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What is email sender reputation and why you should care? 

Email sender reputation is a measure of the trustworthiness and credibility of an entity or organization that sends out email messages. 

It is a critical factor in email deliverability, affecting whether your emails land in recipients’ inboxes, spam folders, or are blocked entirely. 

Email service providers (ESPs) and email security systems use it as a key criterion to determine the fate of incoming email messages. 

Here are some of the key elements that contribute: 

1. Email Engagement Metrics

This includes factors such as open rates, click-through rates, and response rates. High engagement indicates that recipients find your emails relevant and valuable.

2. Complaint Rates

The number of recipients marking your emails as spam is a negative signal for sender reputation. Low complaint rates are essential for a good reputation.

3. Bounce Rates

Bounced emails (undelivered emails) can harm your reputation, especially if you have a high percentage of invalid email addresses on your list.

4. Spam Traps

Sending emails to spam traps (email addresses created to identify spammers) can severely damage your reputation. These addresses shouldn’t exist on a legitimate mailing list.

5. Consistency

Sending emails consistently and at a predictable frequency can help build a positive reputation. Erratic or irregular sending patterns can be viewed with suspicion.

6. Authentication Protocols

Implementing email authentication protocols like SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) can enhance your sender reputation by proving the authenticity of your emails.

7. Content Quality

The content of your emails, including subject lines and body text, should be relevant and not trigger spam filters.

8. List Hygiene

Regularly cleaning your email list to remove invalid or inactive subscribers can help maintain a positive sender reputation. 

A good sender reputation improves the chances of your emails being delivered to the inbox, while a poor reputation can result in emails being marked as spam or blocked altogether. It’s essential for businesses and organizations that rely on email marketing to monitor and manage it to ensure their messages reach their intended recipients effectively.

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