Email marketers are always optimizing their emails to boost open and click rates. While these metrics are extremely important, many often overlook the first step to a successful email marketing campaign.
You need to make sure your emails actually make it into your customers’ inboxes by ensuring you have a positive email sender reputation.
ISPs will always try to protect their email users
Research shows the average US worker receives 121 emails a day. Even if it just takes 30 seconds to read all of those emails, that’s still about an hour of your day.
Internet service providers (ISP) want to reduce that clutter and only show their users emails that are wanted and relevant to them. They’ll use an email sender reputation to determine what makes it into the inbox, which emails go into the junk folder, and which are immediately blocked.
Make sure you’re on the right side of spam filters
Most email service providers use spam filters to weed out the emails or senders that aren’t worthy of reaching your customer’s primary inbox.
Source: Campaign Monitor
Past user engagement plays a major role in determining whether your emails make it through the spam filter or not. If you’ve historically had high open and click-through rates, low spam complaints, and a low bounce rate, then your email sender reputation will be strong.
Conversely, if your emails generally receive low opens, fewer clicks, high bounce rates, or contacts tend to mark your emails as junk, then your sender reputation will suffer and you might be classified as spam.
~ 45% of all emails sent are considered spam
How to measure email sender reputation
Third-party tools will allow you to measure your sender score, which is kind of like your credit score. You will probably get a different figure based on the service you use. This score is really just an indication of how likely you are to have a good email sender reputation.
A better method to understand your email sender reputation is to keep an eye on your email metrics. If you notice a steady decline in open rates and general lack in engagement, it might be due to a poor sender reputation. A healthy and active list usually have open rates of 18% and above. If your open rates are consistently below 10% you’ll need to take steps to improve your audience engagement.
Does it really matter?
A poor email sender reputation can be seriously damaging to your overall email marketing strategy. If your emails are marked as spam, your performance will immediately suffer and your domain could be blacklisted.
Your sender reputation is tied to your email domain and is built up over time. Think of it like a credit history, it’s a record of how well (or poorly) emails sent from your domain have performed. You could have a great sender history, and then just a few bad campaigns could do serious damage to your domain reputation.
It is possible to repair a poor email sender reputation, but it can take some time and work to get back to business as usual.
If you build wanted and relevant emails that have the right message, audience, and timing, you should be fine.
You should now have a better idea of what determines your email sender reputation and why it’s such an important piece of your digital marketing strategy.
From here, you can take steps to ensure all of your emails follow best practices, from email list segmentation to personalized and compelling content. You should also familiarize yourself with other factors that may impact your email deliverability so you can ensure your message makes it to the inbox.