Essentially, a positive reputation results in the ability to bypass ISP filtering mechanisms, preserve message images, and lesser punishment of abuse complaints, hard bounces, and mailing to non-engaged users.
Both certified and non-certified emails have to go through the same validation process in order to land into the inbox of their intended recipients. This process in determined by each individual ISP and entails a number of thresholds for metrics such as abuse complaints, hard bounces, spam trap hits, etc. With certified emails specifically, exceeding one of these thresholds could do a two-fold damage:
- Remove the certification of sending IP(s)
- Negatively impact sending reputation which can lead to bulking or blocking of a marketer’s messages
Staying within each ISP’s acceptable thresholds by following best practices like sending only to active users, as well as maintaining a consistent volume and mailing frequency will yield the same great results for both certified and non-certified senders. Maintaining a healthy email program is truly the only requirement for achieving the best inboxing rates possible.
Yesmail’s Deliverability team set out to evaluate the extent to which 3rd party email certification played a part in achieving optimal inboxing rates. To do so, our experts selected handful of non-certified senders from different industries and helped them follow industry best practices on audience segmentation as well as mailing volume and frequency. The goal was simply to ensure that senders abide by the mailing rules outlined by each major ISP and maintain a positive sending reputation. The team provided guidance on campaign deployment across major mailing days like Black Friday, calendar holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving, acquisition and reactivation efforts, and much more.
The primary ISPs that were considered for this experiment were Yahoo, Microsoft, Comcast, and Road Runner-both Comcast and Road Runner combine Cloudmark’s anti-spam services with their own reputation management scores. We compared each marketer’s inboxing and open rates with their respective industry averages over a period of six months and this is what we discovered: