How to reduce your spam complaint rate

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways for businesses to grow and get in touch with all of their clients, customers, and potential leads. It’s a way for businesses to connect directly with their audience, and it enables personalized content that makes each recipient feel valued and respected. Emails can be sent at multiple different stages of the marketing funnel and it’s not limited to just lead generation or following up with past customers.

But one of the biggest issues with email marketing is that messages can often be accidentally flagged as spam, either by mail systems or by the recipient themselves. This could potentially flag your emails and prevent them from ever reaching your audience in the future. So to ensure that your messages always reach their intended recipient, it’s important to focus on reducing your spam complaint rate.

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What is a spam complaint rate?

Spam complaint rate is a metric that is typically used to measure the number of recipients that flag your email as spam. When your recipients receive an email, they might see it as a spam message and immediately click to report it. This usually happens when the recipient believes that the message is unwanted junk, or if they don’t recognize the name of the company that sent the email in the first place.

The easiest way to calculate your spam complaint rate is to start tracking the number of emails you send and compare it to the number of spam complaints you receive. Simply divide the number of spam complaints you received by the number of emails you sent, then multiply the result by 100.

For example, if you sent 12,500 emails and received 15 spam complaints, then your spam complaint rate would be 0.12%.

What is considered a high spam rate

A high spam rate is typically in the region of 0.25% and above. Anything below this is generally considered acceptable, but the ideal spam rate can vary depending on your industry and the purpose of your emails.

Email service providers typically have different protections against spam too. For example, if your email content contains too many spammy keywords or has been reported in the past, then it may limit your ability to send emails. As such, a high spam rate may not be a huge concern if you’re just starting to send emails.

It’s a good idea to monitor your spam rate and to check which of your emails is being flagged as spam. This can help you make informed decisions in the future, such as changing the wording of your emails and improving the content so that it isn’t flagged as spam.

How is spam reported

There are four main ways for an email to be reported as spam:

  • Manually clicking a button to report your email as spam.
  • Marking your email as spam or junk which sends it to trash.
  • Forwarding your email to a spam reporting service.
  • Contacting you directly, your email service provider, or their service provider

How high rates affect senders

Having a high spam rate often means that your ability to send emails is limited. It may also negatively affect your sender reputation and you’ll notice fewer and fewer of your emails actually reaching their intended recipient. In some cases, you may even hurt your reputation with mailbox providers and they’ll start to automatically block emails from your address. This makes it incredibly difficult for you to reach your target audience and will negatively impact your ability to use email marketing.

How to avoid high spam complaints rate

There are a number of ways to avoid a high spam complaint rate.

  • Only send emails to people who have opted in. This means your recipient will always be verified, leading to a much lower chance of your emails being reported as spam.
  • Don’t make it hard to unsubscribe. If you make it difficult to unsubscribe from your emails, then recipients may get frustrated and report your emails as spam. It’s better to let them go gracefully than to risk your emails being reported.
  • Offer valuable content to your recipients. Make sure your emails provide some kind of value. It could be interesting content, discount codes, or just updates to your products and services.

Keep an eye on your email metrics. Take note of your spam complaint rate and review previous emails to see if there are any patterns in your messages that could be seen as spam.

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