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Staying Out of Email Jail Part 1: Find out your sender reputation and work to improve it

Email deliverability is a hot topic, and we were so excited to share this information at this year’s Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in New Orleans! You can search for what others thought of our session using #18NTCemailjail, but here, I break down the most important takeaways in this three-part series.

Did you know email mailbox providers change their filtering specifications all the time without explaining what they did and when they did it? This can make reaching your donor’s inbox incredibly challenging—in fact, only 28% of all messages sent worldwide ever actually make it to the inbox. Yikes!

But fear not! There are things you can do to improve your deliverability rate. In this three-part series we’ll explore the following strategies: 1) improving your sender reputation, 2) removing SPAM traps from your email list, and 3) minimizing SPAM complaint rates.

Sender Reputation

Your sender reputation is the most important metric when it comes to email deliverability. Think of it like your credit score. You can still buy a car with a low credit score, but your interest rate will be higher than someone who has a better credit score. The same goes with your sender reputation. You can still send emails with a poor sender reputation, but a smaller percentage of your emails will reach inboxes.

I bet you’re wondering what makes up your sender reputation and how you can improve it. I’ve got you covered. Your sender reputation is made up of two parts: your domain and IP reputation.

 Your domain is your registered name on the internet (i.e., Your IP address is the number listed in the domain name system (DNS) that sends email on behalf of your domain. What can affect your sender reputation?

  • SPAM complaints
  • Sending emails to SPAM traps
  • Emailing unknown users
  • Getting on blacklists
  • Low email engagement rates (how many people are opening and clicking on your email)

Why does all this matter? Because all the effort you put into developing engaging and relevant content could be for naught if the end user never even has the chance to open your email.

You can find out your sender reputation at (there’s an associated fee) or connect with your IT department to find out your Postmaster score for each inbox provider. Before reading my next post on SPAM traps, find out your sender score.

Rebecca Luckett

Senior Account Executive