What is Email Sender Reputation? 3 Ways to Maintain a Good One

Oleksandr Rohovnin
Oleksandr Rohovnin

Content Writer

About the author

Published on: October 20, 2022

Last updated on: June 5, 2024

What is Email Sender Reputation? 3 Ways to Maintain a Good One

Imagine crafting a promisingly piercing email that never reaches the inbox of your prospects and audiences. Such a waste of time and money, huh?! Unfortunately, this happens to around 20% of 333.2 billion emails sent and received daily.

Why? Poor email sender reputation.

Solution? Reconfiguring your email outreach based on the cause for the drop in deliverability.

Details? Just below.

What Is Email Sender Reputation, and How Can You Check Yours?

Email sender reputation is a score assigned to you by your Inbox Service Provider (ISP) based on email marketing metrics like open rates, clickthrough rates, bounce rates, email sharing and forwarding rates, unsubscribe rates, and spam complaints by subscribers.

Your ISP consistently assesses how valuable your emails are, from 0 to 100, and can prevent low-quality emails from reaching the inbox of your recipients.

Different ISPs prioritize different metrics and give little insight into their scoring methods, but you must keep track of your reputation, especially when provided by Google or Microsoft.

  • The higher your sender score, the more likely an ISP will deliver emails to the inboxes of recipients on your network. So if your sender score is 90 or above, you’re doing well. Anything below 70 is a dangerous zone where your emails may be blocked or marked as spam.

There are various online tools that check sender reputation scores, including Microsoft SNDS, Sender Score, Google Postmaster Tools, and Barracuda Central. Use an average of several assessments for a more educated report on where your current reputation stands with your ISP provider.

Why Can Your Sender Reputation Decline?

As mentioned above, email sender reputation trends are based on diverse email deliverability metrics, which indicate how valuable your content is for your customers, generating an overall score for your reputation.

For example, an open rate of 10% or lower, a spam complaint rate of over 0.1%, or a hard bounce rate of over 5% would put your sender reputation at risk.

Your reputation may also be affected if you send emails from a shared IP or use the same IP for reaching new subscribers. Poor email hygiene and unnecessary cold emails sent from your email domain may also cause trouble, even if your business emails are compelling. When in doubt, use a dedicated IP address.

Among other causes for a decline in reputation are unsolicited emails, unengaged recipients, invalid or fake email addresses, click baits, and an intentionally-hidden unsubscribe button.

How Can You Fix Your Email Reputation?

#1. Slow Down With the Lagging ISP

If you use several mailbox providers, you should first identify the one that underperforms. Send test emails to yourself to see where they land and how they display in your inbox. For emails marked as spam, don’t forget to pull them back to the inbox.

As you’ve identified the lagging ISPs, slow down the outreach. Send emails to your most engaged subscribers to win their trust back — for example, only those who reacted to your recent emails — and broaden the list of recipients as you regain footing.

Additionally, make your ISP aware of your problems:

#2. Avoid Risky Campaigns

Automated emails drive 3.2 times more revenue than non-automated emails, but sometimes automation comes with some risk. Re-engagement and cart abandonment emails are less likely to be opened as they appeal to disengaged recipients.

Risky campaigns without due supervision can lead to a drop in your reputation. When in doubt, focus on promotional and transactional emails and do not engage with inactive customers. If you haven’t touched a mailing list for months, it would be better to let it rest until you have strategized your approach.

#3. Think About Email Reputation on the Daily
  • Send permission-based emails only: Irrelevant emails can plummet your reputation in a blink, so only reach out to recipients who openly opted in for the newsletter.
  • Send emails from your branded domain: A branded domain will boost your credibility and brand awareness. For business emails, use [email protected]; for customer support – [email protected], etc.
  • Send relevant, valuable emails: The only emails that work are those hitting the right people at the right time. Think quality over quantity. There’s no sustainable email outreach strategy other than crafting helpful, relevant emails that solve a recipient’s problems or give them an exclusive, time-sensitive incentive.

Learn More About Email Reputation at MailCon 2023

Email timing, volume, and many more email and omnichannel marketing topics will be discussed at MailCon 2023, set to take place in Las Vegas from April 17 to 19.

Book your tickets now to save $400 on early bird passes for the three-day conference, and don’t forget to stay tuned for new updates.

About the author

Oleksandr Rohovnin
Oleksandr Rohovnin

Content Writer

Oleksandr Rohovnin is a writer and expert in deep research around subjects in email and omnichannel marketing. He breaks down complex topics into easily digestible bite-sized segments to educate and inform any inquisitive mind through profound and delightful messaging.


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