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Sender Reputation Actually Matters

Sender Reputation Actually Matters

When you think about large corporations, or really any business for that matter, we all know that they value their reputation above all. Reputation is everything. If consumers do not trust your brand due to poor reputation, you may as well call go ahead and call it quits.

Your reputation has a huge impact on relationships and the perception of your brand. Regardless of the type of industry you are in or what product or service you offer, you want your reputation to be pristine.

That being said, in the email marketing industry, sender reputation is all to often overlooked and cast to the side. It’s truly a simple formula. Bad sender reputation = poor relationship with subscribers. Every single action you take from sending an email, to the content, to resources you send from, all play an integral part in the makeup of your sender reputation. Your actions can make or break whether you will reach the inbox or get sent straight to the spam folder.

Let's Break It Down

What is an Email Sender Reputation? If you’re thinking it relates to how others perceive you in the email industry, you’re entirely correct.

Essentially, it is a score that categorizes how trustworthy your brand is AKA you either are or you are not perceived to be a spammer. The score is compiled by various ISP’s that have interacted with you throughout email related transactions. They factor in all kinds of variables such as the volume of emails sent, spam traps hit, complaints, bounce rates, and more.

One other thing to mention – that score doesn't disappear as you move from ISP to ISP. It travels with you and is taken into consideration by all you interact with. It has a huge impact on the success of your campaign outreaches. Depending on your particular score, your mail will either be routed to the inbox or the spam folder. Some ISP's may even throttle your mail after a certain number of emails have been sent and slow down your deliverability efforts if they see cause to be suspicious. Worst case scenario, your score gets so poor, ISP's determine to avoid you entirely and block your efforts in totality.

How do you Build and Maintain a Good Email Reputation?

There are many tactics to ensure your email reputation and sender score remains positive. Here are some of the ones we have found to be the most crucial:

  • You need to be practicing solid list cleansing. That means both email validation and email hygiene. It's not just enough to remove hard bounces. Nasty things like spam traps and moles can have a much longer lasting negative impact on your reputation than bouncing can. Make sure you protect yourself from all angles.
  • Your list cleansing needs to occur frequently. Data changes constantly. People quit jobs, move away, create new addresses, and abandon old ones. Don't let your list grow stale. What is valid today, can very easily be a trap or a bounce the next. On average a list can change between 5-10% each month. If you go longer than a month or two without cleaning your list, you could be swimming in some dangerous waters.
  • Validate email addresses at the point of collection. Set yourself up for success and start off on the right foot from the get-go. (Check out Impressionwise's awesome real-time API here).
In short: A Clean List = Clean Email Resources = A Highly Deliverable List = High Recipient Engagement

Curious about your sender reputation? Upload your list at for a complimentary evaluation or contact for a quick scan of your resources from our Network Monitor...