How is your email reputation?

You have developed content with great care and made it into a matching email. Of course you want people to open, read and possibly forward the content. We all want that. Especially at this time of few other contact options.

But what if your mail doesn’t arrive at all? Your email reputation then turns out to be bad and that happens often.

We would therefore like to point out the tips below. But first this.

As soon as an e-mail is sent from an e-mail server, it goes through all kinds of other servers – connected via the internet – to the final receiving server. Unfortunately, emails can disappear in this maze of servers. This is called the black hole. This has nothing to do with your email reputation, but this is the beginning where your emails lose power. The better your reputation, the more your sending server and sending email domain are “known” in the network of servers, the more likely your email will be delivered properly.

If your e-mail does reach the final receiving e-mail server, there is still a chance that the e-mail will be rejected or disappear in the spam box.

This is due to your email reputation or your sender score. It is linked to the sending email server and the domain. This has to do with a number of factors:

  • The number of emails sent and the frequency

When you immediately send thousands of emails in a very short time with a new e-mail server / new domain, your reputation quickly deteriorates. If you have a shipping portal that has been active for a long time, with which you have been sending large numbers for a long time, the problem is much smaller. The build-up to a large number of e-mails is called “IP warming”. This means that the sending e-mail server is “warmed up”, as it were, for sending large numbers. Nevertheless, we are always careful and especially when it comes to thousands of recipients, we always spread the shipment in a few hours or days. You can arrange this in advance with many senders.

  • Recipients mark your emails as spam

Unfortunately, you can have little influence on this – except that you naturally have to send attractive content to people from whom you have received legitimate opt-ins, so that you will also receive your e-mail.

  • When emails are marked as spam by the receiving email server

Each receiving mail server has its own rules for this, such as the ratio of images to text in an email. We have some influence on this by working with a good ratio of images and text (you can imagine that, especially in retail, an email sometimes only consists of images).

The total size of the email also helps: a very large email with images of at least a few MBs will be rejected more quickly. Just think that your recipients open your email with their mobile data subscription and they already use a few percent of their total bundle. Receiving email servers also filter on that. So make sure your images are compressed. Nice threshold to use is a maximum of 256 kb per image. That is also a compromise between quality and size, where sometimes something may be exceeded to guarantee quality. But also take the text / images ratio into account. A spam filter wants to be able to “read” the emails.

A spam filter cannot read images and therefore cannot really determine whether there is nonsense in the e-mail. An e-mail server can read text, so this is looked at. Also, the use of certain words in the subject line (“Free”, “Promotion”, etc.) is always discouraged because spam filters rely on this.

  • Whether a sending email server is on certain blacklists (these are generic lists that an email server may end up on if emails sent by that server are often marked as spam)

This only happens if you send too many e-mails too often and your e-mail is often referred to as spam. Many sending servers keep an eye on this and as soon as one of the servers is on a blacklist, they take action. But be careful, it can still have negative consequences for the service you use. For example, they can choose to temporarily block you from e-mail – and then you really can’t do anything anymore!

  • How many emails to bounce (including invalid email addresses)

We do have some influence on this. Fortunately, many email senders do that themselves. When an email is registered as invalid (hard bounce), this email is automatically excluded from further sending on many platforms. Temporarily unreachable e-mail servers and full inboxes, as a result of which an e-mail cannot be delivered (temporarily) (soft bounce), of course we have no influence on this. So that’s just luck of the draw.

Most Marketing Automation platforms then try to deliver the email for 48 hours. If that does not work after those 48 hours, the attempts will be stopped. The e-mail will then not be registered as invalid, but can simply be taken back with the next transmission. An email sender does register a hard bounce after x number of soft bounces in a row, and then that email address is excluded from sending.

  • How often emails are opened, clicked, answered, forwarded and deleted by recipients

We also have influence on this and this has to do with the commitment of a recipient. When a recipient never actually shows engagement with our e-mails, it is better not to e-mail them again. A few months later you can always make a try, but be careful, it is not for nothing that it is said that you only want to email those who are open to it, so you also increase your open and click rates!

  • How many recipients unsubscribe

That is why we must always keep an eye on this and ensure that it remains below 1% (benchmark from the field).

In addition to the above points, there are a number of components that can have an impact, but these are not always clear, because this differs specifically for a receiving e-mail server. The main question we need to ask ourselves is whether it makes sense to send an email to someone who actually doesn’t open. That actually only affects the results of your email and the chance that it will yield something is quite small.

The global BBN International network is number one in the top 15 of the B2B Marcomms Agencies League Table this year. Referro in Oisterwijk is the Dutch branch of BBN. The BBN network consists of 47 offices in 30 countries and counts more than 1,300 B2B specialists. Gerard van den Bogaart from Referro regularly reports in this blog from BBN on new marketing techniques, customer successes and international B2B developments.

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