May 12, 2015

The blueprint to a clean email reputation.

Blueprint for Email Reputation

Your reputation is the most important factor in your ability to deliver mail, but the path to a clean reputation isn’t always clear. We’ve outlined some steps you can take to ensure that your mail gets delivered.

1. Proactively monitor blacklists

ISPs and filtering companies commonly used third-party blacklists to filter mail and identify spam from senders with poor reputation. Being blacklisted severely impacts your reputation and your ability to deliver mail to your recipients.

2. Set up and verify your authentication records

Authentication records essentially tell mailboxes that your message is authentic. Implementing DKIM and SPF authentication dramatically help your deliverability by confirming that mail came from where it says it came from.

Set up DMARC record
DMARC = Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance

DMARC standardizes how email receivers perform email authentication and make your SPF & DKIM records actionable.

Proactively monitor spam traps to identify poor sending habits
Hitting spam traps can play a big role in your difficulty delivering mail. Spam traps (also known as honey pots), are email addresses set up solely to catch spammers in the act. Senders often end up hitting traps due to poor list quality, like renting (or buying) lists or sending to inactive subscribers.

Clean your mailing list regularly
If you’re bouncing mail or hitting spam traps, it’s probably a sign that you need to clean your mailing list. You’d be surprised how many people change their email address on a regular basis. Act-on recommends that you remove email addresses that have been inactive for a year.

There are other simple measures you can take to maintain a clean mailing list:

  1. Only send mail to customers who opted in (double opt-ins preferred)
  2. Never buy or rent mailing lists
  3. Provide an obvious unsubscribe link in your email footer
  4. Immediately unsubscribe customers upon request

Protect your brand from phishing attempts
You don’t have to be a big brand with a huge mailing list to be impacted by phishing. The Better Business Bureau pointed out that small businesses are regularly impacted by phishing scams or fraudulent mailing activity.

Author: Alex Griffis

Alex Griffis is the VP of Product (a product geek) at 250ok, where he focuses on product design and improving our customer experiences.

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