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Stay Out of Email Jail Part 3: Minimize SPAM complaint rates

Woo-hoo, you made it to part 3! If you missed parts 1 and 2, you can catch up on your sender reputation here and SPAM traps here . Another factor email inbox providers take into consideration are SPAM complaints.

Ever heard the saying “Haters are just confused admirers”? Unfortunately, haters can really damage your sender reputation. E-mail providers heavily factor SPAM complaints into their filtering decision.

SPAM complaint rate = # of complaints/# emails delivered

However, some mailbox providers don’t provide complaint information back to your email platform, so most take the average and apply that number across unknown domains on a rolling 30-day basis.

Why do people click “This is SPAM”? Sometimes they just meant to unsubscribe but the SPAM link was the first link they saw. It’s important to make your unsubscribe links easy to find. You want your donor to BE KIND AND UNSUBSCRIBE! An unsubscribe has a much smaller effect on your sender reputation than a SPAM complaint.

What’s a good SPAM complaint rate? Campaign monitor suggests you strive for under 0.02% and Blackbaud says 0.01%. But according to a recent Return Path study, the average complaint rate for education, nonprofit and government organizations was 0.23%!

So, what’s an email marketer to do?

  • “We get it; you’re not into us anymore.” And that’s okay! If certain audiences are not engaging with you, stop sending them emails.
  • If you have a good sender score in Gmail, they will automatically provide you with an unsubscribe link in the list header, which looks like this:

A good sender score in Gmail grants you an unsubscribe link in the list header.

This is Gmail’s way of rewarding those with a good sender reputation. You want people to click this instead of the SPAM link.

  • Sign up for SPAM feedback loops. They will let you know who is marking your email as SPAM and why.

Thanks for joining me for this three-part series! We’ve just scratched the surface on email deliverability. For more information, you can view our full NTC slide deck presentation here. Make sure to visit the appendix for some great resources.

Rebecca Luckett

Senior Account Executive