Many factors influence email deliverability, including improving sender authentication, keeping clean email lists, sending wanted content, having a good sending reputation, and much more.

Your sending reputation is how internet service providers (ISPs) identify you as a legitimate sender. So every time you send an email campaign, ISPs collect valuable data that says whether you follow proper sending practices.

There are 2 types of email reputation: internet protocol (IP) reputation and domain reputation. Let’s look at the difference between them and why you need to pay attention to each.

What is IP reputation?

All emails come from IP addresses, which serve as unique identifiers of email streams. This means that part of your email reputation will be your IP reputation. 

Some companies send from a shared IP, which means multiple companies use the same IP address to send email. However, senders with higher email sending volume usually opt to send from a dedicated IP address that belongs only to them. 

But no matter what your sending volume is, most email senders should send their transactional and marketing emails from separate IP addresses. This is crucial to protecting your email reputation.

Check out Shared and Dedicated IPs: Which Should You Choose? to learn more about the differences between shared and dedicated IPs.

It’s critical for your IP reputation to warm up the IP properly before sending to your entire list.

If you send your email from a dedicated IP address, it’s critical for your IP reputation to warm up the IP properly before sending to your entire list. Check out Twilio SendGrid’s Email Guide for IP Warm Up for best practices to ensure you’ve set up and prepared your IP for your sending needs and have the best foundation for strong IP reputation and email reputation.

What is domain reputation?

Your domain reputation centers on your sending domain instead of your IP address. This means that your branded website takes precedence when it comes to ISP filtering decisions.

There has been a sharp move toward domain reputation over IP reputation, predicated by the move from IPv4 networks to IPv6 networks. And while it’s not yet common practice to use domain reputation (required under IPv6), ISPs like Gmail have started to use IP reputation and domain reputation together until widespread adoption of IPv6.

Domain authority

Domain authority, closely linked to domain reputation, refers to the overall strength or influence of your website in terms of how it ranks on search engine results pages. And while the connection between this and email marketing may not be immediately obvious, ISPs use domain authority to guide decisions about which emails get flagged as spam. 

If people aren’t clicking on your website and exploring its pages, your domain authority will suffer. Plus, your emails will end up heading to the spam folder.

Portable reputation

The idea of portable reputation appeals to senders who want the flexibility to add new IPs, move IPs, or change email service providers (ESPs) without losing the good email reputation they’ve already built from their sending activity.

Domain reputation also eliminates the need to warm up new IPs since ISPs use the entire domain’s reputation as a filtering metric. (With IP reputation, you lose all reputation history and data when you change IPs or ESPs.) 

As a result, new protocols have been developed to help facilitate domain reputation as the next frontier for filtering. In other words, domain reputation and domain authority are more important to email marketing than ever.

Check your email reputation with Twilio SendGrid

If you’re wondering how to check your email reputation, there are several options available

  • Sender Score
  • Barracuda Central
  • Google Postmaster Tools 

Since there’s no singular standard, it’s best to use several tools combined to gain full visibility into how ISPs might view and treat your messages—that’s where we come in.

Improve your email reputation with Twilio SendGrid. We’ll give you the best email sending practices to help you avoid common mistakes and preserve excellent domain reputation.

To learn more about sending reputation and tips to stay in compliance with ISPs, download our 2020 Email Deliverability Guide.



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