Just as in any interaction, reputation is important. When you're looking for a new restaurant or doctor to look for, finding reviews helps you choose your destination. Mailbox providers embody a similar tactic by evaluating the reputation of incoming senders to determine which messages to accept in their mailboxes.
Why is reputation important?
The job of a mailbox provider is to provide a quality messaging experience to its users or to risk losing its customers to the benefit of a competitor. It means delivering the messages they want and protecting them from mail they do not have. To ensure that the correct messages are filtered into the appropriate folders (Inbox vs. Spam), mailbox providers rely on reputation calculations.
What influences the reputation of the sender?
Many different items can affect a sender's reputation. In fact, each mailbox provider has its own reputation formula, which unfortunately does not publicly disclose. However, even though each calculation differs slightly, the items they examine are all identical. Namely, anything that represents "spam" behavior (complaints, spam traps, unknown users, blacklists, etc.)
How does reputation have an impact on deliverability?
In our recent study – Shipper's Reference Index 2019 – we examined the relationship between reputation and deliverability. We measured reputation with the help of our own reputation calculation system, the sender score.
The sender's score is a numeric score (from zero to 100) for your IP address, which works much like a credit score. The higher the score, the higher the reputation. It incorporates similar criteria that mailbox providers use in their own calculations to give shippers an idea of how their program is viewed.
The graph below shows the relationship between Sender Score's reputation and deliverability at AOL, Gmail, Yahoo and Microsoft. As you can see, as reputation grows, deliverability increases for all four mailbox providers.
How to strengthen and maintain your reputation
A bad name due to "spammy" behavior will see your messages stuck in the inbox. To create and maintain a solid reputation, try the following:
1. Watch Your Reputation
Your sender's reputation is constantly changing as a result of your mailing activities. It's important to know if, when, and why your reputation is degraded so you can immediately resolve any issues and limit the impact on your program. Before you send a new campaign, check your latest Reputation Score for free on senderscore.org to make sure your last campaign reaches your subscribers before you send.
2. Keep Your List Clean
Spam traps, unknown users, and uncommitted subscribers can negatively impact your email program. Ideally, you should run your list through a list hygiene service, which will check if the email address belongs to an active person. You can also delete and delete users who have not engaged with your email program in the last 60 days. This will help you identify addresses that may be detrimental to your reputation.
3. Register to Receive Feedback Loops
Receiving complaints can have a serious impact on your reputation. Deal with complaints immediately by signing up for feedback loops. Each mailbox provider offers its own feedback loop service. Identify those that are valuable to your program and how to sign up for our message: What is a feedback loop?
4. Identify where the complaints come from
The response to the complaints is only the first step. If you do not know the cause, the rest of your subscribers will probably make their own complaints. By identifying the origin of your complaints, you can determine which parts of your program need to be corrected to limit subscriber dissatisfaction.
5. Check the blacklist
Mailbox providers include the blacklist in their filtering decisions. It is therefore important to know immediately if you are on the blacklist and where. Make sure to periodically check your IP address when searching a blacklist.