Avoiding spam complaints

17th November 2010 By Sam Burrows in Email design

We’ve all been the victims of spam; receiving all sorts of emails from those touting Viagra to those with rogue links. However, did you know that sending an unsolicited bulk email can be viewed as spam?

You will receive a spam complaint with little green plane if one of your subscribers has reported receiving an unwanted email, otherwise known as ‘abuse’ in their inbox.

The most common method of avoiding spam is by using a technique called a ‘double opt-in’. Before using a fish bowl of business cards to send your emails to, send a campaign asking the owners of those cards to opt-in to your newsletter list. Using a double opt-in will considerably reduce the spam complaint problem.

Also, if someone unsubscribes, make sure you do not email them. Using the automatic unsubscribe facilities offered by the standard little green plane footer means all unsubscribes will be permanently removed from future campaigns.

It is also wise not to use purchase lists if you can possibly avoid it. Make your opt-out links clear, not hidden in the email. Take the standard approach and have this at the bottom of your email, where most people expect it to be.

An easy tip is to make sure your email looks reputable. If you’re not a designer, why not hire one or use little green plane’s template build service?

These days, emails need to look like they came from your company, and not a scammer who is phishing for your details. The majority of people are now web savvy and expect quality. Even if you use double opt-in, if you send poorly designed emails, this can attract complaints.

The final rule is to set expectations when people sign up to your lists. If it’s a weekly email, tell them. Try to not email them more than once a week, unless you have a specific reason for doing so. By taking these straightforward measures, you will ensure that your email campaigns hit the mark with your audiences each and every time.

Sam Burrows
About the Author

Sam Burrows

Sam is the lead designer for little green plane. A key driving force within the design team, he ensures any email templates and landing pages designed for you are fresh and engaging, whilst adhering to best practice guidelines and your existing brand collateral.