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Understanding your reputation score with Transactional Email

Reviewed on 03 January 2024Published on 12 October 2023

Scaleway’s Transactional Email service provides a weekly email report on your email activity, as well as alerts, to allow you to manage and improve your domain reputation. This documentation provides information about the alerts we send you and advice on how to maintain a good reputation score.

Before you start

To complete the actions presented below, you must have:

  • Owner status or IAM permissions allowing you to perform actions in the intended Organization

Transactional Email alerts

AlertPurposeWhen is it triggered?
Your domain domain-name is verified!Indicates that your domain is verified and gives you information about your Transactional Email quota.When your domain’s verification check has passed
YYYY-MM-DD Transactional Email activity reportGives you a report of your weekly Transactional Email activity with metrics and your reputation score.At the beginning of each week.
Missing or incorrect DNS records on your domain domain-nameIndicates that there is one or several issues with your domain’s DNS record configuration. The alert we send shows you what specific records (SPF, DKIM and/or MX) need to be reconfigured.When the check for your domain’s DNS records fails.
You have reached 70% of your monthly email limit for domain-nameIndicates that you are nearing your Transactional Email’s monthly quota limitWhen you have reached 70% of your Transactional Email monthly quota consumption.
Email rejection rate for domain-nameIndicates that your emails have a higher rejection rate than usual. The alert we send gives you a list of factors that could have contributed to this high rejection rate.When 7% of your emails have been rejected over a 24-hour-span.
Your domain domain-name is lockedIndicates that your domain’s reputation score is too low. Read our documentation to find out how you can improve it.When your domain’s reputation score drops below 50.
Your domain domain name is blacklistedIndicates that RBLs flag your domain as spam. The alert we send gives you a link to our documentation on delisting your domain.When your domain is listed on the Spamhaus blacklist.

Check out our dedicated documentation to learn about managing your email activity using your email statuses and flags.

Checking your domain reputation

Here is a list of some of the free tools you can use to check and monitor the reputation of your domain:

  • Google Postmaster tracks the reputation of your domain with Gmail users and allows you to get insights on how to improve your domain’s reputation.
  • MxToolBox allows you to check for any blacklisting and deliverability issues that might be impacting your domain’s reputation.
  • BarracudaCentral keeps a database of IP addresses associated with known spammers and senders with good email practices. When you enter your IP or domain address, BarracudaCentral cross-references it with its database to determine your domain’s reputation score.

How is domain reputation calculated?

To manage your domain’s reputation, you need to understand how it is calculated. The factors used to determine a domain’s reputation score vary from one service to another. The only constant common denominator is that the receiving platforms determine how your domain is used in your emails and then monitor how their users receive these emails. Each domain has several reputations associated with different mail receivers. The reputations also depend on the volume of emails you send to specific receivers.

Factors that impact your domain reputation

Many factors might affect your domain’s reputation. The most common are the following:

  • Engagement: When determining domain reputation, engagement is one of the principal factors that comes into play. If recipients fail to open your emails or unsubscribe, email providers will interpret it as an indicator of bad reputation and this might impact your score.

  • Domain’s age: Your domain’s age plays a significant role in determining your reputation score. A new domain that sends out a large volume of emails will raise suspicion.

  • Emailing practices: The relevance, frequency, and timing of your emails are used to determine the validity of your domain.

  • Blacklists: Internet service providers and email providers may add domains and IPs to their blacklists to prevent spamming. Once your domain is blacklisted, your emails will be instantly flagged as spam. Your domain can also be blacklisted if a significant number of your recipients label your messages as spam.

  • Spam traps: Your emails might be landing in spam traps which in turn, negatively impacts your reputation score.

Emailing best practices to improve your domain reputation

For a good domain reputation, you need to implement the following emailing practices:

  • Use the preheader to entice your recipients to open your email.

  • Do not use spam phrases in the subject line of your emails. Spam words and phrases associated with scams, promises and free gifts arouse suspicion among email service providers.

  • Maintain a 60/40 text-to-image ratio.

  • Send emails with a coherent structure.

  • Keep a clean list of engaged users and delete email addresses of recipients that do not engage with your content.

  • Do not purchase an email list as they might include spam traps.

  • Delete emails that have soft bounced and hard bounced.

  • Use shared IPs if you are sending small volumes of emails (< 5 000 emails/day). A shared IP allows you to send emails without needing to warm up your IP, and improve your deliverability by pooling all its users’ IP reputation. This also ensures that your reputation does not suffer if you are not sending enough emails consistently from your IP.

    • If you are sending large volumes of emails (> 300 000 emails/month), consider using a dedicated IP (not yet provided by Scaleway). This ensures that the emails you send are not affected by the reputation of senders using the same IP address.
    • You need to warm up your dedicated IP before starting to send emails. As new IP addresses have no reputation, internet service providers are suspicious of them. It is crucial that you send your emails progressively (100 emails/day) and slowly ramp up your volume over a period of weeks or months until you reach the desired volume.

Find out how to use your Email activity tab to manage your domain reputation.

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