IP address and domain reputation and contact engagement drive email deliverability. The days of manual, persistent whitelisting is gone. Only AOL still offers whitelisting but only for volume-based problems.
Why is reputation so important?
Reputation systems were designed to automate how an ISP filters spam and to allow an IP address or domain to be treated in a rapid, dynamic, responsive, and appropriate way.
Reputation systems focus on the user response that is generated by a specific stream of email and whether that email is authenticated. Reputation is applied to both IP addresses and domains.
Whether an email reaches an inbox is no longer a matter of getting whitelisted, it is dynamic and depends entirely on reputation. Spam-folder placement is also now driven by reputation and mailbox user preferences. It's a more fluid environment than it was even a few years ago. Reputation can be recalculated every few minutes.
How does Acoustic Campaign establish reputation?
Reputation for a new domain or IP address is established during the IP ramp-up phase. During this phase, a carefully selected set of engaged contacts are segmented from a sender's database. Messages are sent in a measured fashion at increasing rates of volume and speed until production volume is reached. Then, the results of every iteration are studied, adjustments are made, and problems are fixed.
This process creates the IP address and domain reputation that is required for the successful continuation of the marketing campaign. The preparation phase is the single most important part of starting a new domain or IP address. It is much easier to drive reputation down than it is to recover it.
What comprises reputation?
Each ISP and filter vendor calculate IP address and domain reputation differently, but the basic premise is the same everywhere: Sending correctly authenticated and well-targeted email to an engaged audience is the key to ongoing successful email delivery.
Although there is much information that ISPs and filter vendors do not reveal, reputation is generally composed of the following key metrics:
- Complaint volumes
- Spam trap hits
- Engagement metrics, such as opens, replies, and moving messages out of the spam folder
- Bounces due to invalid addresses
- Consistent behavior - no sudden changes in volume
What happens after ramp-up is complete?
Ramp-up establishes only the initial reputation. Continued, constant care must be taken to maintain your reputation.
The following actions are mistakes that cost time and effort to correct:
- Send to the wrong segment of a database.
- Make sudden large leaps in volume.
- Send to old lists that might contain spam traps or invalid addresses.
- Use a purchased list.