What is Domain Reputation?
Domain reputation is now more critical than ever before in terms of deliverability. It's taken into account anywhere your domain is utilized, along with the composition of your email, your branding assets, and, obviously, email authentication. Domain reputation is determined by the historical pattern of email sending and the ratio of email engagement. When sending an email, there are three parts to consider. They are From Address, Return-Path domain, DKIM signing domain. It’s important to know which of these domains the ISPs use to check the domain’s reputation.
Factors That Impact Email Deliverability
It’s not always that simple to get an email into a recipient’s inbox. Many factors determine whether an email is delivered, blocked, or filtered into a junk or spam folder.
1) IP Address
The sender’s server’s Internet Protocol(IP) address is a numerical identifier. An IP address is assigned to all devices linked to a computer network. Therefore, an email’s IP reputation impacts how an Internet service provider handles it. You can easily check the IP reputation using free services like Return Path’s email deliverability tool, Sender Score.
Like the IP address, the sender domain has a reputation that affects deliverability. For the originating address, several brands use a variation of their domain. It’s good to separate marketing emails from transactional emails like order confirmation and shipment notifications.
3) Behavior of Recipients
ISPs use deliverability algorithms to evaluate the actions of recipients. For example, if someone repeatedly deletes your email without opening it, your ISP may filter it into a subfolder. Likewise, excessive complaints and unsubscribes may result in the ISP refusing to accept any mail from your business.
4) Subject Lines and Content
Spam filters can be tripped by email subject lines and body content, reducing deliverability. A mix of images and words should be used in the range. Every email included the sender's physical mailing address and a clear unsubscribe link.
How to Build an Email Sender Reputation
1) Set up an email subdomain
Subdomains are essential in ensuring long-term email deliverability. They allow you to separate your sending reputation for different email types.
2) Ensure that you have a clean list
ISP's favor senders who regularly send "good" emails with high engagement. Continuing to email subscribers who never engage will only hurt your deliverability. In addition, maintaining a clean list reduces the likelihood of your clients continuing to email subscribers, which will only harm their reputation.
3) Leverage segmentation to send targeted emails
The days of blasting entire marketing lists are long gone, as this is the quickest method to ruin deliverability. Instead, clients should develop an email segmentation strategy based on their buyer personas to write emails with content that is tailored to where they are in the customer journey and what is most likely to convert them.
4) Leverage email automation
Automated email campaigns are one of the simplest ways to deliver hyper-targeted emails. A welcome and win back automation should be set up in every email campaign because these are the two specific strategies to increase email interaction and develop a solid sender reputation.
5) Manage to send volume over time
Your sends and engagement are regularly graded by ISPs, who are on the lookout for suspicious activities such as erratic spikes in sending volume. So it’s better to send tiny chunks a few times a week rather than one massive send once a week to keep a good sender reputation.
10 Tips to Improve Domain Reputation
1) Prime your IP for success
Sending modest batches of emails is always a better way to begin an email campaign. Send these emails to addresses you know are active. Your IP will gain trust with the ISP when interested parties receive and examine these emails. Increase the number of emails you send gradually until you reach your maximum capacity.
2) Create a framework for sender policies
In the view of the receiving email server, a sender policy framework(SPF) boosts your reliability. To ensure that the domain name is valid, the server can compare it to the corresponding IP address. Your emails may be refused if you don’t have an SPF in place.
3) Stick to a consistent send schedule
Spontaneous and erratic broadcast activity is one reason for a lower sender score and IP rejection. If you don’t send emails regularly, you’ll experience sending spikes. So, it's better to make an effort to maintain a consistent email sending schedule.
4) Register a subdomain and use it only for email
Spontaneous and erratic broadcast activity is one reason for a lower sender score and IP rejection. If you don’t send emails regularly, you’ll experience sending spikes. So, attempt to keep your email sending schedule constant.
5) Examine feedback loops
The vast majority of ISPs provide email senders with feedback loops to acquire information from recipients who have complained about the sender's email. Complaint Feedback Loops, or FBLs, are what these are termed. Gmail users can create a Feedback Loop header that does not follow the standard ARF format used by most FBLs.
6) Purge your list
Your bounce rate will rise if you send marketing emails to people that don't exist, and your send credibility will be harmed. Once in a while, purge your list of inactive recipients, removing everyone who hasn't opened or clicked your emails in a few months. High hard bounce rates are the quickest way to get your IP filtered and blocked. Before starting a new email marketing campaign, you might wish to employ a professional service to clean up all hard bounces.
