Email Sender Reputation: A Practical Guide

email sender reputation

Email marketing is a valuable tool for reaching and engaging with customers, but it’s essential to understand your email’s impact on your reputation as a sender. This is where the email sender’s reputation comes into play.

What is Email Sender Reputation?

Email sender reputation is a score that represents the quality and value of your emails to email providers and their users. Email providers use the score to determine the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam or delivered to the inbox.

Checking for Reputation Problems

Monitor Open and Click-Through Rates

One way to check if you have reputation problems is to monitor your open and click-through rates. If you notice a drop in these metrics, it could indicate a problem with your sender reputation. In this case, it’s essential to identify the email provider where the decline occurred and take action to improve your standing with that provider.

Comparing Your Performance to Others

Compare your performance to others in your industry. Many email marketing tools, such as Mailchimp (they call it Campaign Benchmarking), offer features that allow you to compare your open and click-through rates and sometimes other metrics to those of other businesses in your industry. This information can provide valuable insights and help you identify areas for improvement. You can continuously improve your sender reputation by staying informed and making data-driven decisions.

Checking Blocklists

Check if your IP or domain is on email blocklists. Blocklists harm a sender’s reputation and email deliverability. Use websites like MX Toolbox or MultiRBL to check. Request removal if listed. Regularly checking your listing status and taking steps to remove any listings is an integral part of maintaining a positive sender reputation.

Improving Your Sender Reputation

Engage with Your Subscribers

To improve your sender reputation, engaging with your subscribers is essential. Ask them questions, make them click links, and provide valuable content they are interested in. This will help you build a positive relationship with your subscribers and improve your reputation as a sender.

Provide Value to Your Subscribers

Another critical factor in maintaining a good sender reputation is to provide value to your subscribers. Make sure the content you send is relevant, engaging, and helpful. Avoid sending emails that are irrelevant, repetitive, or low quality.

Re-engage with Inactive Subscribers

Identifying subscribers not engaging with your emails is also important (it’s sometimes called List Quality Check). If they haven’t opened or clicked on your emails in a while, sending them a re-engagement campaign may be time. You can either unsubscribe or archive them if they don’t engage to keep your list pristine.

Email Provider Manages their Own Sender Reputation

It’s important to understand that each email provider manages their sender’s reputation as a factor in determining the delivery of emails. You can continually improve your sender’s reputation using the feedback provided by email providers and making necessary changes. Here are the most useful ones:


Gmail provides feedback through its “Feedback Loop” program, which allows you to receive reports about why Gmail marked your emails as spam. You can also obtain information from Gmail about your sending domain and track data on emails sent using Postmaster Tools. You can browse various dashboards to comprehend Gmail delivery issues, spam reports, feedback loops, and more.

Yahoo!, AOL, Verizon

The Complaint Feedback Loop (CFL) is a Yahoo! initiative to assist email senders in reducing complaint rates. Yahoo Mail will relay any complaints sent from your organization emails if you cooperate. Like Gmail, they also provide Postmaster Tools.

Outlook, Hotmail, MSN, Live

Microsoft provides feedback through the Microsoft Smart Network Data Services (SNDS). It provides data to help you understand and improve your reputation with Outlook.

Email sender reputation is an essential aspect of email marketing that can significantly impact your campaigns’ success. By understanding each email provider’s approach to sender reputation, engaging with your subscribers, and providing value, you can maintain a positive reputation and ensure that your emails are delivered to the inbox.

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