Improving Brand Reputation in the Age of Spam Protection

Improving Brand Reputation in the Age of Spam Protection

Grace Koplow
Relationship Marketing Practice Lead
Oct 11, 2023

Picture this: you’ve spent hours carefully crafting that important email, clicking ‘send’ with anticipation, only to realize it’s vanished into the abyss of the spam folder, never to be seen by your recipient.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

Email is invaluable for connecting, sharing, and engaging with others in the fast-paced digital world. However, as email usage soars, so does the menace of spam.

Fortunately, email service giants like Google have donned their capes to rescue your inbox from the deluge of unsolicited emails. To secure your spot in the coveted inbox and avoid the dreaded spam folder, it’s time to master the art of email reputation scores.

So, let’s dive into the world of email reputation and discover how it can be your ticket to email success, even in the face of Google’s formidable spam crackdowns failed.

Understanding Email Reputation Scores

Email reputation scores are like a report card for emails. If your emails are helpful and friendly, you get good grades. But if you send annoying or bad emails, your grades go down. Good grades mean your emails go to the inbox, and bad grades make them go to the spam folder. So, it’s important to send good emails to get good grades!

These considerations impact your email grade:

  • Engagement: High engagement with your emails, such as opens and clicks, signals to email service providers that your content is relevant and wanted.
  • List Quality: Maintaining a clean email list with valid and engaged subscribers is crucial.
  • Email Authentication: Implement authentication methods like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to verify the authenticity and security of your emails.
  • Content Relevance: Create valuable and relevant email content that resonates with your audience. Avoid using misleading or spammy subject lines and content.
  • Sending Frequency: Consistency in your email-sending schedule is important. Sending too many emails in a short time can trigger spam filters.
  • Complaint Rates: High spam complaint rates can negatively impact your reputation. Make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe or manage their email preferences.
  • Bounce Rates: Minimize bounce rates by regularly cleaning your email list and removing invalid or non-existent email addresses.
  • Spam Traps: Sending emails to known spam traps—inactive email addresses set up to catch spammers—can hurt your reputation.
  • ISP Feedback Loops: Monitor feedback loops from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to receive notifications about recipient complaints and take appropriate action.
  • Blacklists: Avoid getting listed on email blacklists, which ISPs can use to filter out spammy senders.
  • Email Volume: Sudden, large spikes in email volume can trigger spam filters. Gradually increase your sending volume to avoid this.

The Consequences of Poor Email Reputation

With so many factors that affect email reputation, the management can get overwhelming and daunting. But the consequences of not maintaining are crucial to business impact:

  • Reduced Deliverability: Emails with low reputation scores are more likely to be sent to spam folders or blocked altogether. This means your messages may never reach your intended recipients.
  • Loss of Trust: A negative email reputation can damage the trust and credibility of your brand or organization.
  • Wasted Resources: You might waste time and resources creating high-quality emails that never reach your audience due to poor reputation.
  • Financial Implications: For businesses, a tarnished reputation can translate into lost revenue and customers

What’s Happening with the New Google Spam Crackdowns

If email reputation management wasn’t enough already, as of October 3, 2023, Google has taken additional steps to help protect customers from the overabundance of emails being sent daily. These “common sense, high-impact” changes focus on email validation and new requirements for bulk senders.

Google, with its dominant email platform, Gmail, has been at the forefront of email security and spam prevention for a long time. However, due to today’s complex threats, recent changes intended to enhance the user experience and protect users from unwanted emails include improved spam filters, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, and machine learning systems that help identify and filter out spam.

“Gmail’s AI-powered defenses stop more than 99.9% of spam, phishing, and malware from reaching inboxes and block nearly 15 billion unwanted emails every day.”

By February 2024, Gmail will require bulk senders (those who send over 5,000 messages to Gmail addresses in one day) to authenticate their emails following well-established best practices, enable easy unsubscription, and ensure they’re sending wanted emails by enforcing spam rate thresholds.

For senders, maintaining a good email reputation score is more critical than ever because it is now easier for Gmail to flag potential spam. If Google mistakenly marks your emails as spam, it can significantly lower your deliverability and ultimately impact your business or communication efforts.

Tips for Maintaining a Strong Email Reputation

In the face of Google’s new spam crackdowns, here are some tips to help you maintain a robust email reputation:

  • Permission-Based Lists: Only send emails to individuals who have opted in to receive them. Avoid purchasing email lists.
  • Quality Content: Craft engaging and relevant email content that your recipients want to read.
  • Authentication: Implement email authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to prove the legitimacy of your emails.
  • Monitor Engagement: Keep an eye on open and click-through rates. Adjust your strategy based on what works best with your audience.
  • Handle Complaints: Make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe and manage their preferences, reducing the likelihood of spam complaints.
  • Regular List Maintenance: Remove invalid email addresses and addresses of those who haven’t engaged with your emails for an extended period.
  • Use a Reputable Email Service Provider: A reputable email service provider can help you monitor your reputation and optimize your email campaigns.

The importance of keeping up with your email reputation scores cannot be overstated, especially in the context of Google’s new spam crackdowns.

A good email reputation is the foundation of successful email marketing and communication efforts. By following best practices and adhering to email-sending guidelines, you can ensure that your emails continue to land in your recipients’ inboxes, fostering trust, engagement, and success in the digital realm.

How We Help

Further offers strategic recommendations on how to improve your reputation, and we can also help you fix it. We can help audit email lists, revise emails to be positioned better, conduct IP warming, and more to help you stay in a good position in inboxes. Contact us today!

Grace Koplow
Relationship Marketing Practice Lead

For more than 10 years, Grace Koplow has seamlessly blended roles in marketing, analytics, project management, team leadership, operations, and client services to turn data and technical challenges into key wins for businesses. Her unparalleled ability to solve complex business problems, combined with her expertise in bridging diverse business functions with innovation and strategic insights, has been pivotal in driving growth and fostering a culture of teamwork and development. Outside of work, Grace is an avid sports enthusiast and traveler and is well-known for her ‘dad jokes’, which uphold her belief in the power of humor to create a positive, united work environment.


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