Tips For Repairing A Damaged Email Sender Reputation.
By Stacy Ketiku
Sometimes you think that subscribers are deliberately ignoring your emails. But what if they aren’t? What if they actually never receive those emails or do receive them but are warned to “be careful with this message”? You can only create and maintain a good email sender reputation when you understand what that even means and know what activities to stay away from. If your emails keep getting into your audience’s spam folder, you also need to pay rapt attention right now.
The Concept of Email Sender Reputation and Why It’s Important.
If email marketing is among your digital marketing strategies, you should be very concerned with this topic. Your email sender reputation is a score given by Email Service Providers (ESP) to your email sending IP address, or simply say, to an email sending organisation. Some really popular Email Service Providers are Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, Zoho, e.t.c. This score ranges from 0 – 100. Reaching a score of 100 could be quite difficult but one should aim at a score not less than 75. A higher score means that your email content is more likely to be delivered to your audience.
According to the 2019 Sender Score benchmark report, “Last year alone saw over 600 billion emails from spammers … Mailbox Providers rely on sender reputation to identify the ‘good’ from the ‘bad’ when determining what email to allow or block from their inboxes.” You might send out legitimate emails, but as long as your email drops into the spam folder, it’s safe to call you a spammer. Email marketing is one way to build a relationship with your customers. But that objective is defeated if there’s a communication gap as a result of them not getting your messages. To get a high percentage of your mails delivered, you need to get a high email sender reputation score. And remember, when your mails aren’t delivered, you are more likely to have low open-rates which is in the first place a cause of low sender score.
Tools for Checking Your Email Sender Score
You might want to start out by checking your email sender score to know if it is damaged. This can be done using tools like SenderScore.com, Talos Reputation Lookup, Barracuda Central, Google Postmaster Tools, or Reputation Authority. There are so many other tools available for this purpose, you need to check each of them to know which best suits you best. Also, note that some tools don’t give accurate results.
We suppose that you now know where you stand. But did you know that your email engagement level could be a major factor leading to a decrease in your email sender reputation? Well, now you know. Low engagements in terms of email marketing refer to poor open rates, high unsubscribe rates, emails being reported as spam, low click-through rate, and high bounce rate. Bounce rates could be soft or hard. Hard bounce rate is the percentage of emails that don’t get delivered as a result of wrong or invalid email addresses while soft bounce rate is the percentage of emails that don’t get delivered because the owners of those addresses have full inboxes.
How To Repair A Damaged Email Sender Reputation
If you have a low sender score you need to stop wasting your budget on more email marketing campaigns. You must fix this problem before you can make any headway. Here are a number of things you must do to repair your damaged or low email sender reputation.
Develop Quality Email List
It’s an exciting thing to have a large email list. But how good is that list? While you answer that question, we must inform you that the quality of your email list is more important than the quantity. Build your email list with due diligence; in simpler terms, do so organically. Allow people to voluntarily subscribe to your email messages and even put in place a two-step verification process that allows them to show that they are human and subscribed intentionally. In addition, never purchase an email list from anyone regardless of how similar their business is with yours. That is one easy way of accumulating bad email data that will ultimately lead to a hard bounce and unsubscribe rate.
Focus on Great Content
This point can’t be overemphasised. From the subject line to the preview, headline, graphic design, body, and even the call to action, your content quality must be top-notch. In most cases, your subject line and preview helps your subscriber in determining if they will open your email or not. It therefore goes a long way in affecting your open rate. You should also take note of what kind of content people interact with better and create more of such content. The use of personalisation in your content is a great way to go if you really want to catch their attention.
Use Email Verification Tools
On a regular basis, you need to review your list and take out those that are invalid and serve as bad data. With the use of email verification tools like NeverBounce, you can run a thorough check through your entire email list to be sure they are all valid. It’s a valuable tool for email marketers who want to drastically reduce their bounce rate.
Reach Out to Inactive Subscribers
I once got an email from a brand which read, “Hi Stacy, we noticed you haven’t checked out our letter in the past 3 months. We know life could get really busy sometimes, but after today, we’ll have to let you focus on other things that matter to you. This means that you will no longer receive any of our email content. We honestly don’t want to see you go!” This was thoughtfully put together and it felt like they cared about my space. In the real sense of it, they were only trying to filter their list to get rid of those who bring them low engagements. I actually started opening their mails for the fear of missing out (FOMO) and they also shared great content which keeps me on their list till date.
Lastly, but importantly, don’t fail to authenticate your email sending domain using methods like the Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) or any other applicable method. In addition, sending out frequent emails also boosts your sender score. However, you will want to do all things in moderation to avoid email marketing fatigue. Just before you jet off, have you checked your email sender score? What tool did you use and how accurate was it?