How To Reduce Spam Complaints
The discussion of "spam complaints" comes up fairly frequently when we talk about email delivery, inbox placement, and the overall success of your email campaigns.
Generally, spam complaints become an issue when they are significant enough to cause your IP reputation to drop. This usually means that the complaint rate is greater than .01%. In other words, more than 1 in 1000 people are complaining about your email messages (depending on your provider).
High spam complaints indicate a few potential problems:
1. Lack of consistency (infrequent mailing makes subscribers "forget" they signed up for your email and, as a result, they are more likely to hit the spam button simply because they don't recognize the sender.
2. Too much email! (You are sending too much email to your subscribers, causing them to complain).
3. Poor engagement (your subscribers are not interested in what you're sending to them so they're not opening your email messages or clicking the links.
4. Message Mismatch (the email you are sending is not what the subscribers expect - or want - to receive from you).
For maximum success in this day and age, it comes down to sending the "right message, at the right time, with the right frequency". Subscribers that are no longer engaged, are receiving the wrong type of messaging, and do not receive messages at the desired frequency are the most likely to hit the "spam" button!
What IS spam email, anyways?
Lots of people think that "spam" is just the viagra ads or the emails from Nigeria asking you to wire bunches of money!
Other people think that spam is simply any mailing that violates the "Can-Spam" law.
Chances are, you're thinking, "But wait! Everyone on my list has "opted in" to receive my emails. It's not spam!"
The assertion that you are not sending "unsolicited" email would be correct. However, you may STILL be sending "UNWANTED" email! And that is the big difference.
Some of the common reasons people complain (mark your email messages as spam), assuming you have good list building practices:
- They don't recognize you as the sender (i.e. You instantly change who the messages are coming from and they don't recognize the name).
- They forgot they signed up (too little frequency in your messaging).
- You send TOO MANY emails! (too MUCH frequency in your messaging).
- The information you're sending to them is no longer relevant.
- Your unsubscribe process is not simple! (Hidden unsubscribe link or an unsubscribe link that takes them to a page where they have to re-enter their details, for example).
Here are some things you can do to reduce your spam complaints:
* Manage Your Feedback Loops.
Any time someone clicks the "spam" button in your email client, they should be removed from your list immediately. We recommend putting them on the suppression list (i.e. the do not contact list). If you're using Interspire Email Marketer or arpReach, EmailDelivered has developed a script that will automatically remove complainers from your list and put them on your suppression list.
If you are using an alternate email client, you may need to manually remove spam complaints from your list.
* Take A Proactive Approach to Minimizing Spam Complaints.
This takes a little more planning on your part and a bit more work with your email program from a "strategy" standpoint. Some things you can do to be more proactive - and reduce the overall number of spam complaints - include:
1. Be clear with your opt-in process/subscriber expectations. What are they opting in "FOR" and how often are they expecting to get emails from you?
2. Use your "From Address", "Subject Line", and "Preview Pane" as branding elements. (For example, use the same from email address/domain name every time you send and ask new subscribers to proactively whitelist you and use something like "[EMD] Subject Line". This makes sure, at the very least, that they recognize you.
3. Make the OPT OUT process EASY! Don't hide your unsubscribe text in 2pt font at the bottom of your message, require subscribers to re-enter their email address after they click the link, etc. KEEP IT SIMPLE! (Otherwise, they're going to hit the "spam" button because it's just easier).
4. Monitor the "reply-to" email address. In other words, don't use a firstname.lastname@example.org! You want people to be able to request to unsubscribe by sending an reply email.
5. Test Frequency of Emails. If you send too many emails, you may overdo it. If you don't send enough, they won't remember who you are. (Remember, everyone is inundated with information these days and out of sight = out of mind!)
6. Offer a "Manage Subscriptions" page where people can downgrade their subscriptions. (For example, instead of your daily email, they can choose to get only your once/week digest). This will decrease spam complaints AND keep people on your list that would have otherwise unsubscribed for good.
The bottom line is that you need to be paying attention to spam complaint rates and optimizing your email program to minimize the complaints you're getting and, consequently, increase subscriber interaction and value per subscriber.
Author: Heather Seitz
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This information has been provided by http://www.EmailDelivered.com and written by Heather Seitz. To find out more about spam complaints, visit http://www.emaildelivered.com/email-marketing/how-to-reduce-spam-complaints/. Don’t forget to sign up for the EmailDelivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources related to email marketing and email deliverability.
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