Often, email senders treat email marketing campaigns or newsletters as one-way communication. It is essential to understand that users have multiple ways to take action. They can open your email, click on your links, delete your email, forward your email, or mark your email as spam!

What Is a Spam Complaint?

If your email recipient dislikes your email, they can report it. This report is known as a spam complaint. In order to run an email marketing campaign, you need to know how spam complaints work. That’s because if too many complaints are made against you, ISPs can block you.

Usually, mailbox providers (or ISPs) attach a prominent button in the inbox by the name of “This is Spam”. It allows people to report unsolicited or unneeded emails.

Users click on the spam button for a wide range of reasons. For instance, they may be unaware of your identity — this happens when you have not taken their explicit permission before sending your email. Sometimes regular users can report your emails too, once they stopped liking your email content.

Email service providers (ESPs) have a special arrangement with ISPs, known as a feedback loop. This means that as soon as a recipient clicks on the spam button, the ESPs are notified via the feedback loop. Your sent email report contains the spam complaints, represented by a percentage. The complaint rate is an indicator of everything else going on more than an objective. It is a sign of healthy vs unhealthy permission practices, list hygiene, quality of the content, meeting expectations of the recipient, etc

Once a recipient marks your email as spam, the ISP sends you to the spam folder in their mailbox. If too many users complain the ISP can permanently designate your mailing domain as “trouble.” This obviously has a huge impact on your ability to mail anything to anyone. Once a mailing domain is on the ISP naughty list, it’s difficult to improve deliverability in the future. You might consider getting a new mailing domain and starting over — this time doing things the correct way.

You can minimize spam complaints with these tips:

  1. Get permission to mail. This means they must opt-in to your messages. It’s even better if you double-opt them in.
  2. Don’t overload their inbox.
  3. Keep the content fresh and interesting whether it is a marketing message or newsletter content.
  4. Use properly formatted emails so that they look clean, are easy to read, and don’t raise any red flags.
  5. If they stop interacting with you — stop sending them messages (at some point). Everyone needs to clean up their list from time to time. Users who never open your email are a risk.

Following these tips will help you keep your subscribers and the ISPs happy so your email can continue to hit the inbox.

ArcaMax Publishing Inc is the leader in news and information by email with 400+ newsletter titles, a million+ monthly site visitors, & 3.5+ million subscribers.

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