What are Spam Reports and How to Reduce the Spam Report Rate

Your audience can report emails as spam.  These spam reports (also known as complaints) can harm your sender's reputation, deliverability rates, or even get you blocked by ISPs.

How do contacts report an email as spam?

Your audience can manually report emails as spam in their email client. 

For instance, this is how you report an email as spam in Gmail:

What happens when a person reports an email as spam?

A recipient who marks one of your emails as spam gets registered as a spam report in your Encharge account. They will be automatically unsubscribed from receiving any future communication from you.

You can see how many Spam reports you have for a particular email, Flow, or in general on the Metrics page.

What is a spam report rate?

A spam report rate is the number of people who reported email as spam out of the total number of emails you have sent. For instance, if you send 1,000 messages and 2 people mark it as spam, your spam rate is 0.2%.

What is considered a high spam report rate?

There is no universal or widely accepted number when it comes to spam reports. Every vendor sets its own benchmarks and thresholds. 

At Encharge, we believe that as a rule of thumb you should not get more than 2 spam reports for every 10,000 emails that you send. Or 0,02% spam report rate.

Some vendors might have a higher threshold and others like Mailchimp might have a lower threshold – 0,01% spam report rate.

If you are operating close to or above 0.1% spam rate (10 spam reports for every 10,000 emails sent) you are at high risk of being classified as a spam sender regardless of whether you use Encharge or another vendor.

In other words, "as low as possible" is your best target when it comes to spam reports.

Will I get suspended if I receive 1-2 spam reports?

No. The spam report rate threshold is not a hard set rule. Your account will not be automatically suspended if you cross this number. We do not make any decisions based on a single number. 

The threshold is simply a guideline that suggests what is considered a normal spam report rate and what you should aim to stay below.

  • If you receive 1 or 2 spam reports you should consider this a "heads up" that people are complaining about your emails or email sending process. 
  • If you get more spam reports than a small handful, you should be concerned and we highly recommended re-evaluating your email marketing practices to prevent further reports.
  • If the spam report is far beyond that threshold, your email sending might be paused and your account reviewed by our customer success team.

If a review is undertaken we will take into consideration a number of factors. This includes reviewing your email list, email content, unsubscribe rate, and email engagement metrics. We might also require you to provide additional information about your collected data and email sending practices. Unless you are an obvious spammer, or your spam rate is extremely high, we are going to work with you and propose potential solutions to reduce the spam reports.

What happens if my email sending is paused?

Your email sending will be paused if the spam reports сignificantly exceed the accepted threshold. We do this to prevent any further damage to your sending reputation while we investigate. Moreover, we are required by ISPs and Spamcop organizations to enforce the established thresholds.

When this happens, you will receive an email from our customer success department that your email sending has been paused explaining the issue and asking for additional information and/or providing possible solutions. 

During the pause, your sending is disabled, but all other interactions with the platform will continue to work (logging in, API requests, accessing your data, etc.).

We know you have a business to run and we are certainly not trying to hold you up! We want to ensure that you and everyone using Encharge benefits from the best deliverability possible.

Best email sending practices for avoiding spam reports

If you follow the best email sending practices shared below you should achieve 0% spam report rate.

1. Email only solicited contacts

Importing or emailing unsolicited contacts in Encharge is prohibited and your account could get permanently suspended if you fail to adhere to this rule.

2. Ensure that you are not emailing unsubscribed people

When importing your contacts in Encharge, ensure that you are not importing any unsubscribed people. If you're importing unsubscribed contacts it's critical that they are correctly mapped as unsubscribers in Encharge — i.e., they must have the Unsubscribed field value of "true".

3. Avoid doing old list warm-ups

Warm-ups or re-engagement campaigns for dormant contact lists are prohibited in Encharge. You can learn more in this article.

4. Auto opt-out people that have not engaged with you in the last 3 to 6 months

Create a new segment of people and use the Field condition "Last activity" is more than 90 to 180 days. Avoid emailing people from that segment. You can even unarchive them to free some space on your account limit.

Alternatively, you can sunset people that have not opened any of your emails in the last 90 days using the Email Activity condition as demonstrated below:

5. Make it easy to unsubscribe

Show an additional unsubscribe link somewhere close to the top of the email. This helps push your contacts toward unsubscribing from your list instead of marking your email as spam. However, note that warm-up/re-engagement campaigns are not allowed (as explained in point 3).

6. Make it easy for them to remember who you are

Your subscribers receive a ton of emails on a daily basis, so it's to forget why they subscribed for your emails. To help them remember why they are receiving emails from you add a note at the top of your message indicating how they were added to your audience.

7. Welcome new subscribers

Send a welcome email or a sequence of onboarding messages after people sign up. This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself, and your brand, and set the right tone and expectations when it comes to your email communication.

8. Add your domain

Add your email domain to Encharge and ensure that the emails are coming from the same domain as the one that your subscribers signed up on.

9. Send personalized emails

Avoid mass email blasts. Send personalized emails with relevant information to small targeted segments of people.

10. Send regularly and on schedule

You don't want people to forget about you. Send at least one relevant email every month. 

11. Don't send too many emails

Sending too many emails, however, can have the opposite effect. Emailing your audience every day for 30 days or longer would likely irritate them and lead to an increase in your spam reports.

12. Start with a brand new audience

If you have a high number of spam reports, you might be asked by our team to archive all of your existing contacts (people in Encharge) and start building a new contact list from scratch.

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