A New and Improved Sender Score

Posted by Robert Barclay on

Today we are pleased to announce that we are launching some exciting enhancements to our Sender Score.

In 2005 when we launched the Sender Score reputation measure, it was the first-of-its-kind aimed at giving marketers real insight into how their email messages were being viewed by ISPs and other mailbox providers. Before then, reputation was largely a mystery. There were widely publicized best practices (i.e., keep complaints low, clean your list, don’t hit spam traps …) however, the metrics used to measure those practices were hard to come by.

Sender Score changed all of that by aggregating data from top ISPs and mailbox providers and using it to create a reputation measure, similar to how credit bureaus create credit scores. Since its introduction, Sender Score has been used by tens of thousands of marketers to assess their email sending reputations and by thousands of ISPs and mailbox providers to make accurate filtering decisions.

And now, our Sender Score is even better. Changes include:

  • Scores for More IPs: We’ve expanded IP coverage by 46% by scoring IPs with lower volumes. This is great news for senders with smaller lists or those mailing to international domains.
  • Faster Processing for More Stable Scores: There used to be up to a 3-day lag in the scoring. We’ve sped up our processing time so you will now have a Sender Score every day that is updated with the most current data. For users who noticed lots of variations in their score, this change should lead to a more stable score.
  • More Data for More Accuracy: We’ve added new data sources which mean the score is a more accurate reflection of your sender reputation. In fact, the average number of data sources we now have for each IP in the system has nearly doubled. We have also, as in the past, made an effort to expand the types of receiving sources represented to include consumer webmail providers, business mail hosting services, and consumer ISPs.
  • Weighted Reputation Variables: We continue to tune the weight of reputation variables to accurately reflect the measure’s impact on deliverability and overall reputation. For example, since we know that complaint rates significantly impact reputation that will factor more heavily than, for example, volume.

If you are a Return Path client and would like to discuss these changes to the Sender Score and what they mean for your program, don’t hesitate to contact your Account Manager. And if you aren’t a Return Path client, now is a great time to learn more about how we can help you!


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About Robert Barclay

Robert has spent the majority of his career building data products for marketing clients. He has worked at Return Path for the last 13 years and at Experian and several other email service providers prior to that. Among his many roles in that time, he has been a Product Manager, Software Developer, a Data Scientist. Robert now focuses his work on R&D efforts to find new ways to help clients improve their email programs and make better use of the vast amounts of data available to them.

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