What Is Sender Reputation: Everything Email Marketers Need to Know [+Bonus Tips]

Email deliverability has shifted dramatically in recent years. Subject lines, spam filtering words, special characters, and image-to-text ratio were once the most important factors to consider, but email deliverability is now largely determined by the sender's reputation.

email app icon

Email marketing is an effective way to reach consumers directly and keep them updated on your new products. Marketing professionals are constantly optimizing their emails to boost open and click rates.

In spite of the importance of these metrics, many overlook the first step to a successful email marketing campaign - a positive Sender Reputation. It is vital that you ensure your emails reach the inboxes of your customers by building a positive sender reputation.

Read on to learn everything about sender reputation and how you can improve it to ensure seamless delivery of emails.

Table of Contents


What Is Sender Reputation?

Gmail and other email inbox providers use your IP reputation to determine whether or not your email will be delivered to the inbox. Your IP score, sender score, or email sender reputation are all terms for this.

sender score components
Source: senderscore.org

Email sender reputation refers to the score calculated by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to determine your organization's trustworthiness as an email marketer. A number of factors are taken into consideration, such as content quality, contact quality, and engagement levels with previous emails from your IP address.

Your email's deliverability is heavily reliant on maintaining a good reputation. Emails sent from a domain with a high sender reputation almost always arrive in the inboxes of their recipients. If your sender has a poor reputation, your emails may be marked as spam and even rejected by recipients.

Why Is Sender Reputation Important?

Email marketing's success is largely dependent on inbox delivery. Consequently, inbox delivery is heavily influenced by Sender's Reputation.

Here are some of the reasons your Sender's Reputation matters.

Targets The Inbox

First and foremost, there is the inbox. If a sender has a lower Sender Reputation, their emails are more likely to be rejected or diverted to junk mail. You cannot succeed in email marketing unless your email reaches the inbox.

Influences Email Deliverability

Research shows that the reputation of an email sender is a significant factor in email deliverability. Return Path determines that 77% of delivery failures are the result of the poor reputation of the sender.

Delivering emails to customers' inboxes is the responsibility of email providers (such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook). In order to judge the sender's reputation, ESPs consider factors such as the number of opened emails, the total number of deleted messages, and the number of fake addresses.

Indicates The Success Level

A solid reputation as a sender indicates that subscribers enjoy and are willing to receive your emails. The opposite is true when the sender's reputation is low. In that case, it is high time to determine what triggered this.

How To Check Sender Reputation?

You can check your sender reputation using sender score measurement tools, sending messages to yourself, checking IP Addresses, and analyzing stats.

Sender Score Measurement Tools

An email score is similar to a credit score, but rather than dealing with banks, you are dealing with email providers. Based on a scale of 1-100, it indicates how reputable your IP is. It is one of the factors that determine whether you are filtered out as a spammer.

Sender Score Measurement
Source: mailtrap.io

Sender score tools don't provide the whole picture of sender reputation. It's still an ideal starting point. To establish your domain and IP reputation score, these tools compare your email sending habits across several sources.

There are also many other tools that can help you determine the reputation of a sender:

We'll explore other ways you can check your reputation since these tools alone cannot provide you with a complete picture.

Send Yourself Messages

It is also a good idea to send yourself messages in order to check if you have a good or bad reputation with inbox providers.

spiderman meme template

Set up multiple email addresses with various mailbox providers to see how your reputation affects email delivery. Then, send emails to these new addresses and analyze the results.

Getting all the emails into the inbox indicates that you have a good sender reputation. If you end up in the spam folder the majority of the time, then that could be an indication that your sender score is low.

Check IP Addresses and Domains Deny Listings

An email deny list is made up of IP addresses or domain names that have been spotted sending unwanted emails.

In some cases, if your emails are marked as spam by recipients or if they land in spam traps, your domain can be added to the deny list.

To find out if your IP or domain name is on any black listings that could prevent delivery, you can use tools such as MxToolbox, DNS Checker, and Netcore. A denial listing will have a negative impact on your email reputation.

Identify Patterns By Analyzing Statistics

Your reputation as a sender plays a significant role in how recipients view your emails. You can expect your reputation score to decline if metrics such as your open rate and click-through rate decrease and if a higher number of emails are marked as spam.

You can use these patterns to determine what is working for you and what you need to improve.

