Verify your email list and improve your Sender Reputation


If you send emails for marketing, you must read this.

As a marketer, you are probably sending thousands of emails regularly to your opt-ins.

Depending upon a variety of things, many of these emails may actually never reach the intended recipient. If you have delved deeper,you are likely to have come across terms like Sender Score and Reputation.

This post discusses Sender Score, what it means and how it is used. Finally, it  concludes with how email verification service can hugely help.

About Sender Score

In a nutshell, Sender Score of the marketer (in reality, that of the IP address from where the emails were sent) is a number that shows the extent to which a marketer follows best practices of email marketing. Of course the meaning goes a lot beyond this, but it’s a good place to start.

The score is a number between 0 and 100, both inclusive, where 0 is the worst score, while 100 means the best possible score.

Marketers with scores exceeding 95 can expect a near-total deliverability of their emails. Marketers whose scores is around 90 will see a certain proportion of their emails landing into spam box.

Finally, marketers with a score of 60 or less so will face severe crisis, because a very large proportion of their otherwise correct emails will be delivered to the spam folder.

Clean your email list

Preparing the Sender Score

ISPs and specialized filtering companies share relevant, non-confidential data with Return Path. If, for instance, you hit ‘Send to Spam Folder’ button to an email in your inbox, a non-personal, aggregated report is generated and sent to Return Path. Return Path, among other things, takes note of the address from which the email was sent to you.

All data is processed using Return Path’s proprietary algorithm. The focus is on major metrics like Volume of email sent, Rejection, External Reputation, Complaints etc.

Notice that metrics are relative. For instance, Mary Doe sent out 1,000 emails against which there were 800 complaints. That is bad, very bad. Jane Smith, on the other hand, sent  1,000,000 emails. She also received 800 complaints. Not that bad!!!

Return Path analyzes this data and offers scores.

These scores are regularly updated as newer information is integrated and analyzed. Most scores are calculated on a rolling 30-day average. That means changes may reflect based on the 30-day window.

Using the Sender Score

Marketers and other senders of emails use this score for mail filtering decisions.  Senders understand the score data and may alter their own emailing patterns. Once the sender knows email from their own network are hitting spam, the sender can swiftly resolve issues. Unless these issues are resolved, very soon all emails sent from the network will be influenced.

On the other hand, some ISPs use Sender Score as a guide to establish how many messages to accept from an individual IP address within a set of time. A higher Sender Score, for example, means the IP address can send more messages.

Using Email Verification

If a number of your email addresses are invalid, a lot of emails going to valid addresses also will be pushed into Spam boxes of the recipients.

Resolving this is quite simple: maintain the hygiene of your email database through regular email list cleaning.

Your mailing list may be mid-sized, say a few thousands, or it may be huge, say, running into millions. No matter what, it is strongly advised you go in for email verification.

Email verification service will check each of your email addresses, no matter how many. Without actually sending emails to these addresses, the email verification system will ascertain whether the address actually exists.

After the email verification process, you will receive a report.  The report shows which addresses are role-based (e.g. info(at)somesite.com), disposable etc. and which all are safe to send.

Email verification will clean your address database and help you stay ahead of competition. There are many email verification services available on the net; you may want to check out this post on bulk email verification.

Happy Marketing!

Note: Here are the official SenderScore and ReturnPath websites.