1) Questionable Identity
Clearly communicating your identity is the number one way to avoid spam complaints. According to a survey by the Email Sender and Provider Coalition, 79 percent of consumers clicked the spam button when they didn’t know who the sender was. Here are the two simplest ways to make your identity apparent.
* Use a familiar name in your “from” line. Use the same words your audience uses to identify you or your business.
* Include your brand. Use your logo in every email and include image descriptions (alt text) of your company’s name for readers who have images disabled. Use your corporate colors too.
2) Irrelevant Content
Consumers expect their email subscriptions to deliver value. According to eMarketer, 46 percent of Internet users say the commercial emails they receive are not targeted to their needs.
* Offer choices on your sign-up form. Some consumers want to receive promotions, while others only want informative newsletters. Offering options helps you make your emails relevant.
* Use click-through data to target future messages. When people click on your links, they tell you what they are interested in.
3) Broken Promises
Sending emails that your subscribers didn’t ask for (i.e., promotions when they signed up for an email newsletter) can be perceived by your audience as a broken promise. Give your subscribers clear expectations before they share their email addresses, then keep your promises.
* Tell your new subscribers what you’re going to send. Clearly describe each type of email communication you offer (e.g., promotions, newsletters, event announcements, etc.) and ask new subscribers which they would like to receive.
* Send a welcome email after new subscribers join. Whether they join through your website or you add them to your list after they subscribe offline, send a welcome email that clearly describes the email content you plan to send.
4) Excessive Promotion
According to a Jupiter Research survey, 40 percent of consumers said they stopped subscribing to opt-in emails because they were getting too many offers. Sending promotions too frequently might lead to spam complaints.
* Place promotions on your website and use informative email content to drive clicks. Instead of putting an entire article and a promotion in your email newsletter, use only the first two or three sentences in your email and post the rest of the article, and a related promotion, on your website.
5) Confusion and Illusion
Sometimes consumers report legitimate email as spam because they simply want to get off a list and don’t understand the negative impact of hitting that spam button. Here are two reasons why consumers might choose the spam button over the more forgiving option of unsubscribing.
* Your subscribers can’t figure out how to unsubscribe.
* Your subscribers don’t trust the unsubscribe link in your email. Use your sign-up process and welcome email to reinforce the ability to safely unsubscribe from your list by clicking the unsubscribe link in any of your emails.