Last week, we tackled the easily-overlooked and somewhat whiffy subject of email lists which have passed their use by date.

In that blog, we highlighted a recent Return Path report which discovered that, 83% of the time an email fails to reach an inbox, the sender’s reputation is blamed. That’s you! And it might seem rather unfair.

But how is your reputation defined? Let us introduce the Sender Score.

Email deliverability involves all sorts of moving parts. The content is a big one, as is your list hygiene strategy, but your Sender Score could be a hidden and significant problem in your email marketing campaign.

Return Path is a worldwide leader in email intelligence and they offer the Sender Score algorithm as a free service. Sender Score rates the reputation of every outgoing mail server IP address on a scale of 0-100. It gathers data from over 60 million mailboxes at large ISPs and records if people frequently unsubscribe from particular mailings or report them as spam. Your score is based on that monitoring. Obviously, your score changes depending on your sending habits and the responses of your recipients. It is therefore an ever-evolving entity which needs to be monitored if you are to make success of future mailings.

Registering is easy (click here: and we’d encourage you to do so as soon as you get a spare moment. Scores are calculated on a rolling 30 day average and the results speak for themselves; if you’re hitting the low numbers and approaching zero, that’s bad news. If you’re close to 100, you’re in great shape. The report from Return Path will tell you in detail what your score means and how it is calculated.

The good news is, if you’re a mailingmanager user, you’ll benefit from a consistent and proactive approach to IP address reputation amongst leading ISPs. We do it for you and maintain strong relations with the ISPs. That said, there are so many factors which are attributed to the Sender Score, that we unfortunately can’t do all of the work for you! Inconsistent volume of sends and the frequency with which you email people, along with the various traps you can fall into with poor content resulting in spam reports, are all factors you need to consider in order to get that score closer to 100.


Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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