sender Reputation

By Bulk Mail Verifier | 9/6/2023, 9:57:59 AM

Email is a powerful marketing tactic for reaching your digital audience directly and letting them know about product updates, service announcements, special offers, and more.

Moreover, email marketing may be ineffective if it fails to deliver to inboxes successfully. One key factor affecting email deliverability is the sender's reputation. Furthermore, sender reputation goes by a few common names: email sender reputation, sender score, and domain reputation.

Whatever you call it, however, email sender reputation explains how Internet service providers (ISPs) like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo judge the emails you send. However, more specific inbox providers include Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and Hotmail.

How Do You Determine The Good Reputation Of An Email?

This is where the Sender Score comes in. Your email reputation has a metaphorical scale of 0 to 100. The closer your Sender Score is to 100, the better yet stronger your email marketing sender reputation is.

A few metrics drive this decision, but the most important is how your digital audience reacts to your emails. Your reputation will rise if your digital audience engages with your emails, posting positive open and click-through rates.

Above all, common mistakes can damage your reputation as an email sender. If you receive more spam complaints, your reputation will improve. Your reputation will suffer if you send unsolicited emails after purchasing an email list. Your reputation will suffer if you fall into a spam trap or honeypot scam.

One of the most common email marketing mistakes is tagging IP addresses. This can damage your sender's reputation; many companies don’t realize this is happening until it’s too late. So, how do IP addresses work with email?

Your email address is connected to a specific IP address representing an Internet Protocol address. An IP address links all of your digital activity to a "numeric code," similar to adding a return address to a letter.

Additionally, you may have multiple email addresses connected to a single IP address. You can pay for a dedicated IP address to send email marketing campaigns. Either way, this IP address signals to the ISP that your email sender's reputation may be only as good as the reputation of your IP address.

Now, you have to consider both types of digital reputation because they go hand in hand.

However, all email addresses linked to a specific IP address build the reputation of the IP. Email addresses and the domain belonging to an exact IP address collectively influence an IP's reputation by evaluating the quality of outgoing Content, contact lists, and organic interactions with recipients. (Some companies make the mistake of prioritizing volume, sending as many emails as possible to as many contacts as possible—or buying.)

How to improve the sender's reputation? 

It is to be noted that your IP reputation and email sender reputation are closely related. Together, they determine your ability to reach your audience’s inbox. For example, if a specific email address within your IP only sends unsolicited or unsuccessful email campaigns, your IP address's reputation may exceed your sender's.

Because these unsuccessful email campaigns are marked as spam or unopened and sent to the trash, you need better organic engagement with your recipients. This results in a bad email sender reputation, affecting the reputation of your IP and other email addresses linked to that IP. This also means that if you continue to use a deprecated email strategy, your Content will not make it into your email list’s inbox.

There's much to consider between sender reputation, sender score, email deliverability, and IP reputation in a single marketing strategy. Here are some basics on how to improve your email sender reputation:

1. Number of spam tags

Keep spam complaints low to maintain a good sender reputation and a high Sender Score. Otherwise, your sender's reputation will be damaged whenever your email is marked as spam.

2. Email list quality

Internet service providers are getting smarter at finding bad email senders to protect user privacy. To find these bad senders, ISPs have developed email addresses designed to evaluate senders for email campaigns. As a marketer, if you send emails to any of these email addresses, also called spam traps or honeypot scams, you may be placed on a public blocklist for email marketing.

To bypass this, don’t buy an email list. ISPs often place these catch-all emails on solicitation email lists to catch unsolicited senders. Don’t cold send to email addresses. If you don't earn the contact honestly, don't include them on the email list.

Furthermore, your email contact list should be organic and contain valid recipient addresses. These lists are built based on lead generation and conversion strategies and will rarely result in soft or hard bounces.

However, a soft bounce indicates a temporary email delivery problem. Most email marketing software, such as BulkMailVerifier will attempt to resend the email five times after a soft bounce.

Whereas a hard bounce means the email address does not exist or is invalid. (What is an invalid email address? An email address that has been deleted, mistyped, or malformed.) Hard bounces have a greater impact on your sender score.

You can also identify a quality list of engaged recipients by cleaning and segmenting your email list. Above all, if a recipient hasn't engaged with your last few email campaigns, add them to your "Do Not Send" list. Don’t send to unverified emails; segment accordingly for optimal deliverability and open rates.

One surefire way to organize your email list is to use an email verification tool, such as BulkMailVerfier Clean Your Lists, which filters out invalid and unknown addresses. This improves delivery capabilities and ensures fewer soft and hard bounces.

An email marketing tip for re-engaging contacts is to survey them on what email campaigns interest them. Do they want marketing emails? Are they interested in company updates? When you do this, ask them their preferred frequency of receiving emails. How about a monthly newsletter or weekly product updates?

