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How to Kill Your Email Reputation

Posted on 6.15.2011

Email is one of those technologies and marketing strategies that if you "do it right" the first time, you will receive the many benefits the communication channel provides. If deployed hastily and without awareness of how certain elements impact reputation (and ultimately profit), email marketing effectivness will most definitely suffer.

Email certification and reputation monitoring company Return Path released findings today from its "Sender Reputation Report: Key Factors that Impact Email Deliverability" and the report reveals that complaints, unknown users and spam traps are blocking up to 36% of all email.

“If you have a million addresses and 20% of your emails are blocked, you are missing 200,000 messages every time you hit ‘send,’” said George Bilbrey, President of Return Path. “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.”

Return Path confirmed three critical factors that ISP (Internet Service Providers, e.g. Comcast) and other large-volume mail receivers (Yahoo! Mail or Gmail) use in determing whether or not to block emails - reputation, infrastructure and complaints.

Return Path reviewed this data by Sender Score, its proprietary reputation rank, which is calculated by aggregating reputation performance data from a variety of ISPs, spam filtering and security companies.

Specific findings of note from the study include:

- IPs with Sender Scores of between 41-50 have an IPR of 64% which means 36% of their email is blocked or diverted to a junk folder. IPs with Sender Scores in the mid-range between 51-70 already show considerably higher average IPRs with 71% (Sender Score 51-60) and 76% (Sender Score 61-70) respectively.

- Return Path’s research finds that IPs with a Sender Score range of 90-100 are 42% more likely to pass DKIM versus IPs with Sender Scores of 70 to 79.

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