Preventing SPAM Complaints

This document explains what to do if you see a note in your account history about spam complaints that you've received.

Document 7020  |  Last updated:  01/04/2017 MJY

If you regularly send out e‑mail campaigns through your XSellerate automated marketing system, you may occasionally see notes in your account history about spam complaints that you've received. If you've received one of these notices, don't worry. You're still fully compliant with federal spam laws. The notice simply means that one of your recipients marked your e‑mail as a spam message and that he/she has been automatically removed from any future e‑mail campaigns to ensure that your XSellerate service isn't interrupted.

To understand the nature of this problem, keep in mind that most modern e‑mail services like GMail or AOL offer tools their subscribers can use to indicate when they've received a spam message. These tools are completely at the whim of the e‑mail recipient, so even if your message is completely relevant, your recipients may still feel that it is spam and flag it with their anti-spam tools. When this happens, their service provider notifies us and we report that back to you.

Unfortunately, spam has become such a major problem on the Internet that most Internet Service Providers (ISP's) have to actively monitor messages that are flagged as spam. If an ISP finds any one e‑mail address or e‑mail service that has too many spam complaints, they respond by shutting off that e‑mail address or e‑mail service!  To prevent this from affecting your service, we do track these spam complaints, but it's always best to prevent them before they happen by tweaking the e‑mail campaigns you send. Here are a few quick tips you can use to maximize the return on your e‑mail campaigns and ensure that your messages aren't wrongly flagged as spam.

  • Consider relevance when sending messages, especially marketing and advertising related items. Make sure that the message is targeted to the recipient's needs and situation. If you send material that doesn't apply, the recipient is much more likely to flag it as spam.
  • Consider frequency when sending messages. We've found that sending too many messages to an individual greatly increases the likelihood of generating a spam complaint. Think of your own e‑mail inbox. You probably won't read or pay attention to messages that come in repeatedly every day or week, especially if that message is about something that doesn't apply to you. And besides, it's very probable that you won't gain any new clients and business by sending too many messages.
  • Limit yourself to sending messages to only those with whom you have an established business relationship. Ideally, you should send messages to only those who have opted in to receive mail from you. Site visitors who have filled out lead capture forms on your XSite, for example, have opted in to receive messages from you. Previous clients or customers fall into the category of "established business relationship".
  • Use XSellerate to send bulk marketing messages. XSellerate contains "opt out" functionality that allows recipients to remove themselves from your list, which is compliant with Federal anti‑spam laws. However, even if you use XSellerate, recipients may choose to report messages to their e‑mail provider as spam instead of using the built in "opt out" functionality.

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