Hotmail and Spam Reports

Over my last 10 Newsletter sends (~37,500 emails in all ) there have been a total of 55 spam reports.

51 from Hotmail
3 from Aol
1 Other

Is there anything I can do to reduce the Hotmail reports?  To me it looks like Hotmail intentionally leads, almost tricks, people into reporting items as Spam.

With respect to my account should those numbers be a concern?

Stig Stig, 8 years ago

Hi Rynert,
your spam complaint count is somewhat high, although you could argue (as you do) that Hotmail's design contributes to the number a little. In any case, you have a better shot at improving your email marketing than you do at improving Hotmail's design :)

The help section has some good info on this topic.

PS: The link above has a broken image.

Other things you might want to examine:
- Are you sending too frequently?
- Is your content what your subscribers expect?
- Do your subscribers know who's sending the email (do the know your brand, is your name clear in the "from"-field, subject line, header..)?
- Is your unsubscribe link easy to spot?


The Campaign Monitor Blog – HTML email smarts to go with your good looks.
Rynert, 8 years ago

Is ~0.15% per send high then?

With respect to the 4 points -

Every 2-3 weeks, so I don't think so. 

BTW - about 50% of my list is Hotmail, but 94% of Spam reports are Hotmail

Mathew Mathew, 8 years ago

Not all email clients have feedback loops (the system which lets us know someone has hit 'mark as spam' so you will see a higher proportion of complaints from Hotmail. For a list which is 50% hotmail subscribers I think you are doing reasonably well.

We do recognise some people hit 'mark as spam' instead of unsubscribe of course.

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sagalout, 8 years ago

This is becoming an issue for us now, to the point where we are considering not allowing hotmail clients to sign up anymore.

We sent two campaigns for different clients recently, both of which we received the standard spam complaints message from CM (21 out of 6000 and 30 out of 10000).  Both lists have been built up over time, yet suddenly we're seeing high spam complaints.  I've actually contacted a few people personally from one of the campaigns, and they either didn't even recal hitting the spam button, or thought they were just unsubscribing.

Ideally we'd use double opt in, and I think we will for certain clients, but a couple of them have signups in return for vouchers.  Its very explicit that they are signing up to a newsletter as well, but because of this we cant do double opt-in as we  basically send a voucher and add the person via the API.  By double opt in people would be receiving vouchers without having to be added to the database, which the client doesn't want to do.

All our lists are good quality, as evidenced by our excellent open and click through rates.  We also use custom fields to check where a subscription is coming from.

Eg, one of the 'spam' reporters signed up via a prizedraw competion where it clearly states:

"Would you like to be added to our newsletter mailing list?" right before the submit button.  Not in small text or anything either.  Yet this person has  then marked the email as Spam, thinking she is unsubscribing, resulting in CM threatening to close our account.

I understand CM need to protect their servers and reputation, but its a bit annoying when we've been with CM right from the start, and introduced it in 3 different agencies, and some major UK retailers.  If we went through all the subscriber lists we've added, it would run into the millions!

youreable, 8 years ago

We also had a problem with hotmail users, to the point that CM did actually suspend our account. In the end we sent a second double opt in email to all the hotmail email address in our list and deleted all those that didn't respond. The problem is the way hotmail displays HTML emails, and also our we sell products to the elderly and I think they forget that they've bought from us!

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