5 Ways How a Growing Business can Take Care of its IP Reputation
Your business is growing and so is your list of customers. You’re no longer sending emails in the thousands but probably in the hundreds of thousands or even in millions! And the goal of each email that you send is to be opened, read, and the action performed by your reader.
But how do you ensure that the email reaches your customer inboxes? The inboxing rate depends a lot on how your emails are perceived by the filtering algorithms of mailbox servers like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and many others.
They understand this by looking at your domain and IP reputation first. But what's the difference between domain and IP reputation?
- The IP reputation(link for tips on taking care of IP reputation) is judged based on the sending habits of emailers using that IP for their campaigns. This is generally managed by your SMTP service provider, and that's a really good thing. The pros do it best. But you have to make sure that you choose the right one. Here's a guide to choosing the best SMTP service.
- Domain reputation(link for tips on taking care of domain reputation), on the other hand, is how well your past campaigns run using the current domain have worked out. What were their engagement rates, how many bounced, and more...
So you need to ensure that your reputation within these servers is picture-perfect. An email coming from you should be trusted instantly by these algorithms and servers. We can only make an estimation based on certain metrics like domain reputation, IP reputation, and your current deliverability and inboxing rates as to how your emails are perceived.
Today, we’ll talk about 5 of the best ways to maintain and improve the IP reputation of your growing business.
1. Warm Up First. Always
In email marketing, consistency takes over speed. So as your business grows, you need to scale your email marketing efforts at a consistent speed. If a paid campaign causes your email list to go from a couple thousand to a couple hundred thousand, you simply cannot do an email blast that big if you’ve not done it before.
You need to go slow and increase the number of emails you send at the same time by 5-10% with every new email blast.
This process of starting with low volumes and increasing them slowly is called as warming up your IP. We do this so Mailbox service providers know your sending habits and get used to them so your emails don’t end up in the spam box.
2. Send Engaging Content
Bad email content will increase your unsubscribe and spam report rates. Mailbox service providers will be triggered and will start automatically marking your emails as spam if it continues for too long.
That’s the technical part, but how do you send an email that’s engaging enough? The question can be answered by understanding what your customers really want from you.
If I subscribe to an email list of an email service provider, I would expect a lot of ideas on improving my own email ROI. In contrary to this, if the emails that I receive are just more promotions and upsells, I won’t last long as an email subscriber there.
Understand why someone subscribed to your email list. And then send emails that satisfy the needs they were looking to fulfill.
So every email you send should be such that your subscribers are interested in reading and engaging with it. This, in the long run, will improve your IP reputation significantly as recipient email servers see a pattern that your emails hold value to the receivers.
3. Eliminate Email Bounce
It could be tempting to grow and expand your business by purchasing an active subscriber list. But a list that does not recognize you, is not engaged with your brand, and hasn’t opted in to receive your emails will be more likely to delete your emails, not engage with them, and increase your unsubscribe and spam report rates significantly.
This also increases your bounce percentage harming your IP reputation very negatively. We recently covered why emails bounce and the differences between a hard bounce and soft bounce. These articles also mention the steps you can take to reduce or even completely eliminate bounces depending on your situation.
Here’s a tiny aspect of the two detailed write-ups:
- If the email hard bounces - Don’t send an email to it again
- If it’s a soft bounce - Try again after some time
Though this is the essence of email bounces, we’d highly encourage you to read through both the articles to ensure the lowest bounce rates possible. Taking care of this and having a framework to do so will be very valuable in the long run.
4. Follow a 70-30 Distribution When Sending Emails
70% value addition, 30% promotion. That has been observed as a very good balance. You can play around with these numbers to fit your business needs but here’s the essence - the emails you send should add way more value than the amount of promotion you do.
The reason is human psychology. If you add value in the life of someone without asking for anything upfront, the person is bound to become invested in you.
Once your list of subscribers is invested in you, your promotional content will be much better received and their likelihood of making a purchase grows further.
And the best part - even with someone selling products or services similar to yours at similar prices, your list of subscribers will be more likely to consider you first. Your sales will be in the direct proportion of the value you add upfront.
5. Select Good Bulk Email Services
This is kept last not because it’s unimportant, but because without the first 4 steps, there’s no way a good email service will be of help. Their existing shared IP reputation will allow you to reach out to your customers in the beginning, but if the quality of emails and their engagement rates are low, things will change very soon.
So before you start finding out what the best email, make sure that you read through our post on the choosing an email service provider.
And if you're interested in starting out with us, your first month is completely on us. No questions asked. You can sign up by clicking the "Sign up free" button above.
Improvement starts with tracking. So always make sure that you review the current status of your IP reputation on a regular basis. We wrote an article on how you can check your IP reputation including a list of 5 tools to do so.
Track regularly, and take the really small steps mentioned here very consistently. Because here’s the thing: Mailbox service providers don’t manually review emails. They have algorithms in place. Many algorithms are now based on machine learning. So the more often an algorithm “sees” good emails from you, the more likely it is to trust you for your future emails.
You do this often enough, and the algorithm will begin going in your favor soon. Also, there’s one more thing. Domain and IP reputation resets every couple of weeks after inactivity. So to make sure that the trust stays intact, be consistent with sending emails. Even if it means sending only 20-30% of your regular volumes, it’s good.