I’m continuing with how to avoid email delivery mistakes and improve your campaign delivery results. In the article What Affects Email Delivery in China? Part 1, you were able to read about spam filters, anti-spam policy and spam traps. Let’s move on with in-time delivery, sender reputation and abuse.

In-time Email Delivery

There are several reasons why email delivery can be delayed.

  1. The email has faced greylisting, which means the email has been temporarily rejected because the sender does not recognize it. Usually it happens when a campaign for this user is sent for the first time or you haven’t sent campaigns in at least three months. When an email is greylisted, spam filters of the receiver’s server check for the sender’s IP address, sender domain and sender email. If the email is not accepted, it will be returned (in campaign statistics you will see it as soft bounce). Read more about how email bounces can affect deliverability.
  2. The ISP has set restrictions on how many email messages the server can receive from one sender IP address per one hour or day.
  3. The email has been blocked because it was sent from IP address or domain with a bad reputation.

If in the email content there is a link to the Internet resource with a bad reputation, for example, if the website is blacklisted, it will affect email delivery and email may not land in the inbox folder. There are several online services where you can check if your email domain is blacklisted. One of them is www.spam10.com. Keep in mind however, that the service has limited access to Chinese black lists. The most popular Chinese email blacklist service is this one: http://www.anti-spam.org.cn/

Sender IP Address Reputation

Your sender IP address reputation can be affected by several factors:

  • the email campaign has been sent to a spam trap
  • the email campaign with spam-like content has been sent to a large email list
  • after receiving a campaign, many recipients have reported abuse
  • the email campaign has been sent to a large amount of non-existing emails or hard bounces

There are several online services where you can check the sender reputation. One of the most popular is www.senderscore.org. This service, however, may not give you an adequate picture of sender’s reputation in China.

If a sender has a bad reputation, the email delivery rate will be low. Email can be blocked, returned or land in spam folder. If we haven’t received any negative information about your account, don’t worry – your campaigns are sent from IP addresses with a very good reputation.

Mailigen also offers IP addresses with an outstanding reputation or dedicated IP, which is a paid service. This service means you have a unique IP address used only by you. You will be able to take care of the reputation of this IP addresses by yourself or or allow the Mailigen email delivery professionals to do it. If you are interested in this service, please contact the Mailigen support team.


If an email recipient marks your campaign as a spam, his email address will be automatically deleted from your list, and in the report section, he will be listed as abuse. If you ignore this and continue to send email campaigns to this address, your messages will automatically land in spam folder or will become blocked bounce. If a campaign receives too many complaints, it affects IP reputation, and as a result, emails from this IP address will be automatically moved into the spam folder even for those users who want to receive your email campaigns.

Because of large number of abuse, delivery may become slower, sending less emails per hour. As a result, emails can get stuck or IP address can even be blocke. This will cause no further email to be sent from you.

For example, Microsoft uses SmartScreen filter. If a large number of email recipients mark your message as spam, your messages will land in the spam folder as long as part of those recipients mark your messages ”this is not spam.”

If your abuse rate is 0.1% or 1 complaint in 1000 email recipients, then you should pay attention to email marketing best practices and try to improve your email content, remind people how they got on your email list or why they should continue to read your emails.

There are several types of abuse

  1. If the campaign was sent to an old email list and recipients forgot when and where they signed up for your newsletters.
  2. The campaign was sent to a single-opt-in email. It means people filled in your sign-up form but they didn’t confirm their email addresses. If you have a single-opt-in form in your webpage, we advise you to change it to a double-opt-in form in order to prevent situations when someone puts crooked emails in your subscription form.
  3. People signed up for newsletters once a week but you send them every day.
  4. Recipients think your campaign is spam-like.
  5. Recipients have no interest in your campaign or they hoped for something different when subscribed to your newsletters.

Email campaigns must always contain an unsubscribe link, however, not all recipients use it to unsubscribe. Instead, disappointed recipients mark message as spam because it’s easier and faster than looking for the unsubscribe link. Anti-spam experts recommend not clicking on any link included in an email message because that will indicate that the email address is active and spammers will continue to send messages.

To reduce the abuse rate, Mailigen recommends:

  • seek to improve your email design and content to grow interest in your campaign
  • put an unsubscribe link both on the top and on the bottom of email
  • put a permission reminder in email content, so recipients can see when, where and how they subscribed for yours newsletters

If you want to find out more about email delivery or want to improve your delivery results, contact Mailigen team and we will help you!

Aleksandrs Vilums is System Analyst & Email Compliance of Mailigen, primary email marketing provider.

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