Whitelisting versus reputation management in email marketing: tips to get started

Reputation management is key in email marketing deliverabilty In the battle against spam, ISP’s came up with strong spamfilters. Due to this spam filtering process some legitimate emails were also blocked, known as false positives. To avoid this kind of email deliverability problems, a process of whitelisting was implemented, certainly not the easiest method. Why would an ISP whitelist a sender if it isn’t of any interest for him? But anyway, whitelisting procedures are almost over. The new standard is Reputation Management.

The reputation of your sender IP address is increasingly becoming the main factor that determines whether or not your email will end up getting blocked by the spam filter. And relevance plays a huge role in it.

The reputation scoring mechanism looks at several factors of your email communication. This list of factors will probably grow as ISP’s are trying out more mechanisms that are based on the interaction with your e-mails.

Some of the actual reputation scoring factors:

  • What is the volume of emails that you are sending?
  • How often are you sending emails?
  • Do you have a high bounce rate on your email campaigns?
  • Do people complain about your emails by hitting the spam button?

Open rates, click rates and probably even more social interactions with emails will play an increasing role. But whatever the exact mechanisms are and will become: it’s obvious that interaction, relevance and valuable dialogues are key elements for email marketers to focus on.

Integration of e-mail marketing data with other data sources and customer systems such as CRM are therefore a necessity and segmentation and personalization key. After all, email marketing is just one of the many channels in your marketing approach.

This new way of working brings up a whole new perspective on your email communication. The opinion or perception of the receiver has a higher value than just the local legislation or any other spam filter rule.

Here is your to do list to start improving your email marketing reputation:

  • Start working with a clean opt-in list
  • Make your communication relevant to your contacts
  • Work on your bounce management (pay attention to delete your bounces on the list).

And start thinking of email marketing as a dialogue.

Kenny Van Beeck

Kenny Van Beeck has over 10 years hands-on experience as an email marketing and e-direct marketing consultant. He was business unit manager and business development manager of Belgian email marketing service provider, EmailGarage. In his career he learned that the market has still a lot to discover about the true power of email marketing and decided to found his consultancy eTale. You can follow Kenny on Twitter or connect with him via LinkedIn.