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All You Need to Know About Email Reputation

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Email stands for Electronic mail. We can send and receive mails via electronic means. There are various free email service providers. To send and receive emails from a particular provider, you must have email account(s) with them. It is not necessary to use these services. If you have a domain, you could create unlimited email accounts associated with that domain such as “[email protected]“.

As the name indicates, the email reputation is the reputation given to your domain which is sending emails by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the mail box providers. This reputation is provided to you based the analysis of the data provided by your emails. A good or neutral email reputation is necessary for a domain to continue sending emails. Usually the domains receives a poor email reputation because of spamming. Even though the domains are not directly involving in the spamming, their email address  can be used to send spams without the knowledge of the owner. The best way to avoid this problem is to set a reverse DNS record for the domain. Let’s see how to get good email reputation in this article.

How to check the email reputation of a domain

Here are five websites that will let you know your sending reputation.

1) SenderScore.org

2) Senderbase.org

3) ReputationAuthority

4) BarracudaCentral

5) TrustedSource


The sender score is actually a measure of your reputation. These scores vary from zero to a hundred. The higher the score, the better your reputation. It also indicates high email delivery rate. This is a service provided by “Return Path”.


The sender base is a tool to check your domains reputation. It will rank your domains as “Good”, “Neutral” or “Poor”. A “Good” rank means there is a little to no threat activity. The rank ‘Neutral’ means the domain is in acceptable parameters, but still can be filtered or blocked. The “Poor” rank means that you carry a bad reputation and your domain may be blocked. The Senderbase is a product of Cisco.


This is a tool where you can check your domain or IP addresses for the email reputation. It will allocate you a reputation score from zero to a hundred. You can get the percentage of the emails that were good versus bad. This service is provided by the WatchGuard.


Barracuda Reputation Systems can be used for IP and domain look ups. It is a database of IP address classified into “Good” and “Poor” reputations. This service is provided by Barracuda Networks.


The TrustedSource is similar to the Senderbase.org. It will provide information on both the web reputation and the email reputations of your domain. It will also provide the affiliations, domain name system, and mail server information. You can get the details on the history, activation and the associations of your domain. It is run by McAfee.

How do the Email Reputation is determined?

The Internet Service Providers determine your email reputation based on the following criteria.

The following are the email practices that affect email reputation.

Email Bounce Rate

Emails can be bounced due to various reason. The rate of bounced back emails will affect your reputation. You need to have a low bounce rate to maintain a good email reputation.

Spam Rate

If your emails are getting marked as spams by the receivers, it will affect your reputation negatively. Spam is generally defined as an unwanted unsophisticated email. Try to get this rate as low as possible.

The Blacklists

If your domain or IP address is listed in any of the blacklist databases, it may result in a low repuatation. Check regularly to determine whether your domain or IP address is present in any of the blacklist databases. If it is listed, take the appropriate action to send a delist request to them as quick as possible.

The Email Providers Reputation

The reputation of your email provider can also affect the email reputation of your domain as well. If your domain is hosted with a shared hosting plan, the email reputation of your domain can be seriously affected by other users.

These are the key points to remember to maintain a good email reputation. Please keep the following in mind in order to achieve and maintain good email reputation for your domain.

Handling bounces: Handling bounce back plays a vital role in determining email reputation for your domain. Suppose you have received a bounce back when you’ve tried to email your friends. If you are still sending many emails to the same email address from where you’ve got a bounce back, then you should expect to have a poor reputation.

Necessary infrastructure items set up: The extent to which the sender set up the Sender Policy Framework, (SPF) Domain Keys Identified Mail, (DKIM) and the sender ID to confirm the origin of the email.

Receiver Consistently Opening Emails: It will be checked whether the email receivers consistently open and click through the emails received. If the open and click through rate is low, then the interest of customers will be lower. The low engagement is a measure of potentially questionable email practices.

We have seen the factors and practices affecting the email reputation of a domain. Now, let’s see what to do to maintain a good email reputation.

How to Maintain a Good Email Reputation?

Keep these in mind in order to maintain good email reputation for your domain.

1) Handle the bounce back messages effectively.

2) Manage the emailing users’ list regularly.

3) Send emails to ones who need them.

4) Check the email reputation regularly.

Handle the bounce back messages effectively

As we have discussed earlier, emails can be bounced back due to various reasons. Sending emails to a non-existent user is a good example of why you may receive a bounce back email. If you constantly send emails again to the bounced address this will result in a bad reputation.

Manage the emailing users’ list regularly

Managing the emailing users’ list regularly is critical. In the situation mentioned above, you should remove the email address that caused a bounce back. You should remove the email addresses of the people who have unsubscribed from you as well. When you send emails to unsubscribed users it may cause them to mark your emails as spam directly resulting in a negative repuatation.

Send emails to ones who need them

You should send emails to the addresses that require them and the ones you are permitted to send to. If you send to everyone, they may mark your emails as spam and it will cause a bad reputation.

Check the email reputation regularly

It is very important that be aware of your current email reputation. Check your email reputation at certain intervals to ensure you have a good email reputation. If you ever notice that your email reputation is poor, take immediate action to fix this issue.

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