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How to see if your emails are reaching the inbox

Deliverability — okay, we know it's not the sexiest of topics — is crucial in any email strategy. But we're not here to tell you about the key influencers that improve your online reputation. Let's go one step back and introduce you to two great tools for auditing your own infrastructure or your ESP's IP range. And before you start panicking: you won't have to run this by IT or tech support! In just a couple of minutes you'll have a pretty good insight on your own reputation.

Got a minute? Let's find out.

The lookup we'll be using is developed by our friends at SenderScore.org. To explain what it actually does, we'll let them do the talking…

“A Sender Score is an indication of the trustworthiness of an email source. Return Path's Sender Score is compiled through our trusted cooperative reputation network and provides a simplified view into data that is aggregated from 60 million mailboxes at a variety of ISPs, spam filtering, and security companies to determine your reputation. This is the same type of data that mailbox providers use to determine whether to accept or reject email.

With this score, you get a peek into how mailbox providers view your sending reputation and how this compares to other email senders. If you are responsible for sending email, Sender Score will tell you if you need to improve your reputation — in order for your mail to get delivered to the inbox.” (source: http://www.senderscore.org)

So let's get started with the first tool: the reputation checker.

1) The first thing you need is the IP-address from which you are sending your emails. Therefore you'll need to open an email that has been sent from the IP address you are using to route your emails.

2) Next, you open the email header. In Outlook 2010 you can do this by opening the email. Then click ‘file' –> click ‘info' –> click ‘options'.


3) Find the IP address in the header. You can do this by copy pasting the internet header in the following tool: http://www.mxtoolbox.com/emailheaders.aspx


4) Look for the IP address of your ESP. it could be that there are multiple IP addresses, so you'll have to look for the one that matches your ESP. Then go to http://www.senderscore.org and paste this IP in the IP lookup field.


5) Next you'll receive a short summary of your reputation with a reputation score

6) Look for the large number indicated, that's your sender score.


7) To understand your sender score, the following chart will help you interpret whether it's a good or a bad score. In general, sender scores between 80 and 100 are common for legitimate senders. If the figure is less, contact your ESP to find out how to improve this.


The second tool we got installed for you is the MX toolbox blacklist checker.

This tool checks the IP that you use with all major spam filters. If it‘s listed at any of these filters, you will immediately see who is blocking mails sent from your IP address.

1) Simply go to http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspxand enter the IP address that you used with the reputation check.


2) The tool checks if the IP is listed at any of the major spam filtering tools.


3) If it comes up clean, you're doing a good job. Otherwise, contact your ESP to see which steps need to be taken.


Use these two tools to get a good insight on your sending reputation and to check if your IP is blacklisted. Your future email campaigns will benefit from it.

Posted on
Feb 7, 2013