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The Alternative Board Blog

How to Boost Email Marketing through Email Scoring

Mar. 14, 2019 | Posted by Corina Leslie, Zerobounce

With an ROI of $44 for every $1 spent, email marketing promises to deliver outstanding results. Once you have an effective email marketing campaign then next step is to think about the quality of your customer email list. While some marketers have integrated email verification in their practices, email scoring is also gaining recognition for its effectiveness. Let’s see how scoring your leads empowers you with fresh insight and boosts your email marketing.

What is email scoring?

It’s the process that assesses the quality of the email subscribers in your database. In email marketing, a high-quality email address is one that belongs to a genuine person who is likely to engage with your communication. An email scoring system detects email activity levels, thus painting a clearer perspective on the user’s future interaction with your content. The better your leads, the better your engagement, and the more solid your sender reputation.

Why you should care about your sender reputation

For the same reason, you care about your reputation as a person or as a business owner. You want your peers and clients to perceive you as a legitimate professional, so you respect certain principles.

In email marketing, in order to maintain a good sender reputation with Internet Service Providers (ISPs), you follow best practices. One of them is to keep an eye on your email data quality. When your email list is accurate, you have a better chance of reaching people and allowing your message to be heard.

How does that work, you may ask?

ISPs pay constant attention to your emailing behavior. They look at the volume and frequency of your emails, your overall engagement, and the number of bounces and spam complaints you get. If your list contains even a small number of invalid or fake email addresses, you start losing control over your bounce rate. A bounce rate that’s higher than 2% raises a red flag with ISPs, who will start to think of you as a dubious sender. As a result, they will:

  • deliver your messages in people’s Spam folder, or

  • if your email hygiene is really poor, decide to not deliver them at all.

Talk about a deliverability fiasco!

Two steps to a healthier email list:
email verification & email scoring

Fortunately, there are efficient ways to prevent such situations. When it comes to restoring data quality, email verification and email scoring work hand in hand. It’s a simple, two-step process that helps you built a stronger list:

  1. Ideally, you would first use an email verifier to weed out unwanted addresses. Misspelled, fake, catch-all, abuse or temporary emails – these need to be removed from your list. Not only do they not add any value to your marketing efforts, but they jeopardize your sender reputation and deliverability. 

  2. Now that your list is clean, email scoring tells you exactly how good it is. Are those unengaged subscribers inactive in general, or are they just not engaging with your content? What about your catch-all emails? How do you know which ones are actually valid? By taking a closer look at their activity levels.

Most email scoring systems offer you credits – one credit for every email address, so make sure you first let an email verifier eliminate the invalid addresses. You don’t want to use credits on emails that are bad in the first place.

What are the benefits of healthy email lists?

They say that “the money is in the list,” and that’s true, as long as that list is clean and contains high-quality email addresses.

Marketing to disingenuous subscribers is like talking to an empty room: you’re just wasting your breath.

On the other hand, making sure your message lands in a real inbox is step number one to success.

Want additional insight? Check our out BOSS Webinar on Email Marketing to drive business


What will you notice once you verify your email list?

  • your bounce rate is going to decrease to less than 2% (the industry standard)

  • as your sender reputation improves, more of your emails will reach the inbox

  • as a result, you’ll notice an immediate boost in your open rates

  • higher open rates mean more conversions, right? You’re on your way!

What if you took things one step further and decided to score your list?

  • you will finally get rid of bots and abandoned email addresses

  • also, you’ll be able to differentiate between valid and invalid catch-all emails, and only keep the good ones

  • reaching out to real people will reestablish your sender reputation and promote a steady engagement

  • you’ll get valuable feedback on your inactive subscribers, which is going to help you decide on your next approach – permanent removal or a reengagement campaign

  • communicating with your audience will become more transparent and fruitful

  • all you need is compelling content and a great call-to-action to boost your click-through rates and conversions!

Increasing email open and conversion rates is every organization’s desire. What some marketers tend to forget is that efficient campaigns only have a chance to convert if they reach the inbox. Great email marketing starts with a healthy, valuable email list. Focus on growing your database, but always keep an eye on the quality of your leads. Instead of bigger, go for better.

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board


Written by Corina Leslie, Zerobounce

Corina Leslie is the PR & Marketing Manager for ZeroBounce. A former journalist, she is passionate about helping others email successfully. You can find her on the ZeroBounce blog, where she shares her best tips on digital marketing, copywriting, PR and everything in between.