What is sender score and why it is important?

As per senderscore.org, the ‘sender score’ for any email account is a number between 0 and 100 that identifies your sender reputation and shows you how mailbox providers view your IP address.

Different ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and email service providers use the sender reputation to determine whether or not emails coming from that sender should be classified as spam.

Therefore, sender reputation or sender score is a very influential factor in determining the email deliverability for any email address.

Why is sender score important?

When you send an email to someone, it has to overcome a few hurdles before it can enter the recipient’s inbox.

hurdles in email deliverability

First, the mailing server will check of the recipient’s email address is valid and their mailbox isn’t already full. If you get through those checks, then the ISP or email service providers (at your email recipient’s end) will check that your email address and email content are trustworthy.

Your email content will be checked for any unsafe files, links, scripts etc. If it passes that test, your email addresses reputation will be checked. That’s when the ‘sender score’ becomes important.

If you have a low sender reputation, there are good chances that your email will either be blocked or sent to ‘SPAM’ or ‘JUNK’ folders. That’s why it is important to ensure that you always have a healthy sender reputation , in order to avoid any email deliverability problems.

How is sender reputation determined?

How sender score is determined

ISPs and email service providers use different factors to determine the sender score for any email address –

  • Industry blacklists – If your email address has been flagged or blacklisted by any mailbox service, your sender reputation is almost irreversibly damaged. From there, it becomes very difficult to get past the spam filters for most email services.
  • Spam complaints – If your email recipients start flagging your emails as spam, it damages your sender score is a big way.
  • Unsafe email contents / attachments – If your emails contain unsafe attachments, scripts, links to unsafe / unsecured sites, that also increases your chances of getting flagged or blacklisted.

How to maintain high sender score?

Given how important it is, how do you ensure high sender reputation? Here are a few things you can do –

  • First of all, check your sender score with these tools. Ensure you have a healthy domain to being with.
  • Strictly avoid unsafe attachments / email contents – like javascript files, executable files, unsafe links etc.
  • Avoid sending emails to strangers without their permission. This way you will minimize the chances of getting flagged as a spammer.
  • But, sometimes you need to send cold emails for sales and marketing. In that case you should minimize the spam complaints by simply giving your recipients an option to unsubscribe.
  • Minimize the use of mass mailing tools. If you use a email marketing tool like mailchimp, majority of your emails land in spam. Instead you can use a cold email automation tool, which mimics a human like email sending behavior and doesn’t get detected by spam filters.
  • Personalize your emails. Use your recipient’s name and other personal details in the email text. Generic emails are much more likely to appear as spam. Use a mail merge tool for personalizing your emails with data from a spreadsheet.
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