Reputation Scores Analyzed

Posted by George Bilbrey 

We’ve had a few questions about IronPort’s announcement this week regarding its new reputation scoring for URLs, what it means for the world of reputation checks, and what it means for marketers.

There seems to be another announcement on reputation services weekly these days. What marketers need to know is this: you have a reputation, and that reputation matters. The more data you can get on your reputation as it relates to how email receivers (ISPs and corporate domains) view you, the more improvements you can make to your email program and overall email delivery rates. Get that data from as many places as you can.

In terms of IronPort, the company is now adding analysis of the URLs contained within emails to the scores it creates with Sender Base. That analysis provides one more data point in compiling their reputation information for both the sender and the IP related to the URLs. This is a technique that is used by others, including Cloudmark. (Sender Base is used more by email receivers, but it is important to marketers because of course you should know how receivers view you.)

For marketers, IronPort’s announcement means that extra attention needs to be paid to the URLs that you use in emails – including those used in advertising and other emails sent by third parties. Consider using different domains for emails sent via third parties if you’re a high volume sender of consumer mail as it will eliminate affiliate noise as it relates to your corporate reputation.

Return Path’s Sender Score does not look specifically at URLs within emails – but it does look at the domains and IP addresses for every sender of commercial email, which nets a comprehensive reputation score that can be used to guide any reputation repairs needed. Our clients use our delivery assurance services to understand their reputations and fix any issues that hinder delivery and response.

Remember – your reputation is the key to your inbox reach and customer response. Don’t get mired down in every new “reputation” announcement in industry press. All that matters is that you know what your reputation is and that you actively manage it.

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About George Bilbrey

George Bilbrey is the founder of the industry’s first deliverability service provider, Assurance Systems, which merged with Return Path in 2003. He is a recognized expert on the subjects of email reputation and deliverability and is active in many industry organizations, including the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) and the Online Trust Alliance (OTA). In his role as president of Return Path George is the driving force behind the ongoing innovation of our products and services. Prior to Return Path, George served as Director of Product Management at and as a partner in the telecommunications group at Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. in economics from Duke University, and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business, University of North Carolina.

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