Preventing Campaigns from Being Marked as Spam

3 min read
If a recipient is not interested in your content or did not give express consent to receive your emails, they are likely to flag your campaign as spam. Having too many spam complaints can negatively effect your sender reputation. The best way to avoid spam complaints is by following email marketing best practices and following an appropriate email frequency.

What are Spam Complaints?

Spam complaints are reports made by email recipients when they get an email that they don't want in their inbox. Most mailbox providers (such as Gmail or Yahoo) include a button that users click when they want to report something as spam. Getting a few spam complaints isn't the end of the world, but be careful not to get too many. Industry standard for a good spam complaint percentage is .02%, which is one complaint for every 5,000 recipients.

If enough spam complaints are made against you, it signals to the mailbox provider that your content is unwanted or suspicious. The provider will start filtering your emails straight to a recipient's junk or spam folders. This also affects your email deliverability. Learn more

About the Gmail Spam Filter

One of the biggest email service providers, Gmail by Google, has developed their own Gmail spam filter which plays a crucial role in what emails get through. Since a large portion of your subscriber list is most likely using Gmail, it's important to understand what the Gmail spam filter looks for when considering spam. 

Here are some of the factors Gmail uses to decide if emails are legitimate:
  • If the sender's email address or domain name has been blacklisted before
  • Suspicious phrases and words (i.e. "how to make money online fast")
  • Spelling mistakes and bad grammar
  • Corrupted or misconfigured email headers
  • Suspicious email attachments (Google recommends sharing files as links using cloud storage services)
Postmaster Tools by Google is a helpful way to track the data on the emails you send and understand metrics like your spam reports, feedback loop, and deliverability. Learn more

How to Avoid Spam Complaints

As long as you know your audience and are only sending content to your list of subscribers, you are unlikely to receive many spam complaints. The best way to reduce the probability of being marked as spam is by following email marketing best practices.

Create engaging email content

Your emails need to make a good impression from the very beginning and should be filled with high quality content that your subscribers want to read. From the subject line to your campaign's text and images, every element needs to be value-driven. Learn more

Only email your subscribers

You should only be corresponding with people who have given express consent to receive emails from you. The quickest way to get a spam complaint is by sending to people who don't know who you are or why they are receiving your emails. Learn more
Add a Get Subscribers form to your site so its easy for people to sign up for your mailing list.  This helps you build an audience who is invested in your campaigns.

Develop good frequency practices

Develop a good cadence of sending emails. Once you've found what works for your subscriber list, don't deviate from the schedule. Best practices suggest that a good sending frequency is somewhere between 1 to 5 campaigns per month. Learn more

Did this help?