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What should you do if you get an Abuse Alert from Benchmark Email?

First off, you should know that even 100% opt-in email lists get abuse complaints. The number of complaints is small versus the amount of emails that go out, but it's enough to realize that a smattering of complaints is common, thanks to email campaigns being wrongly marked as spam.

However, if we send you a message alerting you that you've been accused of abusing your email marketing privileges, you should take that as a sign that a) you've gone over the average abuse limit, and b) that your recipients are complaining that you're not following the rules.

If you start to get numerous complaints, a full reassessment of your email marketing methods is in order. But you may also find your account suspended. If you start to get complaints above and beyond what is normal, we will be forced to shut down your account – even temporarily – just to contain the situation and figure out what went wrong.

Abuse complaints: a typical scenario
Your abuse complaint starts at the recipient's email box. Let's say you have a customer who signed up for your newsletter. You got their permission to email them. Then, one day they open their email box, see your email, and for reasons inexplicable, they hit the "spam" button. The bottom line is you can't count on your subscribers to remember that they signed up. So your best defense is to have as much evidence as possible to prove your point when it happens.

Once an ISP sees that someone hit the spam button, they send a message to us letting us know about the complaint. If this happens too many times in a certain span of time - how much exactly we're just not privy to - the ISP may even block your mail for a certain amount of time.

To avoid remaining on a blacklist permanently, we must gather all the data available on how you obtained your email addresses. This info may include paper signups or IP-stamped subscriptions. Either way, we'll need you to get everything you can to us as quickly as possible so we can show ISPs that you're a legitimate email marketer and your spam complaints are without merit.

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