Inbox Pros Blog   »   3 Key Ways to Monitor Deliverability Reputation

June 22, 2015

3 Key Ways to Monitor Deliverability Reputation

Author | Inbox Pros

Spammers are known for sending very high volumes of email, but what about legitimate mailers who do as well? If your volume is high, you should monitor 3 things: complaints, hard bounces, and spam trap. It’s important to maintain a good reputation with ISP’s, so that your deliverability is not adversely affected.

Even legitimate organizations with clean lists will receive a few spam complaints at some point, but it’s important to understand some specific ways to prevent spam complaints.

  • Use the Double Opt-in Method
  • Get PermissionEven if they’re your customers, you need to ask permission before you send email promotions.
  • Don’t Use Purchased Lists
  • Don’t Hide Your Opt-Out Link–  Make your unsubscribe link prominent in every campaign.
  • Make Sure Your Email Looks ReputableYour email needs to look professional, and like it came from your company. Messy campaigns can trigger distrust, and subscribers could mark it as spam.
  • Set Expectations Be honest about what you’ll be sending your subscribers. If they sign up for monthly emails, send them monthly emails.

Hard Bounce

A hard bounce is a permanent delivery failure. Some reasons for a hard bounce would be sending to a mailbox that doesn’t exist (bad mailbox) or a domain that doesn’t exist (bad domain).  ISPs monitor and watch for IP addresses that continually send to bad mailboxes and get blocked due to complaints—and they will adjust your reputation accordingly.

Maintain a bounce rate of less than 10 percent, as recommended by most major ISPs. The lower the number of hard bounces you receive, the better your reputation with ISPs. It’s important that maintain a clean email list by removing undeliverable email addresses from your list on a consistent basis.

Spam Traps

There are two types of spam traps you should be aware of: pure spam traps, and recycled spam traps. Pure spam traps are the worst for your sender reputation, making it extremely difficult for you to deliver email to an inbox if you’re caught sending to one. Why are they so bad? Because pure spam trap email addresses are set up with the sole purpose of identifying spammers. In other words, there’s no conceivable reason any sender should have that email address … unless they got it in a sketchy way.  Recycled spam traps, on the other hand, could have been active email addresses at one point in time. That means they might have just gone dormant or inactive, and they’ve been taken over by the ISP after a period of inactivity.

Could You Have a Spam Trap on Your List?
Maybe. If you’ve done any of the following, it’s possible you have a spam trap on your list that could impact your email deliverability:  Purchased an email list, started emailing an extremely old portion of your list, or if you’re emailing unengaged subscribers.


By regularly monitoring your emails for complaints, hard bounces, and spam traps, you’ll be protecting your reputation with ISPs and ensuring better email deliverability.

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