Sender's reputation. All you need to know

3 min read

Senders Reputation

Sender’s reputation directly affects whether your letters reach the user’s inbox or not. The higher is your sender reputation the less are the chances your letter goes to spam and the ESP enforces sanctions on your IP or mailbox. Thus, even if you have an ideal selling content and outstanding product, that all doesn’t matter for your email marketing campaign if your sender’s reputation is low.

Sender’s Reputation Depends on…

It is calculated by the ESP services. Based on the rating assigned to your by ESP your letters either pass through the server filters or do not reach the recipient. Algorithms used for definition of the rating are barely disclosed by the email service providers just like the algorithms of page promotion by search engine. Thus, there are unique algorithms for each ESP. There are tens of parameters that can affect your rating, here is the short list of those you can influence on:

  • IP-address or domain rating
  • the share of recipients sending your letter to spam box
  • the number of letters sent to nonexistent addresses and the catch-all email servers
  • number of letters deleted without being read
  • email-authentication settings
  • periodicity of mailing
  • software and scripts used to make newsletters
  • letter content and links
  • opening and click rate
  • letters answered and forwarded

Reputation rate is not a constant figure - it can change rapidly. Each newsletter you send can affect your reputation either positively or negatively. Thus, even if your IP always had high reputation there is always a chance it gets to the blacklist if you break the rules.

You may think that it is enough changing your domain and IP address - well, that doesn’t work like that. Providers save the mailing history, thus they use algorithms to find the bad senders even if one has changed IP or domain address.

How to Track the Sender’s Reputation

In order to make a right calculation of reputation rate you need to set the email authentication: SPF, DKIM and DMARC need to be provided. It helps to define precisely the author of email and protect recipients and reputable senders from the spammers and frauders. Thus, all the newsletter without these things prescribed get a low reputation rate initially.

ESPs are interested in making mailings spam-free, thus they help senders track their reputation and increase it. For example, Google has a number of services developed for email marketers you can use. These services can help you get a detailed statistics on your letters deliverability rate.

Gmail Main metrics

  • IP reputation rate
  • Domain Reputation

Domain Reputation

It is good that Google makes different graphs for the domain and IP reputation. You can understand promptly if somewhere there are any problems by tracking the decreased indicator. However, there is one shortcoming for this tool - you only can track your statistics if you send at least 200-500 letters a day on gmail inbox mails.

How to Deal with Reputation Decrease

Let’s imagine that you have tracked a negative trend in your reputation indicators. In order to fix the situation follow the instruction below:

  1. Analyze your last actions since the moment reputation decrease has started. Watch through the criterias that affect the rating and think over the reason that could decrease your reputation. Haven’t added to your added list new recipients? Haven’t you change the topic of the mailings?
  2. Study up the reports in postmaster. Make sure there weren’t too much mistakes in your last newsletters. Examine your letters for the rapid change of deliverability and open rate. In case you noticed something like that define the differences with your other mailings. newsletter complies to the requirements of ESPs.
  3. Fix the mistakes. If there is an issue with the subscribers or emails delivered, you either delete new subscribers from the mailing list or change the letters content.
  4. Contact support. If the reputation decrease reason hasn’t been revealed you need to ask ESP agents what is going wrong. ESPs are always trying to help good senders.

There are always good reasons for the sender’s reputation to decrease. It is hard to restore it on the previous level, so make sure you do it all to follow the rules of ESPs.


Your sender’s reputation is the base score your email marketing efforts are based. Thus, it is important to make sure you look good in the eyes of the email service providers.

Read more in other useful articles on our blog.

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