How Email Reputation Is Calculated & How To Fix It

How Email Reputation Is Calculated & How To Fix It

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An email sender reputation can be defined as a score that an ISP (Internet Service Provider) assigns to an organization or individual that sends the email. It’s a necessary component of anybody’s email deliverability. Bigger the score means more chances of an ISP for delivering emails to the recipients’ inboxes on their network.

In case your score falls below a given threshold, the ISP may deliver messages to spam folders of the recipients or even reject them completely. Numerous factors collectively determining the score, including, however, not definitely limited to:

  • The number of emails an organization sends
  • How many time the organization’s emails get tangled into the ISP’s spam trap
  • How often recipients open, forward, reply to, and delete the messages sent by an organization, and click the links found in those emails 
  • What number of recipients complain to the ISP regarding the messages or otherwise mark the organization’s emails straightaway as spam
  • What number of recipients unsubscribe from a certain organization’s email list
  • The inclusion of an organization on different blacklists
  • How many emails sent by the organization’s bounce because they were delivered to unknown users (even disabled accounts) or for certain other reasons.

Let’s go deeper now!

Are you in Email marketing? You should definitely cherish: 

How Email Reputation Is Calculated & How To Fix It

Each ISP determines which factors to cover or comprise in its sender reputation, besides that, how nicely it meets those factors while calculating the reputation for any organization that sends emails to its certain users.

It’s possible that a sender has different reputation scores for respective ISPs. It’s not difficult to understand why! In case a sender has numerous domain names, and he sends emails from numerous IP addresses, each of those IPs will have its own sender reputation, and if one is high on spam score, other IPs are safe.

What is a domain reputation?

In the early days, hardly anyone focused on domain reputation. Now, things are no more the same! Your domain reputation is comparable to your email reading domain’s credit score. Email service providers figure out your domain reputation and mark it on a scale of 0 -100.

The ultimate target should be to get closer to 100 as possible. As it’s closer to 100, more receiving email servers are going to trust your emails. Better don’t presume domain reputation as the only email reputation a mailbox provider considers. You also get a reputation score for your IP address as well. 

Domain reputation vs IP reputation

Many folks catch confusion here. We can define an IP address as the number that recognizes computers on the internet. One’s IP address works somewhat similar to an address that all other computers utilize to detect your computer on the internet.

While one sends an email, email service providers observe the IP address linked to your sending domain to figure out where the email arrived from. Hence, your IP address attains a separate email reputation score.

Your domain is the identity (name) of your sending email server, and that’s what an email server uses to look up your IP address. Now, you might be thinking, how is Ip reputation different from the domain’s reputation, right? Yes, your domain does a reputation score (as discussed up there), but it’s an entirely different scene.

Let’s mark the importance of differentiating between these two reputations:

You can change the IP address for your domain. Further, the IP reputation resets when the IP address changes. Flipping the coin, your domain reputation gets linked to your domain name. Hence, your domain reputation stays as it is with your domain name, no matter where it goes.

In simple words, it’s much straightforward to fix your IP reputation in comparison to repairing your domain reputation. Domain reputation is certainly more permanent than your IP reputation; that’s why many mailbox providers prefer using domain reputation.

However, it isn’t the universal standard yet. Besides that, you may require using numerous IP addresses in case you send emails frequently.

Hence, you still have to keep a sharp eye on your IP reputation, as it does affect. However, we’ll focus mainly on domain reputation in the upcoming portion of this article, as mending your domain reputation is truly challenging.

How does the email domain reputation function?

Your domain reputation is simply calculated on a scale of 0 – 100, as mentioned above. However, you need to know what do service providers do to calculate this number? Besides that, what affects domain reputation the most? 

Mailbox providers are generally secretive regarding the algorithms they adopt to calculate the sender’s reputation. In case they leak out too much info, scammers could play a game with the system and further, bypass spam filters.

However, we’re familiar with certain factors email service providers consider while calculating the domain reputation:

  • Read rate
  • Spam placement rate
  • Open rate
  • Deleted before reading rate
  • Reply rate
  • Click rate
  • Spam traps
  • Forward rate
  • “This is not spam” rate
  • Spam complaint rate
  • Hard bounces

Again, the providers of email service won’t say which of these is essential or how they weigh every factor. However, their algorithms consider every one of these factors when determining your domain’s reputation. Further, you may have noticed that almost every single factor is based on the behavior of the email recipient. 

If the domain reputation gets very bad, then it’ll be very hard to recover it again. The spam placement rate of the domain will go through the roof if all your emails start going to the folder of spam. Also, it’s hard for people to interact with the emails in case they’re in case they are present in the spam folder positively.

