This week Clickz is featuring an article called "How Spam Complaints Affect Delivery". In this article Kirill Popov and Loren McDonald explain that minimizing spam complaints always starts with practices used to collect e-mail addresses.
Mailing lists with the lowest complaint rates are either confirmed opt-in or properly managed single opt-in. If you have a solid permission-based list but still find incoming complaints are higher than the optimal rate or are rising, Kirill and Loren suggest to consider the following:
- Brand your subject lines.
- Consider including unsubscribe instructions at the top of your e-mail, in addition to the footer.
- Include instructions for users to whitelist your domain.
- Provide a preference update page.
- Avoid spammy looking content.
- Don't over e-mail.
- Don't send unexpected e-mail.
- Include opt-in information.
In most cases, above-average complaint rates suggest poor e-mail practices that over time lead to decreasing open and click-through rates. In the short term, too many spam complaints simply get your e-mail filtered or blocked.