Zeta Blog

Sender Reputation – Hard To Gain, Easy to Lose

Posted by Viney Qazi on February 23

Sender Reputation, what is it?

Sender reputation is a type of scoring system used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to rate the quality of a sender’s email campaigns. Poor reputation of a sender can cause marketers’ emails to land into spam/bulk folders and sometimes to not even be delivered to a recipient’s inbox. However, a good reputation enables a sender to effectively land emails into a customer’s inbox.

Why is it important?

ISPs and several mailbox providers give preferential treatment to good senders, i.e. senders with a good sender reputation. Acquiring a good email sender reputation is optimal for building success as a marketer. ISPs are constantly changing their blocking and filtering technologies to protect their customers from spam and virus infected emails. Because of these changes, creating a good email reputation is hard work and requires adaptability and consistent precautionary measures.

Below are four tips for building an excellent email reputation. Follow this advice to be on your way to top-notch email deliverability:

1)    Relevancy matters If messaging isn’t relevant and interesting to the user, it will be overlooked. To ensure relevant emails, senders must utilize trigger technology and conditional content messaging to communicate in a timely and personalized manner.

2)    Avoid list fatigue List fatigue is a symptom of over-emailing and sending to entire lists. Senders can avoid it by tracking responsive readers and avoiding those that are entirely unresponsive. Open rates as well as click rates are a very good indicator of engagement, and should also be closely monitored. Sending emails to those who are not engaged is another factor considered for sender reputation.

3)    Control spam complaints and spam traps Spam complaints occur when recipients mark an email as spam. This can be controlled by maintaining a list of recipients that opted-in to receiving the emails. Sending emails to those who asked for them, making emails relevant and keeping a clean list will all help in reducing complaints.  

4)    Earn your place on whitelists AOL and Yahoo! are two ISPs who have internal whitelists that require a good sender reputation for enrollment. Preferential treatment is afforded to good senders who are on these internal whitelists. There are also a few external whitelists like Return Path who certify IPs for good senders. Return Path maintains a relationship with several ISPs globally. Being on a whitelist does not guarantee a straight path to the inbox, but it certainly helps high volume senders reach their customers in a timely manner.

Don’t forget to value long term success over short term results. Adhering to deliverability best practices will always be worth it in the long run.

Viney Qazi is Zeta Interactive’s Email Deliverability Manager with over 12 years of experience in email delivery. He sets direction for Zeta’s deliverability strategy and issue resolution. Viney maintains Zeta’s email reputation by holding industry relationships and personal contacts with deliverability professionals around the world.

For more information about Zeta Interactive, the Zeta Hub platform, and/or deliverability services, please email zetahub@zetainteractive.com or call 857-246-7629. 

Topics: Email Marketing