What is Domain Reputation and How it Affects Email Deliverability

domain reputation

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

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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 Hotmail has 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. If your email content is high-grade and relevant, your domain reputation score will be higher. 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. Domain reputation is only tracked by Google. One of the most notable domain reputation tools is Google Postmaster Tools. It is a top receiver for many senders. This domain reputation tool provides you a reputation grade from Google. That grade gives you insight into your delivery information to recipients who utilize 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 reputation are:

1. Blacklisting

Blacklists are created by ISPs and mailbox providers 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 that is sent out to a large database has a high spam complaint, it could result in the domain being blacklisted. Blacklisting adversely affects a domain’s reputation and can decrease your domain’s repute considerably.

2. Spam traps

Spam traps are fake email addresses found on 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. Spam traps are difficult to identify as compared to bounce rates and spam complaints and they don’t respond to emails or sign up for mailing lists.

Read our in-depth guide on how to avoid spam traps

3. Poor emailing practices

Your sending time and content quality in the email matter. Moreover, the kind of emails you send out, whether they are sent straight to junk or spam, overall affects email deliverability.

4. Poor email engagement

One of the main reasons for the deterioration in a domain’s reputation is also poor email engagement. High rates of unsubscribing and poor open email 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. With time, more emails are shared on a frequent basis. The domain reputation largely depends thus on the consistency and volume of emails sent.

If you send too frequent an event then 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 it’s important that you 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-

  • Make sure 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 emails being sent.

  • 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 Monitor Your Domain Reputation?

By keeping an eye on your IP and domain reputation, it will be easier to reach a customer’s mail server. If your business depends on digital marketing, sales, or outreach, then it is imperative for you to 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 require 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 is responding on the web.

Email deliverability and excellent domain reputation mean you are undertaking best practices and can get conversions, make money, and generate more leads.

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