Are you an inbox hero or villain? Why you should care about email reputation

Batman and Joker

Batman and Joker

We’re all accustomed to the generic narrative of hero vs. villain. We see it in Westerns, childrens animations, action films and even soppy romances. The story of email reputation management is not much different.

Picture yourself as an innocent civilian in the cyber space world of content. Your need for survival? To share and receive relevant content. Your helpful tools? Email, mobile and social.

But as with all stories, there are villains. The arch nemesis, if you will. In this narrative we’ll call them spammers: irresponsible, illegitimate database buying spammers. If you haven’t figured it out already, they spread spam, a poisonous weapon of mass destruction to the cyber space world of content. And as is the custom with spammers, they send it to users who’ve not given their permission to be emailed.

As spam threatens the world of content, a policing system is needed to prevent the epidemic spreading like wildfire. In our story, they’re your Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Mweb, Yahoo, Afrihost and Gmail. They govern content with certain rules that filter out spam and protect email recipients.

While the ISPs monitor spam, the civilians of cyber space are faced with a different problem. They may be sending legitimate content, but it can sometimes get detected as spam. Soon they are blacklisted; their mails are mistakenly rejected by ISP’s who err on the side of caution. These legitimate email senders are castaways unable to communicate with their world. They need a hero.

Your Email Service Provider (ESP) should be able to take on the role of content delivering hero, providing that they themselves have a good reputation and can assist you with yours. They should make it their aim to get content successfully delivered to the inbox through various reputation management strategies.

These strategies should include having an email reputation specialist to help clients know what they need to build permission based databases and send legitimate mail. While the ISPs are the judges of what is and is not spam, your email reputation specialist should be the lawyer of the accused. A lawyer with no tolerance for database-buying spammers.

One who has the right tools and skills to figure out why certain mail gets detected as spam. Perhaps your content isn’t signaling the legitimacy you hope to portray, or maybe your database needs a clean up. Whatever the reason, it’s wise to get your reputation on par with what’s expected from the ISPs.

The question to ask yourself as a marketer is: “Am I getting through to the inbox and if not, why not?” If your delivery rate is anything below 90% it may be time to invest in your reputation as a content sharer.

Image: stick_kim (via Flickr).



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