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By Louis Chatoff

Since a high complaint rate is one of the top reasons why email marketers cannot reach their audience, I thought it would be helpful to share some spam complaint basics.

So, what exactly is a spam complaint?
A spam complaint is generated when someone who has received an email message reports it as unwanted, unrequested, or for whatever reason considers it as spam. Many ISPís such as AOL, Yahoo, and Hotmail make it very easy for their account holders to report a complaint with just the click of a button.

Can an email marketer see the complaints?
Major ISPís now have a reporting mechanism called a Feedback loop. The member, who doesnít know you as a sender or does not want your message, simply clicks on the Spam or Junk button, and then the ISP communicates this back to the Email Service Provider (ESP). This information should be available to the email marketer to analyze and act upon.

What is an acceptable complaint rate?
An email marketerís complaint rate needs to remain below 0.1% - that is only 1 complaint per 1,000 messages sent to any single domain. Higher complaints can result in delivery problems.

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