The quality of your domain affects how many of your email messages reach your subscribers. If your domain quality (also occasionally called domain authority, sender score and sending reputation) is low then most of your email messages will go directly to spam. If you domain quality is high then your messages are far less likely to be identified as junk.
Spam laws and domain quality
Spam laws are in place that dictate what can and can’t be sent in addition to who we may send email campaigns to. In Australia this is the Spam Act 2003. Spam laws originate from, and are enforced by, governments. What many people don’t realise is that ethical email service providers have an interest in stopping spam messages being sent and received by their customers; they therefore collaborate to reduce spam being sent and received. One such way that is used to identify unsolicited email senders is to share information about domains that frequently have their messages marked as spam by recipients.
By reporting spam, you have a positive impact on the problem. Reporting unsolicited email also helps feed spam filtering systems. SpamCop.net
How your domain quality affects you
When a recipient marks an email message from you as spam then your domain quality may be negatively affected. That your message has been marked as unsolicited will then be shared with other spam filters; this is called a feedback loop. Once a small proportion of your sent messages are marked as spam, your domain quality will suffer and spam filters will automatically identify a higher proportion of your message as spam. In MailChimp you can identify how many people have marked your campaign as spam in the Abuse section of a campaign report.
How to check your domain quality
Talos have a free Reputation Lookup tool for checking the quality of your domain. If your domain quality is poor (i.e. a certain proportion of recipients have marked your email messages as spam) then it will take you a significant amount of time to rectify your domain quality to be neutral. To improve your domain reputation you’ll need to have a very low proportion of spam complaints but the issue is that once you have a poor domain reputation, getting your messages through spam filters won’t be simple (as spam filters will be identifying you as a spammer).
It is extremely detrimental for your email communication if a certain proportion of your messages get marked as spam. It is essential to only send to contacts that have requested your information. In addition you need to be clear about the content of your campaigns and not mislead recipients at all. And, of course, don’t ever send email marketing messages to people that have unsubscribed.