This playbook’s objectives are to:
- Set up monitoring profiles
- Understand Sender Score and sending reputation’s impact to deliverability
- Start tracking Sender Score trends
- If you are a new Everest customer with no prior relationship with Validity, complete onboarding to ensure you are familiar with navigating and using Everest.
- If you were a Return Path or 250ok customer and are moving to Everest, complete your migration process.
- Ensure you have completed the Everest Basic Setup Guide.
Important! Be sure you know the subscription allotments based on your service tier and plan according to your sending frequency and the size of your email database. You can find your subscription information by navigating to: My Everest>Account Settings>Subscription.
- Sending reputation terminology
- Common sending reputation challenges
- How monitoring sending reputation fits into your process
- Important sending reputation metrics and where to find them
- How to use Everest to monitor sending reputation
- What to do next
- Sender Score: Sender Score is a numerical representation of your sending reputation from 0 (worst) – 100 (best). It is calculated by measuring your performance across key metrics important to mailbox providers.
- Key Sender Score metrics are based on email sent to Validity data sources:
- Volume: The volume of email sent to Validity data sources.
- Unknown user rate: The percentage of invalid users.
- Messages filtered: The percentage of email accepted by a mailbox provider and not placed in the inbox.
- Complaint rate: The percentage of subscribers marking your email as spam.
- Sender rejected: The percentage of email blocked by a mailbox provider.
- Spam traps: Email addresses designed to identify potentially abusive email traffic.
- Valid host type & rDNS: The technical configuration of your sending system.
Common challenges associated with poor sending reputation are:
- We don’t have insight into sending reputation factors that may impact our ability to reach the inbox.
- Our campaign performance does not always meet expectations and we don’t know why.
- We have multiple brands and offices around the world and troubleshooting deliverability problems related to our sending reputation is difficult.
Monitoring your sending reputation helps you identify problems associated with:
- Flat or decreasing inbox placement rates
- Flat or decreasing open and click rates
For additional information on sending reputation:
A traditional email marketing process consists of three phases: Pre-Send, In-Flight, and Monitoring. Using Design & Content within the pre-send phase helps to ensure your campaigns render properly across mobile devices and email clients.
- Inform your email campaign strategy with Everest’s Competitive Intelligence
- Plan campaign
- Select target subscriber list
- Design campaign
- Validate subscriber list using Everest’s List Validation
- Test campaign design using Everest’s Design & Content
- Send campaign to subscribers and the Everest seed list
- View your campaign’s inbox placement, spam, and missing results using Everest’s Inbox Placement
- Monitor engagement metrics using Everest’s Engagement, your ESP, or internal sending platform.
- Monitor sending reputation metrics using Everest’s Monitoring feature to understand deliverability impact.
- Monitor DMARC compliance to identify unauthorized use of your domain and brand using Everest’s Infrastructure feature.
Sender reputation data is visible in the Monitoring>Reputation feature within the Sender Score tile. The data helps you identify trends and patterns in the following metrics used by mailbox providers to filter or deliver your email.
- Sender Score (0-100): The higher your score, the better.
- Volume: Volume fluctuations are normal, but large spikes in volume outside of your normal sending patterns (e.g. the holidays) may cause more messages to be filtered or blocked.
- Unknown User Rate: Increases in unknown user rate may indicate an issue with list acquisition, list hygiene, or your bounce process.
- Messages filtered: Increases in filtered messages indicate deliverability problems. You should see messages sent to the seed list reflect similar spam filtering.
- Complaint Rate: one of the biggest reasons why a mailbox provider filters your email is due to high spam complaints
- Sender rejected: the more email a mailbox provider rejects usually indicates your IP landed on a blocklist.
- Spam traps: increases in spam traps indicate list acquisition or list hygiene issues and can be a signal to a mailbox provider that you may be a spammer.
- Valid Host Type & rDNS: Your IP address needs to have a valid hostname. The rDNS check determines that the IP address is connected to an authentic domain name. Many receiving mailboxes are instructed to reject incoming mail from a sending IP address without an rDNS record.
How you determine what monitoring profiles to create is based on how your business operates and what insights you want into your email program. If you are unsure about how you want to create monitoring profiles, start with one profile and create others as you determine what level of detail is important to you.
- If you send from a single domain or IP address, set up one monitoring profile for your IP or domain.
- If you send from multiple domains on the same IP, create monitoring profiles for each domain.
- For senders with more complex sending infrastructures, consider these factors for creating separate monitoring profiles. Because monitoring profiles are grouped by IP or domain, you need to send from multiple ESPs/sending platforms or segment your email by IP or domain to create separate monitoring profiles.
- ESPs: Sending reputation and deliverability can vary by ESP (especially on shared IPs) depending on how dedicated they are to selling services to companies that follow sending best practices.
- Geographies/regions: Sending reputation and deliverability may vary based on regional mailbox providers and subscriber behavior.
- Brands: Some brands may perform better than others even when sent from the same sending IPs.
- Product lines: Some product lines may perform better than others even when sent from the same sending IPs.
- Mail streams: Insights into marketing and transactional mail are popular choices, but you might also consider specific mail streams such as welcome series, newsletters, and win-back.
- IP type: Create separate monitoring profiles if you send from both dedicated and shared IPs.
1. Login to Everest
2. Navigate to Monitoring>Reputation
3. Locate the Sender Score tile and click View Report
4. Locate your IP address and note your Sender Score
- Filter by monitoring profile if needed
5. Click on the Details arrow, located to the right of your IP address
6. Within the Sender Score Trend tile, review the trend line for your IP on the date of your last campaign sent to the Everest seed list.
- Do you see a decrease in your Sender Score on the same date of your campaign?
- The date range defaults to the Last 30 Days. Change the date range by clicking on the date field and selecting the new date range.
7. Review the trend line for any Sender Score dips over the past 30 and 90 days
- Roll your mouse cursor over the date to see more detail
- Do the dips in your Sender Score match any previous campaign dates?
8. Locate the Scoring Metrics tile to identify potential problem areas
What to do with sending reputation results
Sender Scores fluctuate for most senders and should be monitored for abnormal increases or decreases in the Scoring Metrics.
After you send a campaign to your subscribers:
- Check your Inbox Placement for the campaign sent to the Everest seed list
- Check your Sender Score and Scoring Metrics for any unexpected changes or trends
- Look for correlations with recent campaigns
- Check for any changes made to your email program that may have caused problems such as sending to a lot of new subscribers or not identifying valid subscribers using Everest’s List Validation.
Lower Sender Scores generally correlate with lower inbox placement rates, which is why having a good sending reputation is important.
For additional information, please read:
1. Review Sender Score metrics for each monitoring profile you created after each campaign to see if the campaign had any impact to the score.
2. Continue reading our other Everest playbooks to help take your email marketing program to the next level.