Email Deliverability—What’s Your Credit Score?

by Allen Nance | Mansell Group

What’s your credit score? Relax—we’re talking email credit score, specifically your email deliverability credit score. Just as payment history, credit history and amount of debt all combine to make up your credit score, there are specific pieces that also make up your email deliverability credit score.

Why is this important? As inboxes become more inundated with messages, Internet Service Providers such as Yahoo and Comcast are looking beyond just content to determine if a message should make it to the inbox, or be sent to the dungeon of the junk folder—or worse yet, not even allowed onto the server. A sender’s delivery reputation is quickly becoming the “golden key” for getting into the coveted inbox.

What affects your deliverability reputation? Several things do—some of which may surprise you. Your IP address is one element that affects your deliverability score. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to monitor. You can use a free web-based program like Sender Score to enter your IP address and see what your current “score” is.  It’s a good idea to periodically check this, as your score can fluctuate over time. The higher your score, the better your chances are of getting in to the inbox.

The second main component of your delivery reputation is related to your list maintenance and hygiene practices. Just as you would not want outdated or wrong information on your credit report, you don’t want old or bad addresses on your email lists. A large number of hard bounces can often lower your email deliverability score and hinder your inbox success rates.

Somewhat surprising is the fact that email volume also plays a role in your delivery reputation. It’s not so much your actual volume numbers, but rather the consistency of your volume that matters. If you generally send around 100,000 messages a week and that number suddenly jumps to 1 million, that is going to raise a potential red flag to ISP’s.

Perhaps more obvious is the impact of complaints and feedback loops. When someone hits “report as spam” on one of your emails, that information is fed back to the ISP’s and negatively affects your sender reputation—thus lowering your chances of making it to the inbox. If you get enough of these complaints, the ISP could choose to blacklist or block you. To avoid this, it is crucial that you provide easy and obvious opt-out mechanisms—and adhere to them!

 So how do you make sure your credit score stays up? While there is no fool proof method for ensuring perfect deliverability all of the time, you can definitely make a difference by following these key strategies: Monitor your IP addresses, keep clean and up to date mailing lists, keep an eye on your volume consistency, and maintain good opt-out procedures.

The email inbox is just going to become more and more difficult to reach in the coming months, so give yourself the best chance for success by employing some of these key strategies now. You will be glad you did!

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