Email Myth Buster: Low Complaints Mean I’m IN!

Posted by Tom Sather on

MYTH #4: I have a low complaint rate therefore my mail should be delivered to the inbox.

WHY THIS IS FANTASY: Complaints are calculated based on your inbox delivery for most email receivers. So, if your mail is getting delivered to the spam folder, you’ll have a low complaint rate. If you’re getting sent to junk, it’s the “Not Spam” rate you need to be concerned with. Some filters and email receivers even go a step further and only count complaints from active, trusted subscribers, meaning that all those inactive email addresses on your file who never complain won’t be counted in the denominator, and that means your complaint rate is probably much higher at the email receivers and filters than you think it is.

THE PLAIN TRUTH: Complaints are a key factor, but not the only factor when determining inbox deliverability. As the email deliverability landscape becomes more complex, you’ll need to get a better handle on the metrics that affect your inbox placement rates. And because they differ by ISP, you’ll need access to the metrics that matter most so you can optimize accordingly.

What do you think? Did we debunk this myth?


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About Tom Sather

Email data and deliverability expert Tom Sather has worked with top-tier brands to diagnose and solve inbox placement and sender reputation issues as a strategic consultant with Return Path. As the company’s senior director of research, Tom is a frequent speaker and writer on email marketing trends and technology. His most recent analysis of new inbox applications’ effects on consumer behavior was widely cited across leading business media outlets including the Financial Times, Ad Age, and Media Post.

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