This is intended to be a help guide for you to enjoy and use in your Email Marketing Strategy. Firstly, it’s a warning card for those that still don’t care about their domain name and IP reputation when they send email marketing campaigns thinking that they’re safe for using an external platform or whatever.

So, if you want to be informed and prevent mishaps on your brand and domain name reputation, read this cheat-sheet very carefully.

What’s a Domain Name and IP Reputation?

As you may already read somewhere, email marketing deliverability is quite differently from the good old days when you just needed to take care of the acquisition method, have the right certification seals and eventually pay to a good email marketing provider to reach your customers. Even before that, you could use a simple software with your email list all inserted in and just blast away.

Since the spammers have become really smart and with more resources to cheat the spam filters, the ESP’s (Email Service Providers, like GMail and Yahoo! Mail) needed to take charge of their systems and deliver a better email experience to their users. Ultimately, the ESP’s want to deliver the right messages to their user’s inbox. The other junk messages are sent to the oblivion of SPAM folders or even “less important” visual filter.

This means that not only spam messages are caught, but also the legitimate commercial messages from you are being filtered. This means that even if you practice a good Permission Based acquisition tactic, can still be hurt by this filter algorithms.

The filter is based on a hundred separated metrics but all resumes to a key one: Your Domain Name and IP Reputation.

So, to take advantage of that information and understand how that algorithm works making sure you’re not caught up in it’s threads, check some of the key factors that influence your Domain Name and IP Reputation bellow.

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate - Sender Reputation

Check continuously your Bounce-Rate and Please, Please, Please, clean your database periodically. Even if everyone have subscribed to your list, you must keep it cleaned. And why do you need to do that, you might ask?
Have you imagined the amount of resources needed to deliver tens of millions of emails every month in a service like GMail or Yahoo! Mail for instance? And all of that is all to waste since it ends on nobody real. So, what they’ll do? They start to filter your emails as a punishment since you’re a really bad boy that “refuses to clean your room”. You want to be grounded? Then start to clean your list.

Check your email statistics and separate your bounce users into a reactivation list or even inactive them for not to be used in the future in regular campaigns. This will make your list shorter, but more engaging and profitable.

Unsubscribe Rate

Unsubscribe Rate for Domain Name Reputation

This is kind of expected. If you’re sending something that it isn’t into the subscriber’s interest, there’s a huge chance for them to unsubscribe from your list. And if the rate is abnormal, that will reflect on your sender reputation as well.
So, to tackle this is quite easy: just send something that people will really enjoy and even share it. Check if it’s good enough before sending anything.

On the other hand try not to difficult too much that people use the unsubscribe button. This is still a better option that the next point bellow.

Spam Complaints

Spam Rate damages IP Reputation

Yep, if people don’t find your unsubscribe button easily, they will use the ESP’s default one. And if the Email Provider sees a suspecting high number of spam complaints they will block your further sendings without mercy. Hey, you’re sending something that people don’t want to receive, so get over it.

Again, make the unsubscribe button quite visible instead of hiding it. Even if your unsubscribe metrics go high, it’s better than a spam complaint rate. No question about it!

Make also sure that the automated unsubscribe button is actually working. Sometimes, people make a spam complaint when they try to use the unsubscribe one and it doesn’t work.

Usually, if this rate comes up higher than 0,70% of the total of emails sent, you should worry. So stay tuned on this.

Inactive Users

Make a simple filter within your Email Marketing Platform and just select the ones that didn’t opened or clicked on any of the last 5 to 10 emails you’ve sent before. Get a huge number? Don’t worry about that. Pass them all into a separated list for re-engagement tactics but please separate it from your active usual database. Even if this cuts your database in half.

If your metrics start to be really good, this will turn every new user from the different ESP’s to really get your messages. And by small steps, even the other inactive ones can get active if you deal with the Domain Name & IP Reputation first hand.

Remember that those dormant users can be what we call it Spam Traps from the different ESP’s. Know what this is? A way for them to check if you’re a really caring company that clean their lists periodically. In exchange, they get you through and reach your subscribers in premium space. If you reach the Inbox it would be a much more profitable place since all of the other competitors and spam messages were already blocked by the rules and filters. So take advantage, do the right thing and profit from it.

Engagement Rate

Engagement Rate - into Domain Name Reputation

All of the other techniques were dedicated to the negative portions of email marketing. This one is all about the positive side of it. The Engagement rate is something that the ESP’s are reading closely. If you engage your subscribers with really awesome content and they can’t wait but to open your email message and click within, you’re on that special group of really desired senders.

They will treasure you and keep everyone happy. Your subscribers with the messages they want and you with the privileged space to deliver them.

To do so, you must really take the place of your subscriber’s advocate and think on what they will crave for more. Focus on that, create great subject lines that will direct them to open the message and then deliver what you promised on the subject line. Even better, surprise them by delivering so much more than you’ve promised. Over-deliver and they will become your advocates and will share your message. You want them to share and spread the word, don’t you. Place the necessary tools to make them do just that in the message itself and in the links within your content. Leverage that goodwill into your advantage.

Bottom Line

  1. Respect Your Subscribers
  2. Create Great Content
  3. Deliver What You’ve Promised
  4. Clean Your List
  5. Surprise Them With More
  6. Make Their Life Easier
  7. Place Yourself on the Subscriber’s Shoes
  8. Respect Your Subscribers (Yes, I know that’s duplicated – it’s intended that way ;-P )

Do you do all of these procedures usually? Do you like to add anything more to the community? Please, be welcome to share your thoughts on the comment section.

Thank you Again for your time in reading this article.

Rui Nunes

About Rui Nunes

Rui Nunes is the Founder of sendXmail(s), built for Email Marketing & Automation best strategy for your return on investment.

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