We always stress the importance of a strong sending reputation. By keeping an eye on your engagement (opens, clicks TiNs, etc.) and reputation (spam complaints, spam traps, unknown users, etc.) metrics you’ll get a good picture of how your emails are being received by subscribers.
But if you’re looking for another measure of your reputation, you can take advantage of a handful of resources that will let you know where you stand. This post will help outline tools you can use to keep your sending reputation on track.
5 tools to check your sending reputation
Like a credit score, a Sender Score is a measure of your reputation. Scores are calculated from 0 to 100. The higher your score, the better your reputation and the higher your email deliverability rate. Numbers are calculated on a rolling 30-day average and illustrate where your IP address ranks against other IP addresses. This service is provided by Return Path.
Talos Intelligence is a product of Cisco and provides you with the tools to check your reputation by ranking you as Good, Neutral, or Poor. Good means there is little or no threat activity. Neutral means your IP address or domain is within acceptable parameters, but may still be filtered or blocked. Poor means there is a problematic level of threat activity and you are likely to be filtered or blocked.
WatchGuard’s ReputationAuthority helps protect business and government organizations from unwanted email and web traffic that contain spam, malware, spyware, malicious code, and phishing attacks. You can look up your IP address or domain, receive a reputation score from 0-100, and get the percentage of emails that were good versus bad.
Barracuda Networks provides both an IP and domain reputation lookup via their Barracuda Reputation System; a real-time database of IP addresses with “poor” or “good” reputations.
TrustedSource is a site very similar to senderbase.org, but run by McAfee. It provides information on both your domain’s email and web reputations as well as affiliations, domain name system (DNS), and mail server information. It also provides details on the history, activation, and associations of your domain.
Reputation is one part of a healthy email program
We also want to emphasize that while these reputation monitoring systems are a great help, they are not the authoritative metric by which you should determine the health of your entire email program.
It is not uncommon to see email senders with SenderScores around 98-99 that are still having inboxing problems, so it’s important to know that just because you get a high score on one of these sites, doesn’t mean you won’t be getting throttled, sent to the spam folder, or blocked outright.
- A sender could have a high reputation score at one or many of these score providers, yet have a high hard bounce rate that indicates an issue with the point of address collection that can threaten their sending reputation.
- A sender with low spam complaint rates and low block rates might have a great reputation score, but still see significant filtering by ISPs to the spam folder due to lack of recipient engagement with their content.
When looking at your email program, keep in mind that reputation monitoring systems are best used as one data point (an important one) in an overarching holistic assessment.
Your email reputation is always in your control. By taking advantage of these resources and a variety of data points (hard bounce rates, open rate trends, blocking or soft bounce rates, and deferrals), you’ll have more accurate visibility into how the mailbox providers view your mail. All of these data points are signals of whether or not your mail is seen as wanted by recipients. So the more proactive you can be with your email deliverability, the better.
If you’re interested in having a partner to help with your sending reputation and email deliverability, check out SendGrid. Both our API and email marketing plans offer reputable shared IP addresses or dedicated IPs depending on your needs. Check our sending plans to get started.