What Are The Factors That Hurt Sender Reputation?

Below is a list of things that can negatively impact your IP or domain reputation:

Bounce Rates Increased By Misspelled Email Addresses

When manually entering an email address into a signup form, it is easy for it to be misspelled - especially on a mobile device.

Your email will bounce if your email address is misspelled. When your bounce rate rises, email providers are less likely to tolerate your outgoing emails, and the vast majority of them are marked as spam.

A double-opt-in feature can help prevent mistyped or high bounce rate emails. A confirmation link will be sent through email to anyone who signs up for your email list.

A verification tool can be used as an alternative to automatically recognize invalid addresses. By doing so, you will refrain from sending transactional or marketing emails to nonexistent email addresses. Tools like VerifyBee can automate this process for you.

Purchasing Email Lists

The majority of businesses consider purchasing email lists a more convenient option than growing their email list organically. However, this is extremely counterproductive.

A purchased email list contains no organic leads because all of the users are unknown, unknowledgeable, and unfamiliar with you. When you send an email to an unknown user, they are unlikely to respond and may even mark it as spam. As a result, your message will be marked as spam.

Spam complaints can negatively impact the reputation of your domain because they essentially send out a negative signal that recipients don't trust you.

Failing To Clean Your Email List

Disengaged users on your list must be regularly removed. If your message is not opened or clicked on, it may cause larger problems in the future, damaging your sender score.

cleaning email lists illustration
Source: optinmonster.com

The user may not be opening your emails if they have abandoned their email account. In turn, this will lead to a hard bounce. They might already have moved you into the spam folder without your knowledge, so they are not paying attention to your email content.

When you send emails to inactive subscribers, your emails will not be opened or interacted with. Your sender reputation will be damaged if you send emails to inactive subscribers repeatedly.

This is why you need to regularly clean your email list to avoid being blocked by spam filters and your ISP.

A Poor Email Content Strategy

Poor email content will usually destroy a good reputation you have developed over time. Poorly written emails are almost guaranteed to be marked as spam by recipients, reducing your reputation as a sender.

If you want to send quality emails, ensure that you:

An Inconsistency in Email Outreach

Deliverability is extremely affected by the frequency of your emails. You will ultimately lose even the most engaged recipients if your emails are inconsistent and you may then struggle to boost your inbox placement rates.

It's also not good for your business to overburden your customers' email inboxes. Provide recipients with an idea of when they can expect to receive emails from your company.

By following this rule, your customers' inboxes will not be cluttered with unwanted emails - and you will have a high audience engagement rate.

7 Tips To Improve Your Sender Reputation

Online trust is built over time: the more you use best practices and show that you're a credible source, the more ISPs, mailboxes, and subscribers will feel confident in your delivery.

1. Generate Top-notch Content

The simplest and best practice is to only send relevant and informative content to people who want to see it. To increase engagement, tailor your campaigns to the interests of your subscribers. Provide them with images, links, and other resources related to the information they require.

2. Ensure Consistency in Email Schedules

Stick to a scheduled email frequency as part of your email marketing strategy. Getting an email frequency right depends on your business and subscribers, so you may want to start with a "less is more" policy.

Then, determine the right frequency and type of emails to send to get consistent results.

You should experiment with different formats and timing (for example, you could send out a weekly newsletter on Tuesday, as well as promotional emails on Friday), but once you've found what works, stick to it on a consistent basis.

3. Keep Your Subscriber List Up-to-date And Clean

Every time you send an email campaign to a list of unknown or old addresses, you will receive bounces or fall into spam traps, lowering your reputation as a reputable email sender. Make sure to keep your list up to date and remove any addresses that are no longer valid.

4. Configure Email Authentication Protocols

An email authentication protocol is essential for high deliverability. It's important to have these protocols so that ISPs can verify the emails you send are actually from you and not someone impersonating your business.

They also need to confirm that these emails have not been altered. The three most common authentication protocols are SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. These are all TXT records that you need to add to your DNS.

5. Verify The Legitimacy Of Your Campaign

Make sure your emails are organized properly and include the information that should be included. Ensure your subject line is straightforward and does not appear spammy, your company name and address are clearly visible, and all your content and images are relevant and about your business.

6. Warm up your IP address

Take the time to "warm-up" your new IP address by sending a few thousand messages at a time, then slowly increasing the level of messages over the next few weeks. In this way, you'll have a smooth and safe introduction to the Internet world for your new sending IP address.

