What is Sender Score and how is it calculated?

A Sender Score is a numerical representation of your sending reputation. Sender reputation is determined by measuring your performance across key metrics that are important to mailbox providers and email subscribers. These metrics are intended to help senders understand how legitimate and welcome their email is to their own subscribers. 

How Sender Score works 

  • You send an email campaign your subscribers. A Sender Score is assigned to each IP address you send from. 
  • Sender Scores are based on a scale of 0-100, with 0 being the worst and 100 being the best. A low Sender Score is classified as being below 90. 
  • The Return Path Provider Network captures your reputation metrics that make up a Sender Score. The Provider Network is powered by mailbox providers, spam filtering companies, and spam trap networks. It also includes more than 100 million mailboxes and millions of unique IP addresses. 
  • Depending on how you perform against the different reputation metrics, your Sender Score fluctuates. 
  • Your reputation metrics are displayed in your Return Path account for you to understand why your Sender Score may have increased or decreased. 

How your Sender Score is calculated

Return Path generates Sender Scores using a proprietary algorithm that takes into account a wealth of data within Return Path's Provider Network as described above. 

The Sender Score algorithm reviews more than 100 variables before configuring your score. 

Here are the different reputation metrics that comprise your Sender Score: 

  • Complaint rate
  • Message filtered rate
  • Infrastructure
  • Sending volume
  • Sender rejected rate
  • Unknown user rate
  • Spam trap hits
  • Blacklistings 
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