6 | Minute Read

Why you need Email Feedback Loops

Your emails are only as successful as your delivery rate. It’s estimated that 20% of marketing emails never make it to their destination. This is due to a multitude of reasons, but mismanagement of spam complaints plays a big part. In order to address spam complaints and land in inboxes, you need Email Feedback Loops.

What is a spam complaint?

When you’re perusing emails in your inbox you may have noticed an option to flag certain emails as spam. When you click on this, the sender of the email has been flagged and your ISP (Internet Service Provider) notes this.

If enough spam complaints are made against a sender, that sender may be long term blacklisted by the ISP (or multiple ISPs if spam complaints are made across the board).

You may be worried that emails from your company may be receiving spam complaints that you are unaware of. Meaning you could end up blacklisted by ISPs without having understood how you got there.

The good news is that you can know when spam complaints are made against your communications, and even better – you can do something about it to avoid affecting your overall deliverability rate.

What are Email Feedback Loops?

So you know what spam complaints are, and how they can really mess up the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts – never mind the reputational problems your brand would face if your spam complaint rate is bad enough.

Now you want to know how to manage spam complaints in order to avoid ruining your deliverability rate.

That’s where Email Feedback Loops come in.

Email Feedback Loops are services offered by ISPs where senders are notified when their emails receive spam complaints.

Currently, without using a Feedback Loop, your company will not know when your subscribers flag your emails as spam – meaning you could end up with damaged deliverability without even knowing it.

Feedback Loops fix this by notifying you when spam complaints have been made against your email campaigns. This gives you options for minimising damage and preventing further increase in your spam complaint rate.

How does an Email Feedback Loop work?

  1. Your email is marked as spam by a recipient using Yahoo! (this can be any ISP)
  2. Because you have registered for Feedback Loops from Yahoo, you are notified of the spam complaint made against your email
  3. You are able to address the issue as you see fit.

Not all ISPs will give the same information and detail when notifying you of spam complaints.

Some ISPs will send you aggregate data of an overall spam complaint rate of one of your campaigns, but it won’t give you data on the individual spam complaints and which subscribers made them.

Other ISPs will give you a notification for each individual spam complaint, in which case you will know the specific subscriber who made it.

The data that comes through an Email Feedback Loop is important to you as a sender, as it affects what kind of action you can take to ensure your sender reputation stays pristine.

What can you do when a spam complaint has been made against your email?

  • Unsubscribe the recipient who has made the spam complaint against you.
    • Some of your recipients will flag your email as spam instead of unsubscribing. Because of this, if you leave them subscribed to your lists, you run the risk of sending to them again – and again receiving a spam complaint.
  • Look for patterns in your incoming spam complaints, and make changes accordingly.
    • Perhaps you got more spam complaints on one campaign than another. Try to figure out what type of email campaign strategy or content might be triggering more spam complaints, and rectify the issue for future email marketing efforts.
    • Another pattern to watch out for: high spam complaint rates from subscribers on one contact list and not another – suggesting the source of the contact list needs addressing (e.g. perhaps subscribers who subscribed via a specific form were not aware of what they were subscribing to, leading them to marking your comms as spam).

Sounds easy enough to rectify, right? But what does this mean for the sender that sends communications in bulk, and may receive a volume of spam complaints that makes manually addressing each one an impossible task?

This is where automation comes in.

Automate the processing of complaints by using a Spam Complaint Processor

Spam complaint processors automatically analyze incoming spam complaints from feedback loops, and then take the necessary action – such as unsubscribing a recipient who makes spam complaints.

If your company sends a large volume of email marketing material, a Spam Complaint Processor will save you precious time.

Some third party providers will not only use email feedback loops to send you spam complaint notifications, but will also have a Spam Complaint Processor included – meaning the whole process of identifying spam complaints and processing them runs on auto-pilot.

Swift Digital is working towards receiving Email Feedback Loops and acting as a Spam Complaint Processor to auto-unsubscribe contacts who mark your emails as spam. If you’re currently using the Swift Digital Suite to automate your marketing campaigns, talk with our team about how we can look after all of this for you.

How to register for Email Feedback Loops

Registering for feedback loops looks different across each ISP. However, they all involve filling out an application with contact information, a list of IP addresses you send from, and what email address you’d like to receive spam complaint notifications on.

You can register for Feedback Loops across most ISPs including (but not limited to):

We’ve included links to their FBL application forms to make it easier for you to start the process.

Of course you can go with a third party provider instead, who will receive email feedback loops from ISPs across the board, and send you notifications that both drill down to individual complaints, and give you an overall aggregate so you can discern big picture patterns in your spam complaint rate.

Some of these providers will register for FBLs across ISPs on your behalf, meaning you only have to register once for the third party provider.

If you’re looking for further documentation and a list of providers, check out the EmailFeedbackLoops.com website.

If you’re an email marketer, deliverability should matter to you. All the time, sweat and tears you put into strategising and deploying email campaigns may go to waste if you don’t hit the inboxes of your target audience.

There are plenty of things an email marketer needs to consider when it comes to email deliverability rate, and managing spam complaints is one of them.

Improve your deliverability, and maintain your sender reputation by registering for Email Feedback Loops.

If you’re a Swift Digital customer, consider contacting your Account Manager (02 9929 7001) to ask about how Swift can register for Email Feedback Loops on your behalf, and help you process spam complaints.

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