Given the amount of spam constantly battering inboxes, ISPs are understandably cracking down. And while most people are thrilled to have less spam, the 20% of legitimate emails that never make it may be cause for concern. If you are an email marketer you have a vested interest in practicing habits that will increase your sending reputation and place you in the 80% success category.

Five things determine sending reputation: volume, complaint rates, bounce rate, spam trap hits, and correct authentication. When it comes to monitoring these all-important categories you have two choices. You can either do it yourself or have professionals (like us!) do it for you.

So what if your score is already sub-par? Here are several steps you can take in repairing your reputation.

Take Action on your User Count
Want to prevent complaints and resolve your unknown user count? Stick to emailing active users who want to get your emails, and always use double opt in for your registrations. Using old contact lists is a sure-fire way to injure your user count. The unknown recipients may either delete the email or send it to spam. Bounce rates always drop when you contact people you know are interested, and spam traps will be much less likely.

Prevent Complaints
The first step in preventing complaints is understanding why you’re getting them. New users often complain when they do not receive the information that they thought they’d get. If the source of your complaints is users who have received your emails for a long time, you may simply need to delete them from your list. If they don’t want your emails and continue to get them, they will complain.

Set up Feedback Loops
If you have all of your feedback loops set up for your sending IPs it is unlikely that you will resend to complaining users. If complaints are still high after setting up the loops, the problem may be the frequency of your emails. Even interested users hate getting too many emails. Back off on your frequency and see if complaints fall. If they do, you can then slowly increase your mailings until you find exactly the right frequency. What you want to achieve is your top ROI without lots of complaints.

Authentication
SPF and domain keys can be a great tool, depending on your list sizes. If you are using an ESP in your email marketing, they can help with authenticating the sender to organize and send emails on your behalf. If interested, ask your ESP for more information about the usefulness of SPF and domain keys.

While underappreciated, deliverability is crucial to the world of email marketing. If you need help in improving your deliverability, eConnect Email would be happy to assist you.

About James Trumbly:
Director of Business Development for eConnect Email, an email marketing software company. James enjoys spending time at the beach and traveling in his free time. Follow him on twitter @eConnectEmail