10 Tools To Check Sender Score (Free + Paid)

An email sender score can determine how successful your email campaign will be.

The success of an email campaign largely depends on the email deliverability (i.e., how many emails you are able to deliver to the prospects’ inboxes).  With a good sender score you are assured a good deliverability. 

Essentially, an email sender score reflects how trustworthy mailbox providers consider you as a sender. This score plays a big role in whether your emails land in inboxes or get flagged as spam.

A 2019 Benchmark Report revealed that email senders with a sender score above 90 had an average unknown user rate (a.k.a bounce rate) of just 1%. This clearly shows how important it is to measure and maintain a good sender score fo healthy email campaigns.

In this article, we’ll learn about how a sender score is calculated, and the tools you can use to check yours. At the end of the article, we’ll also tackle some of the most frequently asked questions about sender scores. 

Whether you’re an email marketing veteran or just starting out, this article will provide practical insights to help you optimize your campaigns and improve your sender score. 

But first of all.

What is a sender score?

A Sender Score is a numerical rating from 0 to 100 that evaluates an email sender’s IP address reputation. It’s calculated by Return Path, an email intelligence company, based on factors such as complaint rates, spam traps, unknown user rate, rejected messages, and content quality.

A high Sender Score ensures your emails reach the recipient’s inbox instead of the spam folder. It’s influenced by your email sending habits and the responses they generate over a rolling 30-day period

Why is it important to have a high sender score?

Whether you are running emails  for marketing of your brand (a.k.a, email marketing) or for booking more sales meeting with your prospects (usally called ‘email outreach’) , email sender score is something you need to take care of.

Let’s break down the importance of it.

1. Inbox Placement: Your sender score directly impacts where your email lands. A high score can lead your email straight to the recipient’s inbox, while a low score might divert it to the spam folder. So, if you want your emails to be seen and read, maintaining a high sender score is crucial.

2. Email Deliverability: Email Deliverability is the measure of success in reaching the recipient’s inbox. A poor sender score can lead to a higher bounce rate, meaning your emails are not even reaching your intended audience. On the other hand, a good sender score ensures your emails are delivered successfully.

Related: 15 Tips To Improve Cold Email Deliverability

3. Reputation: Your sender score is a reflection of your reputation as an email sender. Email Service Providers (ESPs) use this score to decide whether to accept or reject your emails. A high sender score signifies a trustworthy sender, which can lead to better engagement rates.

4. Customer Engagement: A high sender score means your emails are likely landing in the inbox, leading to higher open rates, better click-through rates, and ultimately, better customer engagement with your customers.

Related: Cold Email Analytics: 15 Sales Email Metrics & KPIs to Track

5. Return on Investment (ROI): Email marketing is all about ROI. The better your sender score, the better your chances of reaching your audience, engaging with them, and ultimately, achieving a higher ROI on your email marketing campaigns.

How is sender score calculated?

Sender score is a data that Return Path provides to its users. In fact, it isn’t a strong enough indicator of the email deliverability. For email deliverability and email reputation, you have to rely on IP reputation and Domain Reputation.

The calculation of Sender Score is a complex process that involves the analysis of various factors related to your email sending habits. Here’s a brief overview of how it’s done:

1. Complaint Rates: The number of recipients who mark your emails as spam is tracked. A higher complaint rate can lower your Sender Score.

2. Spam Traps: Email addresses that are used to catch spammers are known as spam traps. If your emails are being sent to these addresses, it negatively impacts your Sender Score.

3. Unknown User Rate: This is the rate at which emails are being sent to non-existent or incorrect email addresses. A higher rate can lower your Sender Score.

4. Rejected Messages: The number of your emails that are being rejected by recipient mail servers is also tracked. A higher rejection rate can lower your Sender Score.

5. Content Quality: The relevance and quality of your email content are analyzed. High-quality, relevant content can improve your Sender Score.

These factors are analyzed over a rolling 30-day period, and the results are used to calculate your Sender Score. It’s important to note that different Email Service Providers (ESPs) may weigh these factors differently when determining whether to deliver your emails to the inbox or spam folder.

What is a good sender score?

A good Sender Score is generally considered to be above 80, but the closer you can get to 100, the better. This is because a higher Sender Score indicates a more reputable sender, which can significantly improve your email deliverability rates.

