Has your business ever experienced an issue of a large number of company emails suddenly bouncing back with a message saying they can’t be delivered? Have you been left stumped as to why they all bounced back after checking the email addresses were entered correctly? Well, this could be an issue derived from a larger problem — your IP Reputation!
What is IP Reputation?
Your IP reputation is a major factor in whether your emails get delivered successfully as it’s the reputation score or “level of trust” associated with your IP address (the unique numeric identifier that links your devices to your online activities).
As your IP address is a part of every communication you send, your mailbox provider (such as Gmail or Outlook) can monitor your email sending practices. Which can include how often you’re sending out appointment reminders, solicitation or promotional messages, and even track whether or not the receivers marked your emails as unwanted communication (in other words, spam).
Suppose your IP address is marked to have a high bounce and low open rates, is flagged for circulating a high rate of spam or found as the origin of any known viruses/malware. In that case, your sending environment could automatically earn a negative reputation score.
- Photo by Torsten Dettlaff from Pexels
This bad reputation can increase the chances of your IP and/or domain being added to deny listings (email blacklists), which could either be a minor nuisance to fix or a big enough obstacle to completely block the sending of all your emails. Therefore, fostering good email practices will actually help improve your email deliverability resulting from building a strong sending reputation.
What Are The Factors That Affect IP Reputation?
- Many recipients mark your messages as spam.
- A high number of messages are sent to invalid recipient addresses or “honey pots” (fake email addresses created to trap senders who acquired the contact information illegitimately – likely through scraping the web).
- Your out-going content has a lot of spam-like characteristics.
- The suspicious volume of emails being sent from your IP address.
4 Ways To Improve Your IP Reputation
- Defend yourself against spam complaints by ensuring only recipients who have opted-in for email communication are being sent messages. By acknowledging and confirming that they want to receive emails from you, this will reduce the likelihood of unwanted messages being marked as spam, thereby increasing the user engagement rates (such as open and click rates) associated with positive email practices. This is the simplest way of managing your IP reputation.
- Check that all the recipient addresses in your contact list are valid and free of common typos. Continue to monitor your mailing lists by actively collecting bounceback and failure messages. Then, proceed to clean them up by removing inactive recipients from your list. These dead-end addresses not only cost you time and money but can also cause harm to your send credibility due to the high bounce rate you earn as a result.
- An important factor that many tend to miss is the tailoring of the actual content. The content, including the subject line, should be targeted and relevant to the type of communication the recipient has opted in to receive. The better the quality and more dynamic the content, the higher the likelihood of improving your open and click rates, which ultimately translates to a positive sending reputation.
- Mailbox providers tend to flag any senders on a new IP address if they send too many emails quickly because this is often a suspicious behaviour associated with the use of bots. To avoid this unnatural behaviour, start by cherry-picking with a small batch (no more than 50 new prospects a day) and gradually increase the volume over time. This will help minimize any negative signals that mailbox providers may notice. And as the emails are being received and begin to cultivate a progressive trend of interaction, this will help the IP build trust and a good reputation.
- Photo by RF._.studio from Pexels
How To Prevent Your IP From Getting Blacklisted
According to Campaign Monitor, the average bounce rate in 2020 was 0.7%. So if you notice more and more emails are bouncing back, it could be a red flag that there’s something wrong with your sending practices.
On top of that, there are plenty of online tools you can use to monitor your reputation, such as SenderScore. You’re given an easy to understand score between 0 to 100 and provided suggestions on how to improve it. There’s also TrustedSource, which provides detailed information about your IP reputation and is also run by the household-trusted name, McAfee.
It is important to remember that this monitoring process should not just be a one-time occurrence but requires regular and consistent attention to ensure a positive ROI from your email marketing efforts.
Don’t allow your email to get blacklisted!
Since your IP reputation is always in your control, you should be proactive by checking your email deliverability and prevent your emails from getting blacklisted. Email marketing is a powerful marketing tool but can only reach its potential if your messages actually get delivered. If you need to seek professional help in improving your email marketing strategies, don’t hesitate to contact us!