**Get the webinar replay with BounceX and learn more about why your email reputation matters.

A good reputation is built on trust, and trust takes time to build. In email, without the trust of both the ISPs and your subscribers, you aren’t going to be very successful. So, you might say a GOOD REPUTATION = SUCCESS. In this post, I’ll talk about what it takes to build a good email reputation and how you can maintain it.

What does it mean to have a “good” reputation in email?

Having a good reputation means you are a trusted sender. ISPs know you to be a marketer who follows the rules, and respects their users. Your subscribers know that you are tuned into what they want to receive and when they want it.

Why does your email reputation matter?

Without a good reputation, ISPs won’t trust your mail. That translates to deferrals, spam placement, and even blocks. Let’s face it, if your mail is going to the spam folder or getting blocked, then your subscribers aren’t getting it, and you’re missing out on a lot of revenue.

It’s also important to remember that how your subscribers perceive your mail is crucial. If you aren’t sending them relevant, timely content, then they may complain or unsubscribe. Not only do you lose that subscriber forever, but ISPs are using complaints as a key signal for how trustworthy you are as a sender. See where I’m going with this?

How do you build a good reputation?

A good reputation comes from following best practices, and being tuned-in to your subscribers’ needs. Key drivers at the ISP-level are: complaint rates, percentage of invalid addresses (hard bounces), delete-without-read rates, spam trap hits, and more.

The best way to control those metrics, that the ISPs use to determine your mailing reputation, is to focus on keeping your subscribers engaged and delighted. This involves a lot of data gathering and testing around what your subscribers like. The most important thing to keep in mind is that email is no longer one-size-fits-all. To truly build the trust of your subscribers and be successful, you need to focus on targeted content, rather than the traditional batch-and-blast campaigns that are no longer effective.

How do you maintain your email reputation?

A phrase I often hear associated with email reputation is “It takes a long time to build a good one, and a short amount of time to ruin it.” That couldn’t be more true. Just because you have built a good reputation, doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax! It’s important to stay on top of your program and to continue evolving in a positive way. Just because a subscriber signed up for your mail, doesn’t mean they will always want to receive it. Make sure you are constantly cleaning your list of unengaged subscribers. Ideally, you should try to re-engage those people first! With so many distractions in this digital age, you need to be able to send engaging content to the right people, at the right time. Personalization is key.

Building and maintaining your reputation isn’t easy. Having a reliable sending platform and a great deliverability team are an important component, and SparkPost can help.

Want to learn more about what drives email reputation? Get the replay on why “Email Reputation Matters“.

Clea Moore
SparkPost Deliverability Lead

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Weekly Email Marketing News Digest

We’ve often emphasized email best practices in our blog, but what we haven’t talked much about is how to go about implementing email marketing best practices when you have limited resources in terms of time and manpower. If you are planning email marketing for small businesses here are some tips to get started.

Are Best Practices Holding You Back?

Loren McDonald advocates a “starting practices” approach where marketers can launch email marketing campaigns while adhering to best practices incrementally. The three approaches he describes in further detail in this articles are:

  1. Figure out where you want to end up
  2. Work backwards to a starting point
  3. Keep “best in class” principles as you move to each phase

The starting best practices approach is based on the principle of launching and improving programs gradually and not ditching quality all together.

Something for the Little Guys

AWeber predicted that 85% of SMBs will increase their use of email in 2013. Through the use of firmographics, or business and organization-related categories such as executive title, type of business, geography etc, in business email lists, small firms will be able to improve targeting and personalization of emails.

The New Email Marketing Rules

ClickZ interviews email marketing guru Chad White about his book, Email Marketing Rules, where he outlines 108 email marketing best practices in a way that is accessible to business with little email marketing experience. In this interview, Chad discusses how email works even when it is done badly, and the potential for driving greater ROI with best practices, as well as email frequency. And of course, do read part 2 of his interview, How To Ride High In Email Marketing, to find out why Twitter is important in email marketing.

It Takes More than a Phone Call to Deliver Your Email

Here’s a fiery piece from Ken Magill, where he dispels the widespread notion of a personal telephone hotline to inbox providers to resolve email deliverability issues. As the volume of emails sent places a financial burden on the inbox provider, these providers make it a point to filter all emails so that subscribers, who represent revenue to the inbox providers don’t leave.

Our very own experienced postmaster, Jill Resnick has spoken on the topic of how it is absolutely possible to have high email deliverability without a hotline to an inbox provider, in our Proven Tips For High Volume Sending webinar.

How Digital Marketing Has Changed Small Businesses [Infographic]

How Digital Marketing Has Changed Small Businesses

Want to learn more about email marketing? Check out our Email Marketing Best Practices 101 eBook!

Email Best Practices eBook

Weekly Email Marketing News Digest

A recent eConsultancy email marketing census showed that 55% of respondents attributed more than 10% of their total sales to the email marketing channel. Given the importance of email in procuring revenue, recent debate has risen over the frequency of email sending.

Sure, Email More; But Not Your Whole File: Experts

An advocate for testing increased email frequency, Ken Magill interviews two experts who offer a different take:

“We’re of the opinion that treating everybody the same with frequency is not the right approach. We can radically increase frequency by orders of magnitude if it’s for that right group based on their engagement and we’ll make a lot more money. And what we’re seeing is by decreasing frequency to people who aren’t that engaged, we’re making more money that way, too.” – Forest Bronzan, CEO of Email Aptitude

“[Y]ou want to increase frequency for customers where it makes sense, and it probably doesn’t take a lot of whizbangery. Look at your own data and bump it up for recent openers, and see where the clicks and revenue go. Your skittish marketer likely feels comfortable starting to test here.” – Michael Iarrobino, Product Manager for FreshAddress

How Often Should Marketing Send Emails? [CHART]

Eloqua answers the question of how much is too much with hard data and analysis.


How resending one email drove 33% more conversion

Here’s how resending an email to people who didn’t open it the first time worked for one company.

Before the email was resent, several changes were made to the email.

  • The subject line was tweaked
  • The header copy was tweaked
  • The timing was adjusted
  • The measurements for success were pre-defined
Original Results Resending Results
Open rate: 37.5% Open rate: 13%
Click to open rate: 8.5% Click to open rate: 16%
Conversion rate: 1.5% Conversion rate: 0.5%

Looking at the conversion rate, if this had been a promotional email there would have been a 33% lift in revenue just from resending an email.

Remailing: How Often Should You Send?

Marketing strategist, Kestrel Lemen, has recorded a short video to answer the question, “How often should I send a remail?”

Infographic: The Evolution of Email Marketing

Take a look at some of the biggest influences on email marketing.


While sending frequency is an important topic, what comes first is knowing the basics of email marketing – which is why we’ve put together an Email Best Practices 101 eBook for your viewing leisure. Read it today!

Email Best Practices eBook