According to a report by Return Path, senders with a score of 91-100 had an average of 92% of their emails reach the inbox. In contrast, those with a score of 81-90 had only 68% of their emails reach the inbox, and those with a score of 71-80 had just 45% of their emails reach the inbox.

However, it’s important to note that a good Sender Score can vary depending on the Email Service Provider (ESP). Some ESPs may have stricter standards and require a higher Sender Score for emails to reach the inbox.

If you are looking for ways to improve your email sender reputation, we have got a dedicated article entirely focused on that topic.

Check out: Top 10 Strategies to Improve Email Sender Reputation

What are some tools to check sender score?

Here are 10 best tools to check your sender score.

#10 Spamhaus

Pricing: Free (Paid options starts at $250/year)

check sender score using Spamhaus

SpamHaus is a robust tool for monitoring sender reputation in email marketing.It’s a go-to resource for many ISPs, email service providers, and corporations looking to safeguard their email practice. 

It provides real-time updates about IP addresses and domains involved in sending spam emails. Unlike other tools, it examines the content of the emails, recipient responses, and adherence to best practices. Its user-friendly interface offers detailed reports and actionable advice to improve sender score. In essence, SpamHaus is an invaluable asset for maintaining a strong sender reputation.


#9 BarracudaCentral

Pricing: Free

Free sender score check

Barracuda Central is a FREE service offered by Barracuda Networks. It operates as a real-time database, providing updates about IP addresses and domains involved in sending spam emails. 

What sets Barracuda Central apart is its ability to examine not just the volume of emails sent, but also the content of the emails, the response of the recipients, and the adherence to email sending best practices. This provides a more accurate picture of a sender’s reputation.

It has an user-friendly interface and detailed reports, which are easy to understand.Overall, Barracuda Central is a comprehensive, reliable, and user-friendly tool for checking sender score and reputation. 


#8 McAfee TrustedSource

Pricing: Free

check sender reputation for free

McAfee TrustedSource functions as a real-time database, offering updates about IP addresses and domains involved in sending spam emails.

The tool is also recognized for its user-friendly interface and detailed reports, which are easy to comprehend. This allows users to identify potential issues and take corrective measures. 

Its detailed reports and actionable advice make it an invaluable asset for anyone serious about maintaining a strong sender reputation in the competitive world of email marketing. 


#7 Microsoft Smart Network Data Services (SNDS)

Pricing: Free

Microsoft’s Service Delivery Networks (SDNs) are a powerful tool for monitoring sender scores and email reputation. The tool is particularly effective when used with Microsoft’s email services like Outlook, enhancing deliverability by maintaining a strong sender reputation. Microsoft SDNs are an essential asset for ensuring your emails not only get sent but also reach the intended inboxes.


#6 SendForensics

Pricing: $39/month

SendForensics is an one-stop destination for email deliverability. It uses machine learning to analyze your emails, identifying potential issues that could lead to your emails being marked as spam. The tool provides a dashboard that tracks important email related metrics related to your sender reputation, such as spam trap hits and complaint rates. It also integrates with various data sources, providing a holistic view of your sender reputation. 

With its real-time monitoring feature, SendForensics keeps you informed about any issues that could impact your email performance. This tool is a valuable asset for anyone looking to optimize their email deliverability and maintain a strong sender reputation.


#5 IPvoid

Pricing: Free

IPVoid use to check sender score for free

IPvoid is a versatile platform that provides a detailed analysis of sender scores and reputation. It uses a robust algorithm to evaluate the trustworthiness of an IP address, offering insights into potential blacklisting across multiple databases. Its real-time data and comprehensive reports make it a reliable choice for businesses aiming to optimize their email marketing strategies. 


#4 Mailtester

Pricing: Freemium (Starts at $19 for 5K credits)

MailTester stands out as a comprehensive solution for checking email sender scores and reputation. It offers an in-depth analysis of your email’s deliverability by examining the sender IP against numerous DNS-based blacklists. 

The platform’s strength lies in its ability to provide real-time feedback, helping users to promptly identify and rectify issues that could harm their sender reputation. 

Furthermore, MailTester’s detailed reports provide valuable insights into the health of your email sending practices, making it an essential tool for anyone looking to optimize their email marketing efforts.


