If you're anyone who is anyone and you send email campaigns out into the world, you've probably pulled your hair out trying to figure out how to get your emails out of the SPAM folder.

I'm on a mission to protect your hairline. 😉

We talked about vocab last week when it comes to understanding the WHY of how your emails are ending up the SPAM folder.

I bet you didn't think you'd be back in some vocab lessons at this point in your career, eh? Don't worry you can catch up here.

Just to recap, we talked about:

Email Deliverability: it's a whole professional field concerned with the SPAM folder

Opting In: Yes, you want people to SAY they WANT your emails.

Sender Reputation: Everything you do online is tracked (including where you're sending your emails from i.e. the IP address your emails are coming from). 

Just to be clear, there are A LOT of factors that go into getting your emails out of the SPAM folder and into the Inbox. Some we have control over, some we do not.

The area we can really key in on is Sender Reputation. We have control over that one. Having a healthy sender reputation opens doors to prospects' and customers' inboxes.

So how do you protect your reputation? Let's start with how to avoid hurting it. Yes, you want people to SAY they WANT your emails.

Sender Reputation: Everything you do online is tracked (including where you're sending your emails from i.e. the IP address your emails are coming from).

Just to be clear, there are A LOT of factors that go into getting your emails out of the SPAM folder and into the Inbox. Some we have control over, some we do not.

The area we can really key in on is Sender Reputation. We have control over that one. Having a healthy sender reputation opens doors to prospects' and customers' inboxes.

So how do you protect your reputation? Let's start with how to avoid hurting it.

Getting Marked as SPAM

Remember the importance of opting in? If people aren't expecting an email from you, and they didn't give you permission to email you, then what are they going to do?

Mark you as SPAM.

Again, that is tracked back to your IP and therefore, sender reputation. Your sender score goes DOWN when you get marked as SPAM.

A LOT of Hard Bounces

Very technical, no? “A LOT of hard bounces.”

What is a hard bounce anyway? It's when an email address cannot be delivered to.

So the email address either doesn't exist or deliveries to that email address are being blocked for some reason.

Why does your sender reputation get dinged for hard bounces?

A lot of hard bounces within a short period of time indicates that those email addresses have been scraped from somewhere.

I mean if you think about it, if you are sending campaigns regularly to your list, you'll get a few hard bounces here and there as people change their email addresses. That's naturally going to happen.

Getting a significant number of hard bounces means you either have fake email addresses in your system or outdated email addresses. Either way, there's something fishy going on with your email list and that's tracked your IP.

VERY low engagement

If you have a VERY low open rate (like under 5%), you're going to raise some red flags with your IP.

Again, this tells email clients that people are not interested in your email campaigns which can suggest that you aren't using healthy opt-in practices.

SO how do you know if your Sender Reputation is bad and needs help?

There are a few tools to check out that will help you monitor your sender reputation AND make sure you have your domain set up well for sending emails.

Fair warning: the tech side of this gets a little bit into the weeds. If you're not comfortable with IP addresses or domains, then you might want to pass this part on to your tech person.

Google Postmaster
Registration is free and monitors how your emails perform in Google products (gmail and GSuite).

If you're a B2C company, gmail will be a HUGE player for you, so getting on Postmaster is a must.

ReturnPath's Senderscore
If you're not familiar with ReturnPath, they're a big name in the email marketing world for Email Deliverability.

They have a free starter tool to help you get going monitoring your sender reputation.

They won't tell you how to improve your sender score without paying, but they'll at least give you an idea of where you stand.

Now that you know the common ways your Sender Reputation gets harmed and how to check on it, next week, we're going to talk about proactive steps you can do to keep your reputation squeaky clean.

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