We need to talk about your reputation: not the one you had in high school, but the one based on your email sending practices. While many ISPs use a sender’s IP address to monitor sending reputation, Gmail uses a domain-based system. This means that your sending reputation for Gmail is based on all messages associated with your domain. When contacts engage with your domain’s messages, your reputation goes up. But if your domain sends to contacts who don’t engage with messages or your domain receives a lot of complaints or bounces, your sending reputation will suffer. You can learn how to check your Gmail sending reputation in our Knowledge Base. Whether your reputation is solid or could use some work, switching to a private sending domain offers greater flexibility and control when it comes to making it into your contacts’ inboxes.

Shared vs. Private Domains

If you use a shared sending domain like one of Bronto’s sending subdomains, your reputation will be shared with every other company that also uses that domain. Your sends will contribute to the shared subdomain’s reputation, but you won’t be able to control it. Because domain sending reputation is the single biggest factor in determining whether your emails make it to your Gmail contacts’ inboxes, and industry trends indicate other ISPs will adopt domain-based reputation, it’s important to be the master of your domain. So how can you stop sharing and take control? The answer is with a private domain. Using a private domain allows you to completely control your sending reputation because only your messages will be associated with your sending domain.

Setting Up a Private Domain in Bronto

We’ve made it easy to set up a private sending domain with Bronto by adjusting a few DNS records for a domain that you already own. You have two options if you decide to go the private domain route. The first, and best option, is to establish a subdomain off your corporate domain that is reserved for email sending through Bronto. The second option is to use your corporate domain. So why is using a corporate subdomain the best option? Because it not only lets you control your marketing reputation and helps with the brand name recognition but also separates your business emails from your marketing emails. If you use your corporate domain for marketing and something goes wrong, other emails sent from your business will be impacted. Nobody wants to have that conversation.

Additional Benefits of Private Domains

Whether you use your corporate domain or subdomain, setting up a private domain also helps promote clear and consistent branding in your emails. When you have a link in a message, your sending domain is used to direct traffic to that link. If you aren’t using a private domain, contacts will see the default Bronto sending subdomain when they mouse over a link in one of your emails. Not everyone cares about this, but savvy contacts might be concerned they’re being phished if they don’t see your company in a URL when they hover on links in emails sent from you. Also, having your brand name in the From, Reply To and return path addresses provides recognition of where the email is from and builds trust. Finally, private domains are portable. If you already have a sending domain that you’ve set up with another provider, you can simply migrate that domain to Bronto.

Ready to take back control of your reputation – at least when it comes to what email providers think? Check out Bronto’s Knowledge Base topic on how to set up a private sending domain.