Five Quick and Easy Ways to Reduce Spam Complaints

spamSpam complaints hurt. Not only are you losing a subscriber, you are also having your reputation lowered, and making it more difficult to get into the inbox with your other subscribers. For every email marketer, lowering spam complaints should be a priority.

With just a few simple steps, you can drastically reduce the amount of complaints you’re generating, and keep your messages where they’re supposed to be.

1-Don’t Send too Much

This should be common sense for any marketer. We’ve all signed up for a newsletter, or made a purchase, only to get bombarded with advertisements, offers, and updates. Put yourself in your subscriber’s shoes for a minute, and ask yourself if you’d really like to receive the message you’re about to send so soon after the previous one. Frequency has a huge impact on the perceived “spamminess” of a message- if your subscriber keeps seeing your messages pop up, particularly more than once a day, you’ve greatly increased the chance that they will complain. Sending too many messages can turn your most active and engaged subscribers into complainers.

2-Improve your Sign Up Path

Make certain that your subscribers know exactly what they are signing up for. You may end up getting fewer subscribers, but, if they were just going to complain, or not be interested in your mail at all, you’re coming out ahead. If you’re comparing complaints on multiple sources of data, or message types, you need to also compare the sign up process to find the users that want your messages most. Optimizing your sign up process is also a great way to decrease the amount of unknown users you’re sending to, with intelligent form validation.

3-Double Opt-In Lists

If you’re signing subscribers up for your newsletter, or sending them offers after they make a purchase, but are still generating a large amount of complaints, you could consider using a double opt-in list. A double opt-in list means you’re sending an initial email to subscribers to confirm that they truly want to receive your emails. ExpertSender allows you to make your list double opt-in, and lets you easily customize your confirmation email. You can also send additional reminder emails, urging your customers to confirm their subscription.


Using personalization can help your campaigns in many ways. Often, personalization will increase engagement, and lower spam complaints by reminding the user that they did indeed sign-up to receive messages from you. The more you know about your customer, and the better you can target your mailings, the more likely the customer is to trust you. On the ExpertSender platform, you can include the name of your subscribers, address, and many other custom fields that you might want to capture during your sign-up process. In addition to these personalization options, ExpertSender now allows you to append gender to your subscribers by using utilizing a first name database in seven different languages. This means that even if you didn’t collect gender during your sign-up process, you can add it in later to increase your targeting!

5-Test, Test, and Test Some More.

This method might not be quick and easy, but it can be if you’re already A/B testing subject lines, content, and personalization options. When testing different messages, be sure to pay attention to the amount of complaints being generated. Just like with engagement metrics, spam complaints can vary greatly depending on the message content, when it was sent out, and if any personalization tags were used. Finding what works both in terms of engagement, limiting spam complaints is key to any campaign.

Spam complaints are just one of the many pitfalls that can befall even the most savvy email marketer. With just a few changes to your campaigns, you can drastically reduce the amount of complaints received.

Written by Aleksander Heba
Brand Manager at ExpertSender, Marketing Fanatic, Trend Spotter, Windsurfing Addicted.