What to Do if You’ve Ruined Your Email Sender Reputation
If you’re looking for an effective way to reach your customers online, email marketing is the way to go. You can reach just about every demographic when you start an email campaign, even the younger and more tech-savvy ones.
However, even the best email campaigns won’t yield good returns if your emails don’t land in your subscriber’s inboxes. That’s why a good email sender reputation is so important.
If you’re interested in starting an email campaign but aren’t sure how to beat a bad email sender reputation, keep reading. We’re diving in to talk about why a good email sender reputation is so important and how you can improve yours today.
What is an Email Sender Reputation and Why is It Important?
Your email sender reputation is a metric for a score that internet service providers give to your business based on several factors. The better your email sender score, the better your reputation is for that domain.
If your domain has a low email sender reputation score, your emails could get bounced into spam folders instead of regular inboxes where they belong. Sometimes, your email not get delivered at all.
What Causes a Low Email Sender Reputation?
The number one thing that causes your email sender reputation score to drop is when recipients report your messages as spam. Another big factor is when your recipients don’t open the email at all.
A high bounce rate can affect your score as well. If you regularly send emails to incorrect or invalid addresses, that increases your bounce rate.
If you bought an email list without checking it, you’ve put yourself at risk for high bounce rates and irritated recipients who never asked to get your emails so they don’t open them or, worse, report them as spam.
How to Determine if You Have a Low Email Sender Reputation
One way to find out if you have a bad sending reputation is to look at the results of your campaign over time. The more emails over a longer period of time that you can look at, the better your data will be.
Do you see any patterns, trends, or irregularities?
One sign that you have a low email sender reputation is if your open rate is significantly lower than 20%. But if you notice that your open rates are dropping over time, your reputation could be in trouble.
How to Improve an Email Sender Reputation
Now that you have a better understanding of what an email sender reputation is and how it impacts your business, let’s figure out how to fix it.
Identify the Issue
Your first step needs to be identifying the issue. Without knowing where you went wrong, you won’t be able to prevent it from happening again. Look for patterns in your metrics.
How are your opens, bounces, spam complaints, clicks, and unsubscribe?
If you notice a spike in your complaints or bounces surrounding certain emails, you’ll be able to look a little deeper to find out what went wrong.
Make Your Email Lists Permission-Based
Next, make sure that your emails are opt-in. Don’t send any emails that you don’t have permission to send. When you purchase third-party lists, you’re going to damage your reputation and it can be difficult to get it back.
Any good email service provider will not allow you to send to a list that you purchased or rented.
When a customer provides their emails for your contact forms, make sure that they have the chance to opt-in to your emails. Don’t assume that you can add them to your list.
Don’t Use Outdated Lists
Next, if you haven’t started an email campaign in a while, it may be tempting to use your old lists. But if you haven’t used the list in a long time, think more than 12 months, don’t send emails to the list now.
12 months is a long time to go without hearing from your company. You’re likely not at the forefront of your target audience’s mind. You’re risking poor engagement and all the issues that arise from that as well.
Send From Your Domain
If you’re not sending from your domain, you’re not going to be able to take advantage of a good email sender reputation. Emails sent from Gmail, Yahoo! or Hotmail won’t be authenticated, so they won’t build your reputation.
Emails sent from a free email service also tend to have a much higher bounce rate.
Use an email from your website’s domain so you can start to build a positive email sender reputation.
Make Targeted and Relevant Content
The best way to attempt to rebuild a bad sender reputation score is to create content that your email list wants to see and interact with. Create engaging content, uses segments, and dynamic content.
Make your emails as targeted as possible. Divide your list into subscriber groups based on certain criteria and use those groups to send content to specific demographics. This should help improve your engagement rates.
It takes time and effort to figure out how to send targeted emails to specific groups but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll notice an improvement in your open rates, clicks, and other engagement. You’ll start to see your sending reputation increase as well.
Authentication is a big step towards improving a bad email sender reputation score. It improves the deliverability of your emails as well.
When you legitimize your DKIM signature, you’ll become a trusted, authenticated sender in the eyes of various receiving servers. This will have a positive effect on how their domains will handle your emails.
In other words, when you authenticate your domain, you’re much more likely to wind up in someone’s inbox instead of their spam folder. You’ll get more engagement and your email sender reputation score will start to improve.
Use a Preference Center
When you allow people to select the level of interaction between themselves and your business, you’re giving them a chance to interact positively.
Let them decide how often they want to receive emails from you. This can be a great way to avoid having someone completely unsubscribe from your emails as well.
When they move to unsubscribe themselves, they can instead opt-in to getting fewer emails, or only emails of a specific type.
Start a Re-Engagement Campaign
If you have subscribers who aren’t engaged at all, you can start a re-engagement campaign to attempt to raise your email sender reputation.
You can send them an email that asks them if they still want to receive emails from you. This is a great way to filter out subscribers who wouldn’t be engaged with your content anyway.
Identify, Target, and Remove Inactive Recipients
Next, you need to figure out who on your list is inactive. You may look at a large subscriber list and assume that it’s a positive thing. However, a large subscriber list with small engagement will do you more harm than good.
Instead, opt for a smaller list with a higher engagement percentage. Not only will this give you better data for future email campaigns, but you’ll also be improving your email sender reputation.
The quality of your subscriber list is always more important than the quantity.
Prioritize High Engagement
Lastly, you have to use all of the data you’ve gathered so far and use it to determine who on your list is the most active. Once you’ve figured out who they are, you can use your demographic research to tailor your content around them and put most of your effort into converting them.
Tips for Improving Your Sender Score
Make sure your emails are personalized. People will most likely interact with things that are directed at them rather than a form email that they can tell was sent to everyone. Think about it like the difference between standing at a podium making a speech to a room full of people versus the impact of having a one-on-one conversation.
Make sure your subject line is eye-catching. They’re the elevator pitch of the email marketing world. If you can’t get your customer hooked on your email in the second it takes them to read your subject line, they probably won’t open it.
Don’t use words like “free” or “buy” in your emails. These words are often red flags for spam filters and your email could end up in the spam folder by mistake. You can bypass this by asking your recipients to add you to their address book.
Let Us Help You Improve Your Low Sender Reputation Score
Improving your sender reputation score is difficult, especially if you’re trying to do it on your own. It doesn’t help matters that it’s also surprisingly easy to tarnish your email sender reputation. Without the proper help and guidance, you may wind up doing more harm than good and landing in the spam box forever.
If you’re looking for help managing your email lists, contact us today.