3. Opt-out form

Avoid emailing unsubscribed contacts regarding an effective, engaged email list. If they opt out and resume to receive emails, they will keep trying to opt out and, if that doesn't work, will mark you as spam. This will lower your sender score.

Additionally, you must include an unsubscribe form with each email. Not including an opt-out form is illegal, and if an ISP sees an email without an opt-out form, they will flag you, damaging your sender's reputation.

4. Strong engagement

Email engagement is determined through open rates and click-through rates. Recipients are engaged and interested when they open your email, click on a link or CTA, reply, and forward. This signals to the inbox provider that you are welcome. The more frequently they engage, the higher the sender score.

Infrequent email use can negatively impact your sender rating and reputation. Some inbox providers will even track ignored emails deleted without being opened or moved to other folders.

5. Transmission frequency

Some email marketing campaigns are marked as spam because marketers send too many emails. If you send too many emails, your digital audience may stay calm. However, you risk losing subscriber interest if you don’t reach your audience enough. To avoid these two common email mistakes, create a content schedule that properly delivers to your audience.

6. Content quality

Content includes text, images, GIFs, templates, links, pre-header text, subject lines, and the address you use in your email, according to SendGrid,. Your email content either contributes to your reputation or Can damage your reputation. To build a good reputation, you must send engaging emails with a professional appearance and legitimate links.”

When trying to improve your sender score, quality content is key. Stick to your brand tone and use email templates to ensure readability and clean design. Avoid spam and test all links before sending a campaign. Properly resize images and GIFs to avoid pixelation on desktop and mobile devices.

7. Verify your email domain

Verifying your sending address shows your audience that your Content comes from a respected and legitimate source. Plus, verifying your email domain limits phishing threats and verifies SPF records, DKIM signatures, and DMARC reports. Check your email domain using one of the following email marketing tools:

Barracuda Central

According to its website, Barracuda Central maintains a history of known spammers and IP addresses with good email reputations. This report contributes to the Barracuda Reputation System, permitting the Barracuda Spam and Virus Firewall to block or allow messages based on the sender's IP address.

In addition to IP reputation, Barracuda Central maintains a URL reputation, allowing the tool to block emails based on bad URLs in the Content quickly. By combining IP and URL reputation data, Barracuda Central can determine whether an email is spam. However, once identified, the tool executes countermeasures to mitigate these digital threats and reinforce its claimed 95% spam accuracy rate.

Cisco Talos Intelligence

Talos Intelligence determines the qualitative range of your sender score from "Poor" to "Medium" to "Good":

A good Sender Score means that actions that harm your Sender Score rarely occur.

Neutral scores indicate that email deliverability has room for improvement, as they filter out recipients significantly.

A low score means your emails need help reaching your email contacts correctly.

Talos Intelligence also tracks global malware outbreaks and shows users the ratio of legitimate emails to spam by country, IP address, and more.

Send for evidence

After you create an email deliverability test account, this powerful email marketing tool creates a custom email address to send test campaigns to. After you send a test campaign to this address, SendForensics estimates your sender score and analyzes your sender reputation, giving you an instant snapshot of your IP reputation so you can fix any issues beyond the email itself.

Gmail manager tool

This free resource provides information on how widely popular email domains evaluate users' email. After recognizing your domain, Google analyzes your sender reputation using four qualitative categories: poor, low, medium, and high.

In addition, Google's Postmaster tool investigates the number of times your emails have been reported as spam and other characteristics that affect email deliverability.

Microsoft Sundaes

Like Google's Gmail, Microsoft Outlook is one of the largest inbox providers in the world. Microsoft offers Smart Network Data Services (SNDS) through its tools similar to Postmaster. This email delivery tool allows anyone with an IP address to fight spam, viruses, and malware, protecting their email and the Internet as a broader communication tool.

After confirming your IP address, SNDS will provide you with data about the traffic seen from your IP address. It can also provide email data, including activity periods, traffic data, SMTP verb count, message recipients, and command templates.

SNDS displays user-filtered results when it comes to email deliverability. However, green means less than 10 percent spam, yellow means 10 to 90 percent spam, and red means more than 90 percent spam. It also displays spam data, including complaint reports, traps, message forms, infected emails, malware hosting, and open agent status.

In conclusion

With many effective marketing strategies available to enhance your sender reputation and improve your email deliverability, now is the perfect time to assess and elevate your sender score. By implementing proven techniques such as optimizing email content, managing subscriber engagement, and refining your email infrastructure, you can ensure that your messages reach the intended recipients and achieve maximum impact. Take proactive steps today to boost your email success and establish a stronger foothold in the digital landscape.