Every time you send an email, you’re proactively building (or harming) your IP reputation. That’s why checking your sender score and using email services like Mailgun that focus on the reputation of your IP addresses are so important to your email program.
Building a positive email reputation is not an exact science. And like most things, it doesn’t happen overnight. When we talk about reputation, we are referring to the combination of two things: IP reputation and domain reputation. While there is some overlap between the two concepts, there are some key distinctions.
First, IP addresses identify the computer or mail server that you are using to send email and access the internet. IP addresses are unique and immediately identify the user or group of users. A domain name is part of the email address from which you send messages to other users.
Why A High Sender Score Matters
When IPs and domains are maintained and send only legitimate email, it should result in a high sender score. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. If either one is compromised by sending out unwanted emails or viruses, users may file spam complaints and block your messages. If the issue progresses, you may end up on an IP blacklist, which will threaten your email deliverability.
Your online reputation is analogous to a credit score: a high sender score gives you access to existing and potential customers, while IP addresses and domains that have lodged repeated spam complaints are likely to end up in the spam folder, or worse, on blacklists.
And like a credit score, a strong online reputation and a strong sender score takes a while to build. Just as you wouldn’t go out and open dozens of credit card accounts in one day, you don’t want to start by sending extreme amounts of email on day 1.
IP Reputation and Blacklists
Blacklists contain lists of IPs and domains with a poor reputation. There are many different blacklists—from Barracuda Networks to Return Path—all with different standards for inclusion.
If you end up on a blacklist, don’t worry. It is possible to repair your online sender reputation, but you will want to get to the root of the problem.
First, check your email collection methods to make sure that you are getting confirmed opt-ins when people sign up for your list. Next, make sure that you have a process in place for regular list maintenance. Once you’ve taken those steps, you can request to have your IP removed from the blacklist—in fact, some even walk you through manual steps to do it yourself.
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Take A Proactive Approach
A cloud-based email service provider that provides access to a real-time database where you can keep a close eye on your email security, track open rates, and review customer engagement is a good start. Mailgun uses dedicated IPs from large subnets so you won’t get blocked due to shared IPs.