Around the Bronto offices, one of the words we hear the most often is "deliverability." If you're inclined to believe nearly every computer spell checker around, you might think it's not even a real word. But if you send email to customers, prospects, or members, it's a word you should know all too well. A high deliverability rate means that more of your subscribers receive your emails, putting your message in front of a larger section of your target audience.

Bronto knows the importance of deliverability, and that's why it is the driving force behind our Sender Rating system. Your Sender Rating, visible on the Home Dashboard within your account, gives you an at-a-glance view of your personal sending reputation.

What Does My Sender/Delivery Rating Mean?

Sender Rating is measured on a scale of 1 to 10, with higher numbers representing a better sender reputation. This rating is calculated based on factors such as spam complaints and invalid email addresses (known as hard bounces). The higher the number of complaints or hard bounces you have for each message, the lower your Sender Rating will be. 

If you're viewing the reporting for a specific delivery in Bronto, you'll also see a similar rating meter labeled Delivery Rating. This number can be described as your Sender Rating for a single send. The formula takes into account the same factors as Sender Rating to indicate the effectiveness of a particular delivery. The more deliveries you have with higher ratings, the higher your overall Sender Rating will be.

A low overall Sender Rating can translate into poor deliverability for any messages you send. In addition, your account will be subject to certain restrictions as your Sender Rating falls. Any way you slice it, a low rating will negatively impact the reach and effectiveness of your email campaigns.

Okay, So How Do I Improve My Sender Rating?

Now that you've seen what makes a good Sender Rating so important, let's discuss a couple of basic steps to keep your Sender Rating high.

1. Good List Hygiene

Using a permission-based opt-in process and making sure to remove outdated, invalid, or unsubscribed email contacts are vital elements of a fresh, healthy, and effective list. There's a very simple formula that you'll find holds true almost indefinitely: the more well-maintained your list, the higher your Sender Rating. And by using Bronto, you're already ahead of the game: our Permission Marketing Policies provide excellent guidance on setting up a great opt-in process, and removal of unsubscribes and invalid addresses in your list is automatic.

2. Consistency

When your message arrives in a contact's inbox, you often have a mere matter of seconds (or less!) before the recipient decides to open, delete, or even flag your message as spam. And the first things your contacts see are your From Name and Subject line. Using a consistent From Name - and one that the reader expects - will give your message instant credibility. In addition, using a consistent and descriptive subject line can go a long way toward getting that crucial open. But it doesn't stop there! Including relevant message content in a format familiar to readers will not only help prevent spam complaints, but can also bolster readership, drive traffic to your site, and increase conversions.

Bronto's Sender Rating, in conjunction with our Permission Marketing Policies and Best Practice advice, gives you the tools you need to ensure the best possible deliverability for all your messages and propel your email campaigns to maximum performance. As always, if you have questions about anything Sender Rating-related, feel free to leave comments or open a support case within your Bronto account for further assistance.

Brad Gurley
Support Associate at Bronto