of the keys to success in e-mail marketing is to reduce the number of
spam complaints that you receive. Spam complaints can hurt your
standing with your ISP or hosting provider, and even prevent your
messages from being delivered to millions of users of popular web
e-mail providers such as Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo mail.
In spite of these potentially very significant consequences, many
businesses that rely on e-mail marketing as a major part of their
advertising efforts fail to understand the steps that you can take to
prevent spam complaints from being submitted.
The following tips will help you reduce
your spam complaints
best way to ensure that your subscribers want to receive mailings from
you is by using a confirmed opt-in process. It requires your
subscribers to confirm their subscription by replying to an e-mail
before they can be added to your e-mail list.
Your list only
: It is no
longer acceptable to purchase e-mail lists or use third-party lists.
You should remove any e-mail addresses obtained from third party
Practice good list hygiene:
get in love with your list. The quantity of email addresses in your
list means little; it is the quality that counts.
As a general rule, the older your list (or addresses in your list) the
greater the chance that they may not be any longer interested in
receiving mails from you. That said, there are no specific rules as all
businesses are different. Some businesses will know that some of their
best customers are their oldest customers, so the culling of all e-mail
addresses obtained before a specific date may not be suitable for those
Include the Unsubscribe Link:
The first and most important step you can take is to include an
unsubscribe link in every message. Beyond this, the unsubscribe link
should be two things: obvious and painless. Customers who want your
emails will ignore the link, and those who don't will find it easy to
unsubscribe from your list, rather than hastily clicking the email as
Evaluate your Subject Line:
that - especially when starting out - your company name is included in
the subject line. You may be thinking that is not necessary, since your
company name will more than likely show in the "from" field, however,
this helps to convey professionalism. Be sure that the message in your
subject line is actually conveyed in the email. No one likes to be
duped, and doing so raises the chances of your e-mail being marked as
a consistent e-mail template with the same colors, fonts and layout
will help your subscribers to recognize your e-mail campaigns. Over
time your subscribers will recognize your layout and with that
familiarity they will be reminded that they have subscribed to your
Familiar and consistent company name:
Confusion and complaints can originate from subscribers
being unfamiliar with your company or brand name.
Consistent from address:
a consistent ‘from’ e-mail address serves two purposes.
First, using the same ‘from’ address over time is another way to ensure
that your subscribers recognise your e-mails. It is best to use a from
e-mail address that includes your brand or the company name that they
Second, if different ‘from’ addresses are used it increases the chances
that the subscriber’s local e-mail filter programs (spam
) will block your e-mails. It is a good idea to ask
your subscribers to add your e-mail address to their address book to
ensure that your messages will get past any local filters.
complaint trigger is businesses sending too many e-mails to the same
group of people.
While a subscriber may like your products and your business, there
becomes a point when your mailings become annoying when sent too often,
particularly if you are sending essentially the same message over and
over again. The frequency of mail-outs will depend on your business and
the type of information you provide to your subscribers. By outlining
the anticipated frequency in your sign-up subscription terms, your
subscribers will know how often to expect your mailings.
Few other tips:
- do not write long email copy - go for “short and crisp”, then point
to your website for more information;
- don’t repeat your website URL over and over again — you are more
likely to get more complaints than more sales; once or twice is usually
- run a spam-check on your messages before you send them out and fix
any problems that it detects.