All Collections
Abuse Complaints from ISPs
Abuse Complaints from ISPs
Written by Lori Naeger
Updated over a week ago

Abuse complaints (or spam complaints) can occur when someone marks your campaign as spam. This doesn’t mean that you are a spammer, but often subscribers mark your emails as spam because they no longer wish to receive emails from you and have not found your "unsubscribe" link or they don’t recall opting into communication from you.

You've probably seen the “report email as spam” option in your Gmail or Yahoo accounts. If a subscriber clicks that, feedback is sent to us from the ISP and an abuse complaint is added to your BenchmarkONE account. If they click the “Report Spam” link in your email footer, that will come directly to us and we will again, add an abuse complaint to your BenchmarkONE account

Abuse Reports

You can see these abuse complaints by going to Reports > Emails > Complaints. You can also view them per email template or by date by heading to Reports > Emails > Email Stats by Date Sent or Email by Template

Remedy for Abuse Complaints

Receiving an abuse complaint should be taken seriously and is a good reminder that you may need to alter who you are sending to or be sure you are sending to opted-in or engaged contacts. More than a few abuse complaints can really affect your reputation and overall deliverability. If your total abuse complaints grow, we highly recommend evaluating your email marketing practices to prevent further issues. Here are a few best practices for that.

  1. Implement a Sunset Policy. Filtering for contacts who have not opened or clicked on your messages in the last year and removing them from your list. This is the best way to ensure you are sending to engaged contacts who are opening and clicking your emails.

  2. Verify your contacts with a third-party list cleaning service. Doing this every 3-6 months can keep your list clean and free of spam traps and remove vulnerabilities for additional abuse complaints.
    Here are a few companies we recommend for this service:

  3. Stop importing lists of cold contacts. EEK! We realize this has historically been an industry practice, but it is not a best practice and many of these contacts will report you instead of just unsubscribing or ignoring your emails. Send to contacts that want to hear from you.

Exceeding Abuse Threshold

If your complaint rate exceeds our tolerated threshold or if your account trips a blacklisting for one of our sending IP addresses, we will communicate this and issue a warning giving you a chance to review your sending practices and take the necessary steps to solve the issue.

If the complaint rate is high and well exceeds our tolerated threshold, a more firm warning will be sent and possible suspension of your account along with a full analysis of the event. Some information will be required from you before we will allow your account to be re-activated. This information will allow us to communicate with ISPs about the details of the offense in order to remove any blacklisting that may have occurred or to be proactive in avoiding blacklisting. This will also help protect your own sending reputation.

Best Practices to Avoid Abuse Complaints

  • Only send to contacts who have explicitly opted in within the past 12 months. Clean contacts off your list who have not recently opted in. These older contacts account for most spam complaints.

  • Show an additional unsubscribe link in a prominent position like somewhere close to the top of the email. This helps push your contacts toward unsubscribing from your list instead of marking your message as spam.

  • Enable the confirmation email (double opt-in) on your forms and/or add a captcha. This makes sure only valid addresses are added to your lists and not any bot traffic.

  • Do not use lists bought from a third party of any kind. This is a violation of our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and Terms of Service (TOS).

  • Add a blurb at the top of your email reminding contacts how they were added to your list and why they are receiving your email. There is always a chance that your contacts have forgotten that they subscribed to your email so they might simply mark you as spam.

  • Send a welcome message or a sequence of messages after contacts sign up so they are familiar with your brand and aware of what you will be sending. This avoids any surprises when receiving future messages from you. Waiting days, weeks, or months before sending a message to a contact after signing up increases the chances that they will mark your email as spam..

  • Make sure your emails come from the same domain where contacts signed up and make sure the email has the same exact branding.

  • Ensure the "from" name for your campaign aligns closely with the branding of the page where contacts signed up.

  • Send relevant and personalized messages which can be done with automation.

Did this answer your question?