From data entry errors to unengaged subscribers, email marketers already have enough deliverability headaches to manage without factoring in sender reputation. But studies indicate as much as 77 percent of email delivery problems are based on sender reputation and, thus, must be examined.
Email reputation is the measurement of your email sending practices and the extent to which you follow the standards established by ISPs. ISPs filter spam and unwanted email based on content, blocklists and your reputation. A poor reputation may mean your emails end up in the spam folder rather than the inbox or, in the worst case, blocked entirely. In the height of the holiday shopping season, Spamhaus blacklisted several major retailers – including Gilt and Gap – for sending emails to addresses with typographical errors.
Are your email campaigns (and your ROI) suffering from poor sender reputation? Check out these four easy ways to improve your reputation:
- Reduce complaint rates – There are a variety of actions you can take to reduce your complaint rates; the easiest way is to never send unsolicited mail. Always ensure the subscribers on your list took action to receive further communication from you. Other steps you can take to reduce complaint rates include ensuring all the email addresses on your current list still want to receive your emails. Do this by keeping content in emails relevant, informative and interesting, and by allowing subscribers to manage the frequency with which they receive your messages. In addition, make sure to set proper expectations for content during the registration process.
- Make it easy to unsubscribe – Always give your customers the option of unsubscribing, and ensure their path to opting-out is as simple to follow as possible. The CAN-SPAM Act requires you to honor opt-out requests within 10 business days, but you should make every attempt to remove customers from your list within 24 hours.
- Reduce your bounce rate – List hygiene is one of the most important practices email marketers can engage in both from reputation and results standpoints. Successful email marketing requires a clean list. Email validation can determine which of your addresses are valid and can receive email. Periodic cleansing helps your list stay accurate, increasing email deliverability.
- Use dedicated IP addresses – If you don’t want your email delivery to be impacted by the poor reputation of someone else, you need to have your own IP addresses. It’s also a best practice to maintain different IPs for different purposes. For example, transactional emails should be sent on a different IP than your newsletter. Be sure to warm up new IP addresses before sending high volumes on them.
It’s important to note that monitoring your sender reputation should continue long after you’ve implemented these steps to improving your reputation. Just think – you wouldn’t just send emails without measuring success, so why do it for your sender reputation?