The research brief we released earlier this week on email reputation has created quite a stir — and not all of it accurate. Stories like the ones here, here, and here report that 97% of email is spam, sent from hijacked computers. This is not necessarily the case. For one, we were not talking about the share of spam out there — were were talking about the percent of IP addresses likely sending spam. What our research showed is that 97% of IP addresses sending email have terrible reputations. Are they spammers? Most likely. Are they hijacking computers? Maybe. Will they earn inbox delivery? No.
The point of our study is that of those sending high volumes of commercial email, most have terrible Sender Scores (our gauge of reputation). We were not trying to instill worry over your computer being hijacked. The point is to worry about your company’s reputation. Make sure your reputation is solid so that you are not mistaken for the 97% of crap out there. Know your score, and manage it upward so that all of your email makes it to the inbox.