A Complete Guide to Ensure Email Deliverability & Low Spam Complaints
Considering email marketing as one-way communication is a big mistake. Even if the recipient does not reply back to an email there are other ways in which every recipient is responding to you. You come across such responses in the form of metrics like open rate, bounce rate, clicks, spam complains, etc.
All such kind of responses affects your email deliverability and sender reputation in either a positive way or a negative way. The worst of such responses that you should avoid is spam complaints. Spam complaints are a direct indication to the mailbox provider that the subjected emails are unwanted. It is the job of the mailbox service provider to ensure that spammers are identified and blocked. Therefore, when multiple spam complaints are registered against a sender id, it is blocked in order to protect the user from spammers.
There are various ways in which a recipient/ a subscriber can register a complaint. Most widely known method is clicking on the spam button and marking an email as “This is spam". A user can also send an email to the spam agency or even spam filters are used where the user is asked if they consider given email spam or not. Enough such votes if collected can easily move your emails to junk folder by default.
Reasons that result in high spam complaint and Solution
Marketers are often taken aback when a number of complaints get registered against them. Even if you do not practice unethical ways there is a possibility that even then you get a few spams complaints. We've put together a list of top reasons which might have resulted in spam complaints against you. Have a look:
1. Subscribers don't accept that they subscribed to your emails
Many times subscribers do not remember subscribing to your emails or many times they deny subscribing at all. In order to avoid such issues, you should ensure that a well-planned method for generating subscriptions is used. Few of such methods are:
• Always collect email addresses via an opt-in method • Periodically clean the list so collected to identify disposable addresses (like contact@, sales@) or malformed ids (like gmial.com) • Do not keep a pre-checked subscription box • If you have a parent company with multiple brands then list them all so the subscribers know the brand communications they are opting for • Never automatically add members to your mailing list
2. Subscribers fail to recognize you
When the subscriber fails to see the connection with the brand they subscribed then there is a possibility that they fail to recognize you. The reason could be poor branding or in case you have rebranded, the user could feel disconnected between the revamp done. In such a scenario you should ensure the following: • Use the same brand name for your "From ID" as used on your subscription page • Use same brand style, font, and color so that your subscriber is able to identify with the email communication • In case of any rebranding, notify your subscribers about upcoming changes
3. Subscribers do not trust you
Subscribers may mistake you as a spammer which might raise trust issue. Such trust issues may arise if some spammers start using a spam domain similar to your domain name to do mass emailing. The subscriber might not be able to differentiate you with the spammer. To ensure you do not hamper the trust factor do the following: • Monitor and ensure that your sender domain is safe and nothing similar is available that could be misused • Keep uniqueness to your emailing format that reflects your brand personality
4. Failing to deliver what you have promised
If the subscriber doesn't find value in your content even then they can mark you as a spammer so as to avoid receiving emails they do not want. To avoid such impression ensure to comply with the following: • State what type of communication the subscribers would receive once they opt-in • Try to give them a choice with check-boxes where the user can select the type of emails they want to receive • Provide them with an option in case they want to change their preferences with email communications • Do not bombard the subscribers with promotional emails when they are expecting valuable content like the newsletter, updates, tips, etc • Check the email quality and provide valuable content worth the reader’s time
5. Subscribers are not able to unsubscribe
Over a period of time, a user might not want to receive your emails. Therefore, they should be able to unsubscribe from your list easily. If the unsubscribe process is too complicated or the user is not able to find the unsubscribe link then they will end up marking you as a spammer. To avoid such reasons make sure: • Include an unsubscribe link by default in all emails • Make it visible for the user to find it easily • Keep the process simple and quick • Process such request quickly and ensure that they do not receive any emails from you again
6. Inbox Deliverability
Poor inbox deliverability issue where your email hit the spam folder without you being marked as a spammer by the user can also, land you in trouble. The mailbox service provider will identify you as a spammer and can block you. Therefore, you need to do the following:
• Send test emails to check inbox deliverability • If you got a new IP them warm the IP before using it fully fledged • Ensure your use good subject line • Keep an eye on your campaign performance to notice anything usual
7. Your email looks broken
With the availability of a variety of gadgets, devices, and operating system, it is important to test the email format compatibility across screens. If the user is not able to read the content then the whole process is a failure and you are marked as a spammer. You also should keep the load time of the email in mind. If an email takes too long to load due to the file size, the user will get annoyed. • Ensure that your email is not heavy and loads fast • Test the email format across devices before taking the email campaign live • Use responsive designs that adjust as per the screen size and operating system easily
The above pointers will save you from the tag of the spammer. Try to get more positive engagement from the recipients by following ethical practices. Most importantly ensure you use an email verification tool to filter out valid email ids from invalid and junk email addresses. While reducing the spam complaints to zero is next to impossible but the above suggestions will help you to reduce the complaint rate to a level where it is acceptable.