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Email Marketing: How to Maintain a High ‘Sender Score’

Even with all of the new self-serving advertising platforms out there, email remains one of the most effective ways to promote a product or service. Once you’ve collected a user’s email address, you can continue to send them marketing and promotional material. So instead of just generating a single sale off the user, you may generate several sales. But if you’re going to engage in email marketing, you need to closely monitor your Sender Score.

What is Sender Score?

Sender Score is a rating from 0 to 100 that’s given to an email service’s Internet Protocol (IP) address for the purpose of ranking their trustworthiness. Developed by Return Path, this free-to-use service is designed to prevent spam and malicious messages from ending up in recipients’ inboxes.

If your email server has a low Sender Score, some of your recipients’ mail service providers may automatically place your messages in their spam folder — or they may not get delivered at all. Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that you won’t be generating many sales if your emails are landing in recipients’ spam folder instead of their inbox.

Return Path says that 83% of instances in which an email is labeled “undeliverable” is the result of a poor Sender Score. That alone should be reason enough to closely monitor the Sender Score of your email server’s IP address. Even if you abide by the CAN-SPAM act and comply with all email marketing regulations, your Sender Score may still take a plunge if your server is ever compromised.

The Sender Score is an indication of the trustworthiness of an email sender’s IP address and is used by email providers and filters to determine additional email filtering criteria. Just like a credit score is used by financial institutions to decide the terms of a loan, email providers use the Sender Score to determine the terms for filtering your emails,” explained the company on its website.

Tips to Improve Your Sender Score:

  • Only send email messages to subscribers who have “opted in” to your newsletter.
  • Although tempting, you should avoid purchasing email lists, simply because there’s no telling how the list was created. There’s a good chance some of the addresses contained in paid lists were collected without the user’s consent, which could hurt your Sender Score.
  • Scan your mail server for viruses and malicious software on a regular basis.
  • Make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe to your newsletter. All marketing emails should have a prominent “unsubscribe” button or link somewhere in the message.
  • Consider the size of your email blasts. If you send 10,000 messages at once, it could be viewed as spam, even if they are legitimate emails.

What steps do you take to maintain a high Sender Score? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Email Marketing: How to Maintain a High 'Sender Score'
A good Sender Score is crucial to the success of your email marketing efforts. Here are some tips to ensure your server's Sender Score remains in safe zone.

3 Comments to Email Marketing: How to Maintain a High ‘Sender Score’

  1. Dennis Yates says:

    Make sure you send consistent volumes – so don’t send like 500 one day, 10,000 the next and then nothing for a week, and then 1500.

  2. Jenna W. says:

    Great post. Make sure you didn’t end up on a blacklist. That happened to us and it was a misunderstanding and a bit of a mess to clean up.

  3. Gil F. says:

    If you’re sending from a new IP address, don’t start out with big blasts – this can you get marked as a spammer, start out with smaller blasts first

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