Steps to Improve Your Email Reputation & Deliverability
Email reputation is a score assigned to an organization that sends emails by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). Maintaining a good score is critical for the deliverability of your emails. A higher reputation means the ISP is more likely to deliver your emails to inboxes on their network. Low reputation scores mean your emails may reach spam folders or won’t be received at all.
Here, we walk you through a client case study to help you assess, optimize, and implement changes to improve your email reputation and maximize your deliverability.
Case Study: WearMePro
The challenge facing our Klaviyo Client, WearMePro (WMP), was the concern that their domain reputation was in bad standing. After seeing several sends with low engagement, their emails were landing in Spam.
Even with their normally avid and engaged following, they saw Open-Rates slipping into 13% or less.
When you fear your brand may be suffering from a similar fate – here is our tried and true strategy to help get your domain back into good standing.
(KEEP IN MIND: things like purchased lists make domain repairing a near-impossible task. Ensure your list only contains contacts who organically opted-in to hear from you.)
Step One: Get a Pulse (Assess)
Our go-to first task is to get Google Postmasters set up. This completely free tool from Google allows you to get a sneak peek into how Gmail ranks your domain. You can follow these steps here on set-up.
As you can see with WMP, the sending domain was in a dire status – Bad.
For Postmaster Tools you can fall into Bad, Low, Medium, or High status and if you are in Bad, well – it’s bad! It is almost certain that a large volume of emails goes into the Spam inbox at this time. You should make an immediate change to your email strategy.
Step Two: Build Your Layers (Segmentation)
Domain repairing can seem complicated but it can be boiled down to a core philosophy. Only email those who are most likely to Open, Click, and not report your emails as spam.
It can seem shocking at first to alienate what may be the majority of your subscriber list who aren’t considered engaged. That is why I recommend you layer your engaged segments.
For immediate repairs, I used an aggressive segment (and even this can be tightened even more for Days):
This segment has OR statements for what we may consider engaged actions, but grouped with an AND statement. They either must have opened at least 1 email ‘recently,’ or are a brand new subscriber, or Viewed Product. This means they are recently engaged on-site and interested.
After sending to this list a few times, we can build a less aggressive segment to send to. We do this by opening up those Days and adding in a few extra OR conditions on top of the AND ‘Opened Email’ statement.
To boil it down simply, you’ll have maybe three to four engaged lists – with each getting larger and less strict with the segment rules.
Step Three: Analyze Your Content
There are some changes you can make to your content to ensure you are getting the most for your repair strategy. Try to leverage valuable content for your subscribers with clear Call-to-Actions. What is valuable content? Well, it can depend on your brand. Review your send history to see what emails got your best engagement and start with those. You want content that isn’t just – “Here is a product! Buy It!” Create a connection. Share your story.
Of course, ensure your emails are well-formatted, include alt text on all images, have working links, have a compliant footer that includes your unsubscribe link, etc! Those clean-up items shouldn’t be missed either.
Step Four: Be Consistent
Sending a single email a month won’t cut it with domain repairs. You need to reach out to your engaged lists at least weekly. This relies heavily on carrying Step Three out.
And With Those Steps…
Your domain can jump up to High status with Gmail as well! For WMP, we were able to get their domain repaired in just a month of targeted sending.
Of course, it can be different for each domain – so if you start this process, don’t give up! Your domain reputation is everything in your email strategy and deserves your full attention. After you are in good standing, be sure to check in after a while to make sure it doesn’t drop again.