If you are spamming, then you are not going to ever achieve good sender reputation. If you are sending unsolicited bulk email to lists that are unfamiliar with what you are advertising, then you are putting your company and your name at risk. Let’s be honest with each other. If you are a new company with a great product and a small budget, you are more than likely going to do gorilla marketing (spam). And that is where you will lose your sender reputation. You are starting off on the wrong foot and you will suffer greatly for being so cheap.

Spam fighters consider any email message that was sent without the consent of the recipient is and always will be spam. There’s no way around it. You can talk first amendment all you want but in the end, you are at the mercy of their blacklists. Why? Because people hate spam and love the fighter. So what’s the workaround? There is none. You need to be honest with yourself first and then build a campaign that fits with what you are selling, the correct way.

Buying email marketing lists will create all kinds of problems. Ask yourself this question, “Why was it sold in the first place?” If the list was so great to begin with, then why would the owner ever part with it? Lists are always dirty and come with many surprises. Unless you clean it, you will hit traps, bounces and many protestors, which turns into traps themselves.

Ok, thanks for the information James, but what does this have to do with improving and protecting sender reputation? Well, your sender score represents the list that you are marketing to. Most believe that your sender score relates to the marketing material and the content, but that’s not entirely true. If your list was generated by your website, then your audience gave you 100% trust in what you send them. Complaints and traps will not exist. Maybe a bounce or two will happen but your sender reputation will be high and you will not even need to read this article.

So if you read past this, then you are honest with yourself and thus you have a list that you did not generate yourself and need to improve and protect your sender score. Traps, protestors and bounces are the key to sender positions! And you need an email list hygiene company to remove such threats. There is no escaping the email list hygiene portion. You will need a data cleaning company that has a huge reputation in the industry and also has relationships with companies who can provide them with daily traps, protestors and bounces.

All list hygiene companies use IPs and static lists to remove traps. There is no such thing as an algorithm to find traps. It’s a lie and fancy wording “hocus-pocus”. Your hygiene company needs to research the spam fighter and find their blackhole servers. There’s no trick to it. They also need relationships with email marketers who collect TLD traps (top level domain). Removal of all traps is paramount to the first step in improving sender reputation.

Complainers (I call them protestors) are the second most important piece of the puzzle in improving sender scores. ESP’s use thousands of IP’s to rotate their clientele around. If you receive a certain amount of complaints, the ESP will move you to tainted IP’s. If you still continue to receive complaints, then they will definitely suspend your account. You can’t remove protestors with an algorithm. A hygiene company must have partnerships with dozens of email marketers who collect such complaints to add to their static lists.

And lastly, bounces are the final key to protecting your sender score. Each ESP has a certain threshold for bounces. If you have thousands of emails, then you will have bounces every time you send. Why? Well, people lose their jobs and the email goes with it. Or, email accounts become full and cannot receive your message. I can go on and on about bounces, but your list hygiene company needs to be able to tackle the bounce issue with email verification. It doesn’t matter if you are grey or white listed, if you have bounces every time you send an email blast, your account will be flagged and your ESP will move you to lower grade IP’s.

James Carner
CEO / Founder