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5 Ways to Check Your Sending Reputation

Ever wonder why open rates, click rates or bounce rates are so high? Well, most probably, the answer is that your emails might be going to the spam folder.

But don’t worry, we’re here to help you. From building your own email list to authenticating your email and avoiding blacklists, we’ll cover the 5 Ways To Check Your Sending Reputation.

Senders are in charge of sending reputation and email deliverability

Before we get ahead of ourselves, there’s one aspect you need to take in consideration. Never ever send emails to subscribers who did not agree to receive your emails. When building your own email list, make sure you use organic methods and avoid at all costs:

  • Purchasing an email list – which might also be illegal
  • Sharing your email list
  • Co-register your email list – this is when you’re getting email addresses and leads from a bulk email opt-in by a customer who has agreed to be in multiple email lists but not specifically in the one emailed by you.
  • Scraping emails or harvesting emails – when robots are the ones collecting the addresses, practice used among spammers.

1. Authenticate your email

When you send emails, you gotta be smart about it. Email authentication lets you verify the your identity as a sender and makes sure you deliver legitimate emails. These next methods are crucial today in email marketing in order to build customer trust and sending reputation.

  • Sender Policy Framework or SPF – compares the sender’s IP with a list of IPs authorised to send emails from that domain, in order to make sure you are who you pretend to be.
  • Domain Keys Identified Mail or DKIM – ensures the email was not interfered during transfer.
  • Domain-Based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance or DMARC – method influenced by SPF and DKIM, both required to pass in order for the email to be sent and delivered.

PRO TIP: Investing in a professional ESP will make you save time and money by ensuring SPF and DKIM are setup and working adequately.

2. Use confirmation opt-in

Since we’ve talked about building your email list, next we have to make sure your recipients actually want to receive emails from you and that we are not dealing with spam traps. This means we have to verify them, using a double opt-in method, that consists in a welcome to your newsletter confirmation email, where they have to agree to receiving your emails from now on. If you want to find out more about spam traps, check our Spam Traps: How to avoid them at all costs guide.

Here’s how WordPress created their double opt-in email.

3. Provide relevant content

Investing in marketing is not an easy job, especially when we seem to have tried everything from automation ads to influencer marketing, but the results don’t seem to make a relevant difference. The cost-effectiveness of email marketing gives us the chance to maximize our ROI way better than social media does.

A 2018 study shows that 17.75% of clicked through emails ended with a purchase, while ROI kept increasing yearly.

So what are you waiting for?

4. Declutter your email list

You know what they say: it’s better to have a few real friends than a thousand fake ones. Same goes with your subscribers. Quantity does not equal value. Keeping your email list fresh and clean every month is a must. Just create a segment with all the inactive and unengaged subscribers within the last 3 months and remove them regularly. You will see how open and click rates will rise!

PRO TIP: Place the unsubscribe or down-subscribe options as visible as possible. You might think you don’t like or want people unsubscribing so easily but, trust us, a few people unsubscribing are way better than spam complaints.

5. Stay away from blacklists

But what are blacklists? They are lists of IP addresses, domains or URLs known as spam emails and abuse reports. In short terms, blacklists can prevent an email from ever reaching an inbox.

Here are some important tips on how to reduce the risk of being blacklisted:

  • Use confirmation opt-in, as we discussed above.
  • Clean your email list regularly.
  • Real-Time Address Validation – checks email addresses at sign up to avoid spam traps, domain typos and fake email addresses.

PRO TIP: If you want to find out whether you’re on a blacklist or not, start by searching your IP or domain in some of these lists: MxToolBox, Debouncer, UltraTools.


Most marketers view email marketing as pretty campaigns and having as much subscribers as possible. But if you want a successful email marketing with screaming ROIs, you definitely have to pay attention to your sending reputation.

PS: Find the best ESP out there that has your back among these protocols, just like Relevon does with its customers. For more valuable information about email deliverability, bookmark out Relevon’s blog page.

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Lisa Popovici

Lisa is the co-founder of Relevon and Head of Marketing.