#3 Google Postmaster Tools

Pricing: Free

Google Postmaster Tools help you manage your email sender reputation especially if you are Gmail user. It provides a comprehensive view of your IP reputation, allowing you to monitor any fluctuations and address potential issues promptly. The tool’s IP lookup feature offers detailed insights into the deliverability of emails from specific IP addresses, helping to identify and rectify issues that could impact sender score. 

Furthermore, Google Postmaster Tools provides valuable data on spam complaints and delivery errors. With its user-friendly interface and detailed reporting, Google Postmaster Tools is a must-have for anyone serious about optimizing their email marketing strategy.


#2 Cisco Talos Intelligence

Pricing: Enquiry-based pricing

Talos Intelligence by Cisco offers a plethora of features for managing sender reputation and ensuring optimal email deliverability. It provides an exhaustive analysis of your IP’s reputation, which is crucial in maintaining a high sender score. 

The platform’s real-time threat intelligence is a standout feature. It allows you to promptly identify and address any issues that could negatively impact your email deliverability. 

Furthermore, Talos Intelligence offers detailed reports on email and web reputation. These reports provide valuable insights that can help you fine-tune your email marketing strategies. 

In addition, Talos Intelligence comes with advanced security features that protect your email infrastructure from threats. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate through these features and utilize them effectively.


#1 Sender Score

Pricing: Free

Sender Score is a powerful tool that provides a comprehensive analysis of your email sender reputation. It uses a unique algorithm to assign a score ranging from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating a better sender reputation. 

By providing detailed insights into your email sending practices, Sender Score allows you to identify potential issues and take corrective measures to improve your email deliverability. It’s an invaluable resource for anyone looking to optimize their email marketing efforts and ensure their messages reach the intended recipients. 

Bottom line 

In conlusion, your sender score one of the determining factors to where your emails will land – Inbox or Spam. But again, this is not the ultimate player in email deliverability and a sender reputation buildup. 

A good sender score only speaks volumes about your email practices and respect for your audience’s inbox. By leveraging tools to monitor your sender score, you can ensure your emails don’t end up in the spam folder but rather, land safely in the inbox. 

Take not that it’s not just about sending emails—it’s about sending them smartly so that the recipients open them, read them and take an action. 

Speaking of smart email sending, consider using a platform like SmartReach.io that helps manage your email campaigns effectively, ensuring high email deliverability and maintaining a strong sender reputation. So, that your per email delivery cost reduces and your emails land in the primary inboxes of your prospects, providing you a better ROI from email outreach.  

Use SmartReach.io to build-up sender reputation

Sender Score – F.A.Q 

Q. What is sender score?

A Sender Score is a numerical rating that ranges from 0 to 100 and is used to gauge the reputation of an email sender’s IP address. It’s calculated by Return Path, an email service company, and is based on various factors such as complaint rates, unknown user rates, spam trap hits, and more. The higher the score, the better the reputation and the higher the likelihood of emails being delivered to the inbox rather than being marked as spam.

Q. How can I check my sender score?

There are several online tools available that allow you to check your sender score for free. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide using one of the most popular tools, Sender Score by Return Path:

1. Visit the Sender Score website.
2. Register for a free account if you don’t already have one.
3. Once logged in, enter your IP address in the provided field.
4. Click on ‘Get Score’.
5. Your sender score along with other relevant data about your IP will be displayed.

Other tools like SpamHaus, Barracuda Central, McAfee TrustedSource, Microsoft SDNs, Google Postmaster Tools also provide similar functionalities.

Q. How spam score is calculated?

 The calculation of a Spam Score is based on a collection of spam triggers. This metric forecasts the probability of a domain being flagged as spam. In the context of emails, it’s usually computed by dividing the count of emails that reach the inbox successfully by the total emails sent, and then multiplying the outcome by 10. Each trigger contributes to the final score, which can vary from 0 to 16. A higher score indicates a higher likelihood of being classified as spam.

Q. What does sender score too low mean?

A low Sender Score signifies a higher probability of your emails being marked as spam or failing to reach the recipients. This reputation metric of your email, which spans from 0 to 100, reflects the trustworthiness of your email traffic. Scores falling under 70 often imply that your email sender reputation requires enhancement. Extremely low scores might result in your domain being blacklisted, drastically affecting email deliverability. 

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