What is a spam complaint rate?

The percentage of recipients who mark an email as "spam" or "junk" out of the total number of emails sent is called the spam complaint rate. They can do so by marking ‘this is spam/junk’ from their inbox, or clicking on unsubscribe and choosing the reason as spam.

What is a high spam complaint rate?

The industry's acceptable standard spam complaint rate is 0.1%, meaning one spam complaint out of 1000 emails sent. Anything more than the standard is considered a high spam complaint rate.

Why do you have to worry about spam complaints?

When your email is marked as spam, you will be flagged as someone who sends unsolicited emails to people who didn’t sign up for it. A high spam complaint rate can seriously affect your email deliverability which could take you months to fix. Spam complaints are taken more seriously by inbox providers (Gmail, Yahoo etc.) than unsubscribes. Your account could also get temporarily suspended if it has a high spam complaint rate. You have to go through the lengthy process of rewarming your email again until your reputation is fixed before you send out any more emails.

How can you reduce spam complaints?

An ideal spam complaint rate should be 0.05 or below. By following some best practices, you can keep your spam complaints low.

Only send to people who explicitly opted in

Ensure to send emails to people who have specifically opted-in to your emails during the last year. For any people who have signed up for your emails earlier than that, it is necessary to check for engagement rates before you include them in the lists you email frequently. Ensure your recipients get the type of content they have agreed to see (Newsletter, Promotions, Product updates, etc.) Avoid using email lists that you have bought or traded in for. 

Make your unsubscribe link easy to find

Always include an unsubscribe link which is visible, readable, and easy to find in all your emails. Avoid keeping the font very small or hiding it in white space or somewhere between the copy of the email. If the recipient can’t find the unsubscribe list, they could report your email as spam. Ensure you have an unsubscribe link by default to all your emails. You can read more about how to use unsubscribe tag in campaign emails here

Enable double opt-in

Double opt-in ensures that your subscriber’s email address is valid and that they want to subscribe to your emails. This ensures that your subscribers really want to receive emails from your company while adhering to GDPR complianceRead this article to enable double opt-in for your account. 

Design emails for all devices

Keep in mind that your emails can be read across multiple devices and therefore design the layout accordingly. Do not send heavy or improperly rendered emails. Such emails could be clipped by email providers and could trigger spam filters.

Avoid spammy subject lines and content

Inbox providers filter emails which contain spammy text. Avoid using such content in both the subject lines and the body of your emails. 

  • Avoid all capital letters

  • Avoid too many symbols and unnecessary punctuation marks

  • Avoid words that create a false sense of urgency like  immediate action required, Urgent info needed, 100% FREE!!! Etc.

  • Personalize emails rather than addressing audience as Dear user or Dear recipient

  • Send emails in batches to specific segments rather than sending all in bulk

Always follow ethical email marketing practices and stick to your regular sending volumes and schedule. Happy emailing!