Your email reputation (or sender reputation or domain reputation) is a generalized score Internet Service Providers (ISPs) assign to inboxes and domains. ISPs and spam filters consider your reputation when deciding whether they’ll allow your message to go through to your intended recipient.
Maintaining a positive sender reputation is essential for any marketing team because a good reputation helps you get your messages into your customers’ inboxes. Thankfully, there are multiple steps you can take to improve and maintain your email reputation
Prepare Your IP Address for Email Reputation
Getting your IP ready to send out quality content in bulk starts with warming up your IP. You wouldn’t go from lounging on the couch all day to running a marathon, and you can’t start sending out thousands of emails to customers when you usually only send one or two a day. A sudden increase in sent messages is a huge red flag to ISPs and spam filters.
Warming up your IP allows servers to get to know your domain as a trustworthy sender. The more positive interactions you have, the more ISPs will recognize your domain as safe. Safe domains get messages into inboxes. As ISPs get comfortable seeing your messages come through, you can begin to increase the number of emails you send from your IP address until you reach your optimal daily send rate.
The warmup process typically takes around four to six weeks, but it’s worth putting in the time to ramp up your email efforts. The good news is that we can help you warm up your IP and keep it warm.
If you are planning on sending out bulk emails, you may want to consider investing in a dedicated IP. Using a shared IP saves money, but you sacrifice control over what other people on the IP address are doing. If you happen to share an IP address with a cybercriminal who gets the IP address put on a blocklist, you won’t be able to send out your emails even though you did nothing wrong. A dedicated IP ensures that you can maintain a positive reputation based only on your Internet use.
Create a New Domain Exclusively for Email Marketing Purposes for A Good Email Reputation
Whether you register a subdomain or a new domain entirely, having an extra domain specifically for email marketing can help you maintain a positive email reputation.
Especially when you have an extensive network of employees who frequently use their emails to directly communicate with customers or coworkers, having a separate domain for mass email campaigns allows you to focus on your marketing domain. Different domains are an excellent option for cold emailing as well since your reputation through that domain won’t affect your primary domain’s functionality.
Having a specific domain for marketing purposes enables you to zero in your focus on the performance of marketing emails without having to filter through other business transactions. Your reputation is solely based on the actions of the marketing team, and you can warm up this domain to send out the desired number of emails.
If you register a secondary domain for email marketing, be sure that consumers can easily identify the new domain. If your primary domain is “@monkeybusiness.com,” then having “@gobananas.com” as a secondary domain may confuse your subscribers, no matter how punny you think it is. Instead, go for a secondary domain like “@monkey_business.com” or “@monkeybusiness.io.”
Implement a Sender Policy Framework for Email Reputation
A Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an email authentication record that ISPs use to verify the authenticity of a message. SPF helps prevent spammers and scammers from sending spoofed emails on behalf of your domain. Along with a Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM)and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC), SPF is a DNS record that enables ISPs to confirm the legitimacy of a message.
SPF is a tool that helps establish your trustworthiness to various email servers. Publishing an SPF record indicates that you are taking steps to be a safe sender and keep your recipients safe.
Servers use SPF records to cross-check the sender’s domain name with the listed IP address to verify that the message actually came from the sender. Before delivering an email, the server will get a packet of information from you that states where the email is coming from, and they match the information to the DNS record. If the messages match, the email is sent through. If they don’t match, the message is marked as suspicious and rejected.
Using SPF significantly increases your deliverability rate and helps you maintain a positive reputation.
Create a Consistent Send Schedule for Email Reputation
Once your inbox is warm, and you’re ready to send emails to your subscribers, it’s best to establish a sending schedule. Sticking to a consistent schedule helps servers recognize your sending patterns and know when to expect messages from you.
Spammers often send bulk emails erratically, so maintaining a set schedule shows that your messages are being sent with strategic intent.
It’s best to start by sending an email to your subscribers once a week. At the most, you can work your way up to twice a week, and at the very least, you can scale back to once a month. You want to strike a balance between making sure that your brand stays fresh on your customer’s minds without annoying them with too many emails. When in doubt, don’t send a message unless it contains relevant information.
Use a Double Opt-In for Email Reputation
Most companies add people to their subscriber base through single opt-in measures. Single opt-in usually consists of customers checking a box (or not unchecking a box) to receive email updates. While this is a good way to bulk up your email list, you run the risk of getting annoyed customers who didn’t realize they signed up for email blasts. And eventually, these annoyed customers may unsubscribe or report your messages as junk.
Double opt-in measures typically involve sending an email to a customer and asking them to verify that they want to receive messages from you in the future. This helps you because they interact with your message from the very beginning and send a signal to their ISP that they are interested in seeing your content.
Double opt-in measures are also beneficial because they allow the customer to confirm that they typed their email in correctly. People make typos all the time, and the last thing you want is to have an email bounce because someone accidentally put “@gnail.com” instead of “@gmail.com.”
This practice makes your email list stronger, and when it comes to a subscriber list, quality outranks quantity every single time.
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