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Best practices for improving sender reputation

Sender reputation is the way mailbox providers measure the trustworthiness of a sender’s email. It is based on a variety of metrics, including spam complaint rate, unknown user rate, volume, spam trap hits, and blacklistings. Achieving and maintaining a good sender reputation is key to consistently reach the inbox.

Best practice recommendations

Reduce complaints

  • Ensure all IP addresses and domains are enrolled in all available complaint feedback loops.
  • Add subscribers who complain to a suppression list as soon as you receive the complaint.
  • Use your brand name in the friendly-from (display name) address so it is easier for subscribers to recognize your email.
  • Ensure that you are sending relevant content to encourage engagement.
  • Set expectations at the point of collection about what email a subscriber will receive and when they will receive it. Meet those expectations with the subscriber.
  • Send consistent volume by establishing a regular sending cadence and avoid large sending volume spikes that may trigger a corresponding spike in complaints.

Manage bounces

  • Add unknown users to your suppression list after one bounce.
  • Determine and remedy the cause of a block using your bounce logs rather than continue sending to addresses that are blocked by a mailbox provider. Many mailbox providers include an error code and a website link in the bounce message you can use to get more information about a potential cause for the block.
  • Avoid sending to spam traps.
    • Engage in more aggressive list hygiene practices if you are hitting recycled spam traps.
    • Investigate your list acquisition practices and sources if you are hitting pristine spam traps.

Implement a strategy for dealing with inactive subscribers

  • Determine when you consider a subscriber inactive. This could be at one month, three months, six months, or beyond, depending on your business.
  • Implement a win-back campaign to re-engage with inactive subscribers.
  • Segment out or remove inactive subscribers who have not responded to your win-back campaign.
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