Unsubscribe Part 2: Your Sender Reputation
You probably spend a lot of time thinking about your brand reputation – but how much time do you spend thinking about your email sender reputation?
What is Sender Reputation?
If you are actively using email marketing, it’s important to know how you stand with Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Every ISP assigns each company that sends email a sender reputation. This score is a critical component of your email deliverability. High score = highly deliverable, trusted source. But, if your email sender reputation falls below a certain point, your messages may get dumped directly into the recipient’s spam folder – or worse yet, your emails may not get delivered at all.
How is Sender Reputation Measured?
The exact components of each ISPs email sender reputation formula are kept under wraps, but these factors are commonly included:
- Number of email bounces due to unknown users
- Open rate, reply rate, click rate, forwards – as well as deletions and unsubscribes
- How often the organization’s emails are rejected as spam by recipients
- Number of spam complaints sent to an ISP about a particular organization
- Organization’s inclusion on blacklists or frequency with which emails hit the ISP’s spam trap
Each ISP weighs these factors differently and uses this information to calculate your email sender reputation. And, if you are using multiple domain names, each domain has its own reputation score.
So how can you safeguard your email reputation?
- Use an explicit opt-in policy – send an email when people subscribe to your list and ask them to confirm their request. The benefits here are two-fold: the validity of the email is confirmed, and you know for certain the person is requesting your information.
- Bring new subscribers in slowly – don’t immediately bombard people with the full-throttle of your email marketing. Instead warm them up, test different things, move them appropriately into different channels of communication, and take it slow! Building your reputation with subscribers takes time.
- Check your numbers – monitor delivery rates, bounce rates, response rates.
- Interactivity is key – make your emails as compelling as you can, with excellent copy and interesting information. Include click-through opportunities, videos, whatever you can to get the recipient to interact with you. Not only will this increase your effectiveness, it will increase your email sender reputation as well.
- Learn your bounce codes – there are different varieties of hard and soft bounces, learn which ones should be immediately added to your “do not subscribe” list, which just need a rest, and which you can safely continue to use (out of office soft bounces, for example).
- Keep it clean – get rid of invalid emails and non-responders, because those high bounce rates can be a real downer for your sender reputation. Clean lists = real prospects = happy ISPs.
Your CRM is key – a well-kept database will give you a great sender reputation. If you’d like to talk more about how AspenTech CRM can help, jump on my calendar and I’ll be happy to spend a bit of time exploring your current situation and how you can create significant improvement for your company, your prospects and clients, and your email sender reputation.