Study Says Marketers Must Repair Poor Reputations to Reach the Inbox
Email reputation is key in having your messages reach the inbox. If you have a bad reputation, chances are that your messages won't reach the intended audience. A new study from Return Path titled, The Sender Reputation Report: Key Factors That Impact Email Deliverability, urges email marketers to study these factors such as complaint levels, spam traps and unknown users, to ensure the best results possible for your email marketing campaign.
For the study, Return Path analyzed Internet Service Protocols (ISPs) by Sender Scores from more than 18 million Internet Protocol addresses, collected from 30 ISPs and other large-volume mail receivers in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Sender Score is Return Path's proprietary reputation rank, which is calculated by aggregating reputation performance data from a variety of ISPs, spam filtering and security companies.
"If you have a million addresses and 20 percent of your emails are blocked, you are missing 200,000 messages every time you hit 'send,'" said George Bilbrey, president of Return Path, in a company press release. "This means lost revenue, poor customer experience, increased customer service costs, lost branding opportunities and the inability to advance your message to your marketplace. By understanding the impact email reputation has on email programs, marketers can take immediate and corrective action to ensure higher inbox placement rates."
The three critical factors that ISPs look for when deciding whether or not to block emails are reputation of the email server, the infrastructure set up, and the content associated with complaints. The reputation of the email server is measured by complaints, spam traps hits and unknown user rates. The infrastructure is determined by wether the email sender is real vs. a spammer or a bot.
Complaint levels for ISPs is relatively low at 0.4 percent for sender scores between 50 and 80. This is because delivery rates are much lower — therefore recipients can't complain about email they don't receive. The study found that IPs with sender scores of between 41-50 have an IPR of 64 percent which means 36 percent of their messages are blocked or diverted into spam or junk mail folders. In contrast, high complaint rates will rise when more messages are delivered to recipients. When it comes to spam trap rates, the best mailers with sender scores above 80, have few spam traps on their list.
The study found that senders with better reputation tend to have cleaner lists. Senders and servers with good reputations are also way more likely to pass checks for domain keys identified mail (DKIM) than servers and senders with bad reputations. The study found that IPs with a sender score of 90-100 are 42 percent more likely to pass DKIM vs. IPs with sender scores of 70 to 79. Authentication is extremely important in protecting a company brand from phishing, therefore the right implementation of authentication protocols needs to be top priority for email marketers.