Originally published in the “ThinData Email Strategies | AUGUST 2008” Newsletter (subscribe).

An Email Strategies subscriber, a Brand Manager from a large consumer packaged goods company, posed the following question:

“We’re launching a multi-stage email campaign in Q4 2008 that will last through Q2 2009. Should we engage a third-party email reputation service for this campaign?”

Our Expert’s Answer:

Email Reputation service providers can increase email deliverability. However, if you are a client of ThinData, you need not engage an email reputation service provider as all email sent from the ThinData network is already Habeas certified.

If you’re not a ThinData client and are considering a third-party provider then it is critical to understand that email reputation service providers verify that your email sending practices and processes achieve standards that Internet Service Providers (ISP) find acceptable.

That means that by engaging email reputation service providers, your email is seen to have achieved a recognizable “seal of approval”. But, before this type of third-party service will provide you with this type of email reputation status – or measurable increases in your deliverability – you will need to take certain steps to optimize your existing email reputation, such as:

  1. Review your current email practices to see if they follow ‘best practices’ as set out in The Marketer’s Guide to Successful Email Delivery;
  2. Contact your Information Technology (IT) department for information on your email deliverability rates; and
  3. Work closely with your Email Service Provider (or ISP) to understand your current email reputation.

Once you have completed these steps, you are in a far better position to determine if/when you should work with a third-party email reputation service.