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Understanding your reputation score with Transactional Email
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Understanding your reputation score with Transactional Email

Reviewed on 12 October 2023Published on 12 October 2023

This documentation provides advice on how to maintain a good reputation score and helps you understand what you need to do, to have your emails delivered.

Security & Identity (IAM):

You may need certain IAM permissions to carry out some actions described on this page. This means:

  • you are the Owner of the Scaleway Organization in which the actions will be carried out, or
  • you are an IAM user of the Organization, with a policy granting you the necessary permission sets

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 dedicated or shared IPs:

    • If you are sending large volumes of emails (> 300 000 emails/month), consider using a dedicated IP. This ensures that the emails you send are not affected by the reputation of senders using the same IP address.

      Important:

      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.

    • If you are sending small volumes of emails (< 5 000 emails/day), consider using a shared IP. 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.