Reputation is a crucial factor in the success of your email strategy, so what are the factors that affect how recipients view you?

Ken Magill of Direct has had a look at the issue, talking to Deirdre Baird of email delivery auditing firm Pivotal Veracity about three key metrics that affect reputation.

These are:

1. Spam complaint rate
This is the number of people that identify a marketer’s email as spam. According to Baird, spam complaints should never exceed 1%, as you are at risk of having your email blocked by your ISP.

Customers often hit the spam button even on legitimate marketing emails, so it’s important to ensure that emails are relevant and are not sent too frequently – annoy your customers by sending too many emails and they are likely to see you as a spammer.

2. Unknown user rate
This is the percentage of emails that are sent to addresses that no longer exist. This is something which should be easy to measure, as you can monitor bounce rates.

3. Hitting spam traps
Unused email addresses are sometimes used as ‘spam-traps’ by ISPs – if you email one of these it effectively means that you have harvested that email address.

IP reputation is also a big factor in email deliverability – senders sometimes share IPs with others, and reputations can be affected by the actions of others or, if your IP is in the same range as a spammer’s, then the ISP may block the whole range.

Further reading:

High deliverability – worth investing in?

Email Marketing – Roundtable Briefing, May 2007