Services such as Gmail consider a domain name’s reputation when delivering email.
Mailbox providers (MBPs) and ISPs use a number of cues to figure out which email is good and which isn’t, and domain name reputation is a key component of this.
Previously, most MBPs focused on IP address reputation for scoring email and deciding what to deliver to users. This has shifted in recent years to domain-based scoring, often in addition to considering the IP address. After all, a spammer can easily rotate IP addresses. Also, an IP address can be used by more than one sender and domain name. Companies such as Gmail and Oath (Yahoo! Mail) use domain reputation.
Here are some things that can negatively impact a domain name’s reputation in the eyes of a mailbox provider:
- A lot of the email from the domain is sent to invalid email addresses (i.e. it bounces)
- The domain is used to send spam to spam traps that MBPs and other companies set up to track spam
- Lots of people mark email from the domain as spam
- People don’t engage with emails sent from the domain
If you buy an expired domain or a domain from another person and plan to use it for email marketing or account emails, it’s worth verifying the domain’s reputation before putting it to use. More on how to do this in a later post.