7. Include a Clear Unsubscribe Link

Having an unsubscribe link in your email is a legal requirement, so you must include it so that a recipient can choose to opt-out.

It also serves many benefits to you, including:

When you include an unsubscribe link in your marketing campaign, you make sure not only to focus on quality recipients but also on those who are interested in reading your content.

The Bottom Line

Maintaining a high sender reputation is critical to getting the most out of your email campaign.

Maintain your sender's reputation by adhering to the guidelines outlined here for delivering emails directly to subscribers. To avoid spam filters, set up email authentication protocols, create engaging content, and stay off blacklists.

If you want to maximize the deliverability of your emails, warming up your email is crucial before sending it. You can use tools such as AutoWarmup to move spam from the spam folder to the inbox. This will allow you to get your messages answered, maintain a high reputation, and make sure that your emails arrive in the inbox.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now and let's get your email in shape for better delivery.

How To Get Started With Email Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide

There are numerous marketing strategies and communication tools available, email marketing continues to outperform them all.

Are you wondering why this age-old marketing strategy still prevails? We’ve got the answer for you.

email marketing graphic

Despite the social media outbreak, people still value emails. According to FinancesOnline, the number of email users is rising every year.

email user stats
Source: FinancesOnline

With email marketing, you control the connections—algorithm changes don't affect your reach. That's why having an efficient email marketing strategy is necessary.

Your email marketing strategy, on the other hand, may fail miserably if you do not follow proper guidelines and make informed decisions. As a result, in order to assist you, we will walk you through the steps, tricks, and strategies for executing a successful email marketing campaign.

Table of Contents


The Components Of Email Marketing

To get started with email marketing, you will need to know about three elements: email lists, email service provider (ESP), and email marketing goals.

Email List

An efficient email list is required for successful email marketing. It is a record of people who have agreed to receive marketing emails from your brand.

There are several ways to create an email list. The simplest method is to use lead magnets to attract them. Lead magnets provide information that your target audience may be interested in. However, in order to take advantage of these offers, they must provide you with their email addresses.

You can also build your email list through services like OneMoreLead. It offers a database of over 40 Million verified B2B prospects, which you can use to search and filter information to find the leads that suit your needs.

Email Service Provider or ESP

Email marketing providers assist you in managing your email marketing efforts. Email service providers are usually companies that can help you build email lists and send emails.

Email Marketing Goals

Achieving business goals is the key focus of introducing new email campaigns. Email marketing can help you to achieve:

Your efforts behind email marketing will only be successful when your goals align with what your ESP and Email database can offer.

Getting Started With Email Marketing

1. Building an Email list

To send emails, you first need an email list containing the information about your prospects. You can start by adding a sign-up form or a banner on your website encouraging people to subscribe.

2. Offering Incentives To Your Leads

People are reluctant to share their email addresses. As a result, you must make your email campaign appear profitable in order for them to share their email addresses.

PDFs, templates, checklists, and free tools are all examples of downloadable assets related to your business. You must determine what works best for your target audience and act accordingly.

Search Engine Journal does it brilliantly. They added a checkbox of areas of interest, which allows them to understand the needs of their audience.

Subscription form SEJ
Image Source: Search Engine Journal

When you know the area of interest of your audience, you can send them content that will cater to their needs. Your CTA should bear a strong message that would encourage your subscribers to share their emails.

A simple text like "Share your email to get updates" won’t get you anywhere. You have to be creative, add value, and be specific.

3. Segmenting Your Email List

Segmenting your email list entails dividing your list into specific groups based on demographic or psychological data from your subscribers.

You can take the following steps to segment a list:

Similar to targeting in paid advertisements, splitting your list allows you to offer more focused messages.

For instance, some of your customers are interested in receiving product and sales updates. In comparison, others are more interested in new tools or sales features.

Moreover, you can send it to those who have not opened your previous email asking the reason. You can do A/B testing through content and emails to see what works best for your audience.

4. Generating Personalized Content

Your content does the talking for you. Through your content, you raise the bar of expectation in the minds of your audience. You can run a successful email campaign with a strong CTA and consistent follow-ups.

Your segmented email list will enable you to deliver personalized content to your target audience. This will ensure that you are able to provide the most relevant content to each of your contacts.