The best you can wish for is that many individuals start marking your emails like “not spam.” There are numerous tools to perform a domain reputation check. In case you’re dealing with email deliverability problems, then you can check whether your domain reputation has any problem or not.

What is email sending reputation or sender score?

Email sending reputation is a sort of complex metric composed of several different reputations for making sure email delivery practices. The most vital reputations are:

  • Content Reputation
  • IP Reputation
  • Domain Reputation

In 1996, because emailing became mainstream, spam also began to turn into a serious problem. To counter this, many internet service providers (ISPs) that provide email services started using IP Reputation for analyzing email quality.

IP Reputation check that how much users actually want to get emails from this IP address by calculating spam, bounces, or unwanted bulk mail (UBE).

That time, there weren’t any robust approaches to authenticate the address of a domain, so ISPs had to make complex IP reputation models, which differed from each other, however, they had the same task of identifying problematic IP addresses.

Sometime later, it alone proved inefficient, as IP reputation  check wasn’t able to consider how different IPs could deliver the “junk emails” with identical content.

Upgrades in technology in the 2000s allowed ISPs to develop a new approach to calculating the quality of a sender’s emails via content reputation. The sender score reputation network is calculated by checking the spam score by different algorithms.


Content reputation usually works on a set of criteria, which make sure the sender’s quality of their email campaign content, whereas certain kinds of content are clear triggers for the content filters of ISPs. For example, attaching a virus, or a string of words questioning for bank details, etc.

A sender’s content reputation always goes down whenever their emails keep getting low opening rates, blocked, flagged, and unsubscribed. For that, IP, as well as content reputation, work with joint hands for creating an overall picture of the sender’s email practices.

IP reputation shows the quality of a sender’s email, sending via their emailing history. Also, the content reputation analyzes the sort of content that a sender’s email has and indicates whether the sender is trustworthy or not.

Best Email reputation checker to trust



3. ReputationAuthority

4. BarracudaCentral

5. TrustedSource

How does a Domain Reputation is calculated?

For indicating domain reputation, receivers have to keep track of every way you use your domain in a message as well as how that message actually performs in the inbox.

Due to this data, major ISPs normally use complex algorithms to ultimately “score” your domain, indicating that score when scanning future messages for establishing a level of faith. In case your domain reputation check is great at a certain receiver, then there are fewer chances in your future messages to end up in a spam folder or rejected.

So it means that you don’t have just a single big domain reputation flying out there in cyberspace. Rather the domain has unlimited reputations unique to the exclusive scoring processes a certain receiver employs.

Also, you’re maybe not sending the similar content and volume of messages to all receivers, so in other words, it’s expected that Gmail’s seen at least a bit different engagement from their users in comparison to Yahoo.

As we talked, sender reputation comprises from other reputations situated on your email sending:

  • The content reputation that calculates how spammy or good your email content frequently is.
  • IP reputation, which is tallied by how many people want to see the emails from this IP address.
  • Domain reputation, which indicates the email sending from your domain as a “whole,” validated via authentication methods.

Now, it’s necessary to ensure that your sending practices are good enough across the board. So, we’ve compiled a guide below for ensuring that you’re sending emails in the right way. Keep Reading!

Maintain your send volumes low: Email reputation check point #1

You should send approx 100 emails every day for email servers to even know that you’re sending emails. Most importantly, you must maintain above that 100 emails everyday threshold for affecting your sender reputation.

However, don’t try going full bore on your email sends. In case a great majority of your emails are going into the spam folder, then you could be doing more damage by sending this many emails. Your main goal of sending fewer emails is to cherry-pick who you’ve sent emails to.

This helps in minimizing negative signals to email service suppliers. In this way, you can slowly ratchet up the sender’s reputation by getting positive and a lot of subscriber responses. That’s it. To recover the email deliverability mistakes as well as repairing your domain reputation, it can be a challenging task.

However, it’s possible to rebuild a good reputation again. Furthermore, even if your domain reputation is good, you should still follow these best steps for ensuring that you don’t mistakenly cause any harm to your domain reputation & protect the deliverability rate of your emails.

As better email deliverability leads to more profit from every single email you send.

Authenticate your SPF and DKIM: Email reputation check point #2

Authenticating your account makes sure that only a certain list of IPs can send emails utilizing your domain. This maintains spammers from falsely delivering emails via your domain. Consider DKIM as the signature you include in your every email campaign.

The DKIM is an ultimate proof that the recipient’s ISP can use for checking if these emails that they’ve received are valid and domain-authenticated. In case the signature matches, then the email goes directly into the inbox – other things equal. However, in case it does not match, then it’ll directly go into the spam folder (or may get a hard bounce).