7) Check blacklists
It’s a good idea to check the blacklists if you have to send troubles, or even if you’re not. These DNS-based blacklists are designed to keep users safe from IPs that have received many spam reports.
8) Filter contest entry email signups
Giveaways and signups produce the worst email lists. People will attempt to enter several times using invalid or nonexistent email addresses, as is their nature. If you’re using a contest or giveaway to get email subscribers, make sure you thoroughly check the list before adding it to your subscriber list.
9) Use a confirmed opt-in or a double opt-in
The single opt-in is the most common type of opt-in, in which a user agrees to receive emails by ticking a box or leaving a pre-checked box checked. Because it’s so easy and automatic, this may appear to be a great way of collecting email addresses. Unfortunately, it can backfire by creating a large number of spam complaints. Spam complaints can be quite damaging. After two or three spam reports per thousand emails, some ISPs start blocking sending servers.
10) Check the reputation of the sender
A low sender score is the most common reason your emails are not delivered. ISPs immediately reject any emails that score below a specific threshold. Return Path generates the Sender Score. Sender Score assigns every outgoing mail server a number. Traditional email data like unsubscribes and spam reports determine this score.
Frequently Asked Questions
How important is domain reputation when you’re using shared IP addresses?
Your IP reputation might be influenced by factors such as whether you're utilizing a brand new IP address, a shared IP address, or a dedicated IP address. For example, if you're sending from a shared IP, your sending IP may have a bad reputation due to the actions of other email senders that use that IP.
Is using DKIM important for domain reputation?
DKIM also benefits from allowing ISPs to create a reputation for your domain over time. You assist your domain in building a solid sending reputation with ISPs by sending an email and improving your delivery practices, which improves deliverability.
How long does it take to fix email reputation?
They’re doing everything right; it’s simply taking longer than anyone would like. That’s kind of how Gmail works, with their algorithm being able to adjust to changes quickly. It can take 3–4 weeks to observe any direct results, such as when you’re warming up or trying to change a poor reputation.
Can email bounce affect IP reputation?
When an email bounces, it means it wasn’t sent to the intended recipient. If you have a lot of hard bounces, your IP address can wind up on a blacklist. In addition, poor overall deliverability rates will harm your sender's reputation in the long term.
What is the best way to warm up a new domain for email delivery?
You must warm up the IP address to create this reputation. You have two options for doing this: manually or automatically. You can set hourly/daily sending limits in your system and gradually ramp up as you warm up manually. You can also use Mailgun’s automated IP warmup, which does all of the work for you.
Does email file size affect deliverability?
The size and speed of your email have a significant impact on whether or not it enters the customer’s inbox. While an email file size of 15KB to 100KB is ideal for deliverability, an average loading time of fewer than 2 seconds on the desktop is perfect.
How is dedicated API beneficial for email marketers?
An API is a component that enables different platforms, applications, and systems to communicate with one another, share information, and perform various functions.
APIs simplify integration by allowing different software to reorganize their interrelationships based on your company's specific needs.
APIs make it easier to build new apps, business models, and digital products by allowing for effective complementation with third-party products and services while also speeding up development.
Why are our emails always going to the spam/junk folder?
The most straightforward and apparent reason your emails ended up in spam is that your recipients marked them as spam. Apart from that, having deceptive subject lines, including spam triggers, not following online privacy laws like the GDP, sending an excessive number of attachments are the common reasons for ending up in spam folders.
What are the benefits of email deliverability services?
One of the most obvious benefits of email marketing is that it's less expensive than traditional marketing platforms.
To be effective with email marketing, you don't need a large team or a lot of technical know-how.
Subscribers can easily share great deals and offer with their friends by simply clicking a button.
Can auto-reply negatively impact email deliverability?
Using a no-reply can have severe consequences for your email marketing, such as tarnishing your brand and eroding inbox trust, which leads to lower engagement. In addition, people’s inboxes are auto-filtering nonreply emails as spam, hurting your email deliverability.
What has the biggest impact on domain reputation?
The reputation we develop for our domains is similar to the importance we build for ourselves. What you've done in the past and whom you're linked with have an impact on your reputation.
For example, if you have associated with poor IPs in the past, or you often mistakenly send emails to the wrong recipient, ISPs will mark you as a bad reputed domain. But there's always a way to redeem yourself.
Is there any downside to adding DKIM to some but not all emails from a domain?
Yes, having DKIM signatures on some emails and not others may hurt the deliverability rate. In many situations, non-DKIM signed emails may not get to the audience like others.