However, you have to keep your words to meet the expectations of your audience as well. For example, if you promised them to send one email per week, sending daily will be a dealbreaker for your clients.

On the contrary, if some of your clients expect daily updates from you and you are just sending them weekly newsletters, you’re still not living up to their expectations.

5. Sending Introductory Emails

Introductory emails are an absolute necessity while running an email marketing campaign. Therefore, crafting a concise and impactful introductory mail is very crucial.

For instance, Spotify sends this simple, but effective introductory mail after signing up. They welcome the subscribers and let them know about what they can expect. They also include their unsubscribe option in case anyone wants to opt out of their updates.

spotify intro email

6. Measure Email Marketing Performance

The majority of the ESPs now provide complimentary analytics that can help your measure basic metrics including open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and unsubscribe rates. While there are other advanced metrics to track, these four metrics can give you an overall idea about the success of your email marketing campaigns.

The open rate denotes how many people check your emails. An invisible tracking pixel tracks it when recipients open your email. It explains the relationship between you and your subscribers. Low open rates can imply a disengaged audience base.

The click-through rate tells you how many people have clicked on the links you have provided (if you have any). Low CTRs indicate that your message is too generic and narrowly focused.

The unsubscribe rate explains how many people hit the unsubscribe button. It can happen for two reasons: they either don’t need your emails or don’t find them helpful.

If your opt-in rate is lower than your unsubscribe rate, you've failed to provide value to your audience.

The key to utilizing email marketing metrics is to pay attention to consumer behavior. For example, if the unsubscribe rate increases after a particular automated mail, then work on it. If it happens right after they sign-up, you have to provide more value to your marketing activity.

Maybe the CTA needs something more, the contents are not insightful, or perhaps the email is not crafted well.

The Pros and Cons of Email Marketing

Email marketing is far from dead. But like any other marketing channel, it has its own sets of benefits and challenges. Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of email marketing.

The Pros of Email Marketing

Email Marketing is Consent-Based

When a lead shares their email IDs with you, it implies they look forward to getting emails from you. Rather than appearing uncalled for raises the opportunities for engagement and conversions.

Email Marketing Provides you Direct Access

Your emails will land straight into your client's inbox which allows you to have a direct conversation. Moreover, the majority of the users check their mailbox daily. Hence, your mail can easily catch their attention.

Email Marketing Allows you to Provide a Personalized Experience

According to research led by Campaign Monitor, segmented and customized campaigns boost income up to 760%. Thus, consider using demographic and psychographic data while conducting a hyper-targeted marketing campaign like email marketing.

Email Marketing is Measurable

You have the privilege to measure the performance of your email marketing campaign. You can then use these insights to help your future campaigns perform better and boost your ROI.

The Cons of Email Marketing

Email Marketing is Challenging

As much as it is beneficial that you can land straight in your clients' inbox, it is also crucial to note that other companies like you can do the same. It is a tough challenge to be in the limelight in a cluttered inbox.

The Rules of Email Marketing are Tricky

The use of email for business is subject to a number of constraints. Common examples include the CCPA and the GDPR. All of these laws forbid unsolicited emails. Unfortunately, even after subscribing, subscribers can report their emails as spam. In the long run, this can harm your sender's reputation.

Email Deliverability Issues

You can’t be sure if your emails will reach your clients' inbox after hitting the send button. Running an efficient email marketing activity requires dealing with delivery and deliverability issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Email Automation?

Email automation is a way to create trigger-based email campaigns that can help your emails reach the right people with the right message at the right time, without human intervention. For example, automation can help you send an email when someone adds products to carts or downloads files from your website.

Why should I opt for email marketing?

Email marketing is a great medium to reach a wider audience and boost sales. It is also a great initiative to develop your relationship with your audience.

How can I build an email list?

Giveaways, contests, coupon codes, and webinars are the perfect bait to gather emails. If you’re looking to build an email list for your B2B business, you can also opt for services like OneMoreLead.

Wrapping Up

If you have ignored email marketing because you believe it is dead, you should reconsider your options. If done correctly, email marketing can still be the most effective medium for generating leads.

If you’re worried about the deliverability issues of your email campaigns, you need to warm up your email accounts before you start sending out emails. AutoWarmup offers a reliable email warmup service at an affordable cost.

So what are you waiting for? Get started with AutoWarmup today!