A spam complaint takes place whenever a recipient clicks on the ‘report spam’ button in their email program.
How determination of “account reputation” and “email sending quota” carried out?
While you configure SMTP delivery server in your Operion MailBlast account, it automatically adds bounce and complaint files to your related SMTP delivery server account. After this, once you start sending emails through SMTP relay, it communicates the bounce and complaint information with your Operion MailBlast account list and campaign. At your SMTP relay server, based on your bounce and complaint, your account reputation is calculated.
How to build reputation and improve quota?
After taking the steps towards preventing spam complaints, your account reputation will enhance and quota will improve automatically based on the new content sending patterns.
If you have been directed to this article, the Operion MailBlast Application must have noticed that you have a bad “spam complaint rate” record and need assistance to improve the same. You need to ensure that you adherence with transactional or bulk email best practices. It is very important that you go through this guide so as to improve your account reputation and sending quota, and to ensure that the emails you send through Operion MailBlast Application conforms to the Operion MailBlast“Terms of Service”.
What is the normal complaint rates
Although spam complaints are an inevitable phenomena while sending emails over a period of time and is considered normal, industry standards state that the overall complaint rate should normally be below 0.1% of the total email volume. A large number of complaints can indicate that the email recipients do not recognize or recollect why they are receiving your emails, do not recall signing up for email from you, or their email addresses were not provided directly.
At certain spam complaint thresholds, ISPs may start routing all of your emails to spam folders, completely block your email or you as a sender, or blacklist Operion MailBlast’s sending IPs. Your SMTP delivery server actively monitors and manages the IP addresses being used for sending emails from the system. The application needs to send mail quickly, efficiently and with as little delay as possible from the receiving servers. The reputation of the IP addresses are of utmost importance for ensuring deliverability with high success rate for all of our users.
What causes a higher complaint rate
Usage of purchased, rented or third-party lists. These types of bulk email list sources are generally considered a bad source of email addresses because the intended recipients have not agreed directly to receive information from you, and may not be expecting your email at all. These recipients are less likely to read such emails and more likely to mark them as spam.
Lack of an unsubscribe link. A spam complaint is generally considered a very negative action, while using an unsubscribe link is considered a little less harmful. Giving recipients the option to unsubscribe or manage notification preferences (even for transactional emails) is recommended.
Old, nonfunctional / stale recipient email addresses. Normally, an email address has a very short lifespan. Recipients keep on changing jobs, changing names, and creating newer email addresses and deleting the old ones at will. As a result, there is a high probability that an email address can become invalid over time. As a rule of thumb, the emails which were collected more than six (6) months ago should be considered stale by default and should not be used for sending bulk emails.
Contents irrelevant to recipients. Content relevancy is important, especially for bulk or marketing emails. Recipients are normally overburdened with massive amount of emails and spam. If your content resembles a spam, are of no interest to them, or are not related to their business relationship with you, you run the risk of the subscriber reporting your message as a spam.
Sending too frequently. Only transactional emails should be triggered by an action (a purchase, password reset, username reminder, receipt, shipping notification, etc.) While sending bulk or marketing email, instead of sending huge amount of general content to all of your recipients, consider using merge tags and dynamic contentto send more specifically intended personalized emails to your recipients.
How to prevent or at least reduce the spam complaints
Inclusion of unsubscribe link for all bulk and transactional emails. Although it seems that in many cases it might not make sense for recipients to unsubscribe from transactional emails, it is recommended to always give an unsubscribe link in all your emails. Including an unsubscribe option even in your transactional emails will let you get a feedback about how people are engaged with your emails and prevent sending to someone who has signaled that they do not wish to receive more emails. If you are sending bulk email, most countries require an unsubscribe link or other unsubscribe process. The United States, for example, requires the ability to unsubscribe in all bulk, commercial emails under CAN-SPAM.
Operion MailBlast application provides a List-Unsubscribe header for all emails sent through our system that include our automatic unsubscribe merge tag. The List-Unsubscribe header is actually a fallback option for recipients who do not want to receive emails but also do not want to classify them as a spam. If you prefer, you can use your own unsubscribe process or add your own List-Unsubscribe header in your message API request via the headers option.
Relevant marketing content. As for example, you would not like to send someone who registered for your “daily news headlines” website, updates from your “daily jokes blog”.
Do not use purchased, rented, or third-party recipient lists. Using a confirmed or double opt-in process for getting email addresses is considered an industry best practice although it is not strictly required. When you use the double opt-in method, you are targeting only those recipients who really want to hear from you and are expecting your emails.
Double opted-in lists have much higher engagement levels which translates to more opens and clicks and fewer spam complaints and bounces. You should always ensure that you are sending only to those recipients who have a prior business relationship with you or who have consented to receiving marketing emails directly from you if you are sending bulk email or newsletters.
Use of a proper reply-to email address. When setting the Reply-To header for your emails, make sure that proper authority in your organization has access to this email so that the recipient’s concern can be addressed in a proper way.