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Unraveling Email Deliverability: 8 Ways to Improve Your Email Sender Reputation

Email deliverability is a critical aspect of any successful email marketing strategy. It's the measure of how many of your emails actually make it to the intended recipient's inbox. In a recent interview with email marketing experts, we gained valuable insights into what email sender reputation is and how to improve it. Here are the key takeaways.


What is Email Sender Reputation?

Email sender reputation is a measure of the health of your email marketing efforts. It's determined by various factors such as email engagement, domain and IP authentication, and the frequency of your emails.


Different Email Service Providers (ESPs) like Microsoft, Gmail, and Yahoo have their own algorithms for determining sender reputation. These algorithms consider factors like email volumes, sending practices, and user engagement. For instance, Microsoft can be finicky about volumes, so you don't want to send large volumes out of nowhere to Microsoft inboxes.


For more information on this topic, please see our previous installment: Understanding Email Sender Reputation: The Unseen Force Behind Successful Email Marketing.

Tips to Improve Your Email Sender Reputation

Improving your email sender reputation involves a combination of b

est practices and strategic actions. Here are some expert tips:


  1. Segment Your Audience: Segmenting your audience and sending relevant content to each segment can improve engagement and, consequently, your email sender reputation. As one expert noted, "You want to make sure that certain promotions and certain offers are only being sent to users who would find that content relevant to them."

  2. Monitor Negative Reputation Factors: Keep an eye on your spam complaints, bounces, and other negative reputation factors. Minimizing these will help maximize your deliverability and inbox performance.

  3. Throttle Your Messages: Be careful about the rate of messages sent to different domains. Sudden large volumes can lead to your emails being deferred or blocked. Campaigns that send out an influx of emails can be flagged as spam by ESP’s, meaning not just this email, but future emails will get stuck in the spam folder.

  4. Engage with Inactive Users: Reengagement campaigns can help reactivate users who haven't engaged with your emails in a while. If they still don't engage after a re-engagement campaign, it might be time to suppress those users.This should be done at predetermined intervals. The length of the intervals depend on your business sending practices.

  5. Clean Your Email List Regularly: Regular list hygiene can help you identify and remove harmful or inactive email addresses. One expert suggested a quarterly validation or hygiene effort as a good practice.

  6. Avoid Buying Email Lists: Purchasing email lists can harm your email sender reputation as these users did not opt-in to receive your content and may not engage with it.

  7. Use Deliverability Tools: Tools like Zero Bounce, Fresh Address, and MX Toolbox can help you check if you're blacklisted anywhere and provide insights into your deliverability performance. Popular blacklists for purchase include Spamhaus, Microsoft, Proofpoint, and Spamcop.

  8. Work with Deliverability Experts: Deliverability experts can help you navigate deliverability issues, provide insights, and offer solutions. They can help you delist from any blacklist you might be on, validate your database, and provide recommendations on how to remediate issues.


Remember, improving your email sender reputation is not an overnight process. It requires consistent efforts, strategic actions, and patience. As one deliverability expert, Dana Carr, put it, "Trying to fix significant deliverability issues can take a while. They're not fixes that you can turn on and off with a switch. They sometimes can take weeks or months to see the solution all the way through to completion." If you're interested in Dana’s other insights into this topic, check out our first article in this series, Unraveling the Mechanics of Email Deliverability: Insights from Marketing Expert Dana Carr.


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