SPF, whereas is a list the authenticated IP addresses’ list within that domain. DKIM & SPF work hand-in-hand for making sure that you don’t become the victim of a fooling attack, for example, where a sender masquerades as another domain for sending spam.

Create sub-accounts for your different email needs: Email reputation check point #3

Separating your transactional emails and your marketing by creating sub-accounts is good to organize different kinds of email sending.

By separating these two kinds of emails, marketers will better keep track of numerous metrics, like:

  • How frequent users trigger transactional emails
  • Triggering of different kinds of transactional emails.
  • Scheduled sending of marketing emails.
  • Different kinds of marketing emails being sent
  • Separating both as well as ensuring that deliverability rate issues on marketing emails are not getting passed on towards transactional emails.

Just think in case individuals got the confirmation of their transactional ticket emails, and it got into the spam folder because an ISP’s filtering system caught the sender as a spammer via their marketing emails. This may get email marketers as well as their companies in great trouble.

Control your engagement data: Email reputation check point #4

Email engagement incorporates the data on how much engagement your clients are showing with your email campaigns. These include:

  • Click rates – the rate of clients clicking on links & CTAs within these campaigns.
  • Open rates – the rate of clients opening email campaigns.
  • Engagement time – the time your visitors spend on reading certain email campaigns.
  • Complaint rates – the rate of clients complaining about receiving certain email campaigns.
  • Unsubscribe rate – the rate that measures how much clients unsubscribe after receiving your email campaigns.

You can’t send emails with high engagement rates in just one night as for increasing the loyalty and reputation of the brand is something that you must do slowly.

However, senders can already tweak a few things, like making emails highly responsive, design inspirations online, and getting a few email content.

Users prefer engaging with beautifully-designed emails, and theory doesn’t prefer any suspicious plain text ones. Not only design, of course, the consistency and time of email campaigns also play a vital role. ISPs usually consider engagement rates very highly in their algorithms of content filtering.

The segment, A/B and Personalize: Email reputation check point #5

Segmentation divides your lists of email contacts based on a set of criteria. Every segment can be (e.g., based on gender, region, or interests, among others.) A/B Testing is when marketers  sent multiple email versions by of the same campaign as well as analyze which one(s) perform the perfect.

These techniques can enable marketers to create personalized and more specific email campaigns, which users will want to open. Obviously, A/B testing, segmentation as well as personalization are all combined to improve the rate of email engagement.

Create a checklist for your email campaigns: Email reputation check point #6

The best practices checklist for every single of your email campaigns is the accountability log to the senders themselves at the moment before they send their email campaigns. A checklist will enable them to ensure that they’ve not forgotten about anything regarding their email campaigns before sending them.

With techniques to improve engagement rate and having allowed authentication systems to safely send email campaigns, however, in the end, marketers can send their email campaigns for running them via a checklist that must include

  • Including a pre-header.
  • A good subject line.
  • Proofread.
  • Good CTAs
  • Proofread again (make sure that there’s no undo button).
  • Making sure that all links are accurate and include UTM tags in case necessary.

Now, after checking all this, the checklist can be automated, with the help of a tool, which runs through email campaigns for making sure that whether they are ready for delivery or not. However, there’s no need for this checklist to get activated. Senders can check via manually as well.

Clean the lists of emails and have double opt-in: Email reputation check point #7

Generally, cleaning your lists of contact ensures if the marketers are not sending the emails to inactive users; however, some of them probably have already been converted into spam traps. Clean lists have more engaged users as well.

Create email campaigns that matter: Email reputation check point #8

Most importantly, you must create an email strategy that includes tactics, processes, workflows, databases of email campaigns, etc. Creating an email marketing strategy will give you a solid idea of what to do via the course of your marketing projects.

However, email strategies aren’t a piece of cake, and it requires comprehensive research. A perfect email marketing strategy, for example, any other marketing strategy – enables marketers to experiment and examine throughout the project to adapt new trends as well as key moments, which suddenly open unexpectedly.

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How Email Reputation Is Calculated & How To Fix It: The Conclusion

Undoubtedly you can’t do proper branding and marketing without holding a good reputation, and email reputation is undoubtedly a factor, where we need to focus deeply, as once your spam score climbs high, gaining the lost reputation becomes so tough.

We explained some tricks for maintaining and mending email reputation and gave info regarding domain reputation as well. We hope everything is clear now. We’d prefer cherishing your thoughts as well. So, if you’ve got something under “developing Email Reputation,”please share in comments.

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