contacts list, b2b contact databases, contact database, contactdbAlthough by no means the sole concern of B2B email marketers, deliverability rates with respect to your business contacts list are still important factors in your campaign’s success or failure. Even though B2B email marketers score inbox placement rates of 89% (according to Return Path), the potential road blocks that face your emails en route to recipients’ inboxes do warrant careful preparation and planning in order to be avoided as much as possible.

Email deliverability is influenced by a lot of factors, but the most significant for marketers working with a B2B contacts list is sender reputation. In fact, data from Return Path reveal that as much as 83% of deliverability issues with B2B emails are attributable to sender reputation. If you’re encountering problems with inbox placements, then this factor is probably responsible. That’s why this post looks at the following tips to help you improve sender reputation:

1. Understand ISP rules.

B2B email marketers typically have to deal with hundreds or even thousands of organization-specific ISPs and, as a result, their messages have to pass through a diverse set of filtering and authentication rules. You should make it a point to understand how these rules work through testing (segmenting list by ISPs) or research.

2. Control your frequency.

Here, the term “frequency” doesn’t refer to the usual number of blasts per time interval but the number of emails sent from your server in a given time (emails per second) with each blast – or what experts call as “throttling.” Extreme throttling rates can register as suspicious in some ISPs, so it’s important to find the right rate.

3. Check links and IP address.

Before you send email messages that contain links to locations other than within your domain, it’s good practice to have them tested first to see if such pages generate suspicion from the recipients’ ISPs. As an aside, you should likewise consider the validity of the IP address you’re sending your emails through as blacklisting can harm deliverability tremendously.

4. Work with updated email lists.

Using an updated business email list reduces the risk of incurring high bounce rates which are among the variables considered by ISPs in calculating sender scores. Old lists may contain a high number of inactive or invalid email addresses that can lead to spikes in bounce percentages.

5. Remove spam traps.

Spam traps are email addresses used by ISPs to identify and block spammers. These come in many forms and vary according to ISP, and so tip #1 can help you out with this as well. To be really safe, you need to work only with clean B2B contact databases.

6. Strive to minimize spam complaints.

Spam complaints also figure very largely in the determination of sender reputation. As such, this metric needs to be minimized as much as possible through relevant content, consistent subject/from lines, balanced sending frequency, etc.

7. Consider setting up sender authentication.

Basically, sender authentication is a way for you to tell recipients’ ISPs the IP addresses that your emails could come from in order for them to identify forged emails or detect permission abuses. There are online resources to help you set up sender authentication.