What Is Domain Reputation and How It Affects Email Deliverability

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Domain reputation is similar to the credit score in the finance sector. If the domain has a good reputation, the chances of reaching the user’s inbox increase.

Table of contents

What is domain reputation?

Domain reputation refers to the health or condition of your branded domain. Who determines your domain reputation? ISPs & Mailbox providers. Among the prominent ISPs, Gmail has Google Postmaster, which tracks the domain & IP reputation, while Hotmailhas SNDS, which tracks the IP reputation.

What does it mean to check my domain reputation?

Checking domain reputation means figuring out how well you land up in a receiver’s inbox. Your domain reputation score will be higher if your email content is high-grade and relevant. High-quality emails or relevant content are emails that receivers often engage with.

How to check domain reputation?

There are many free resources online where you can check your domain reputation. But, domain reputation is only tracked by Google. One of the most notable domain reputation tools is Google Postmaster. It is a top receiver for many senders. This domain reputation tool provides you with a reputation grade from Google. That grade gives you insight into your delivery information to recipients who use Gmail.

Note that the domain reputation of your sender domain is only visible if you are signing DKIM on your sender domain.

Factors on which domain reputation depends

The six key factors that affect the domain's reputation are:

1. Blacklisting

ISPs and mailbox providers create email blacklists to prevent spamming. Mailbox providers use blacklists to filter out emails from spammers. Blacklisting occurs when email recipients mark emails as spam or junk. If a particular email sent out to a large database has a high spam complaint, it could result in the domain being blacklisted. Blacklisting affects a domain’s reputation adversely and can decrease your domain’s repute considerably.

Read how SBNRI maintained their email list hygiene with Mailmodo, leading to a 16% increase in open rates.

2. Spam traps

Spam traps are fake email addresses found in hidden locations across the web operated by blacklisting services. You should be wary of sending emails to spam traps because this could hinder your email deliverability considerably.

Also, spam traps are difficult to identify compared to bounce rates and spam complaints, and they don’t respond to emails or sign up for mailing lists.

3. Poor emailing practices

Your emails send timing, frequency, and relevant matters to mailbox providers. If you are sending irrelevant, poor-quality irrelevant emails, then ISPs are likely to put your email in spam affecting your domain reputation.

Related guide: 15 Email Marketing Mistakes You Might Be Making, and Ways to Avoid them

4. Poor email engagement

One of the main reasons for the deterioration in a domain’s reputation is poor email engagement. High rates of unsubscribing and poor open rates due to poor email quality can lead to poor email engagement and, in turn, a bad domain reputation.

5. Volume consistency

Legitimate marketers grow their subscriber base as the business grows. So, with time, more emails are shared frequently. The domain's reputation largely depends thus on the consistency and volume of emails sent.

If you frequently send an email, it will affect your domain reputation. To avoid that, you should find the right frequency timings of your emails. You can do this by finding your email cadence.

6. Domain age

The length of your domain’s existence is its age. Anti-spam filters check the domain age. So you must warm your domain up, i.e., use it at least for three months by sending out cold emails to your database to establish a good sender reputation.

Steps to improve your domain reputation

To improve domain reputation, try the following-

  • Ensure that all the authentication techniques are in place.

  • Try double opt-in or confirmations when adding subscribers to your database.

  • Avoid using spam words in the subject line.

  • Regularly clean your email lists.

  • Avoid getting blacklisted or constantly checking whether your domain has been blacklisted.

  • Ensure proper frequency and timing of the emails.

  • Warm up your domain by sending your database emails consistently.

  • Make it a regular habit to review and monitor your DNS records. This will help you understand if everything is technically configured and your email deliverability is happening properly.

Why should you check your domain reputation?

Keeping an eye on your IP and domain reputation will make reaching your customer’s mail server easier. But, if your business depends on digital marketing, sales, or outreach, you must pay special attention to your domain reputation. As it is, domain reputation is always the first domino to fall before your entire digital presence crumbles. And once your domain reputation is low, it will need a lot of effort and expertise to rebuild all that reputation again.

Key takeaways

Getting email deliverability right is not an easy task, but it’s achievable. One easy way to ensure it is by having a good domain reputation. Use domain reputation checkers to keep a tab on how well your domain responds on the web.

Email deliverability and excellent domain reputation mean you are undertaking best practices and getting conversions, making money, and generating more leads.

What you should do next

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