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Act-On Software

Acceptable Spam Complaint Rates

AUDIENCE: Administrators, Marketing Users
OBJECTIVES: Learn what an acceptable spam complaint rate is for your email messages

What is an acceptable complaint rate?

As you may know, subscribers using many web-based email services (such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, Road Runner, Excite, Netzero, Outblaze, etc.) have an option available at their fingertips to report messages they don't want in their inbox.

Whenever this button is clicked by a user of these email services, Act-On is notified in order to address issues with excessive complaints.

To monitor potential issues, Act-On regularly calculates the number of complaints over the number of messages sent from each email campaign. In order to maintain the best deliverability rate and ensure email marketing best practices are being used, sometimes the Act-On Customer Success Team may need to address these issues with users.

At any given point, your campaign's messages / complaints rate should be below 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent). Since this may be hard to envision in a real-life situation, the data below illustrates some different size campaigns with the corresponding acceptable number of complaints:

Messages Complaints
1,000 < 1
5,000 < 5
20,000 < 20
100,000 < 100

How can I check my spam complaint rate?

Act-On provides your current spam complaint count in each Sent report. If you wish to see the actual rate, download your Rollup report. Your raw spam complaint numbers and your spam complaint rate are two of the columns displayed.

What If my campaign goes over the limit?

The deliverability of email messages is largely dependent on the reputation of the sender, among other factors. If your complaint rate is elevated for a period of time, it may affect not only the deliverability of your own messages, but also those of the service you use to send them.

If your complaint rate exceeds 0.1% for a period of time, you may be contacted by our Customer Success Team to discuss the rate, reasons why it may be elevated, and what needs to be done to get it back to the appropriate levels.

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