Complainers Could Save Your Sender Reputation

Apr 10 2017

save your sender reputation

It’s easy to believe that you can treat all users the same, with blanket campaigns sent to your whole list, but this could be a detrimental mistake. Though no one expects you to hand craft each individual email to each person on your email list, segmenting out certain groups can help ensure that your sender reputation is at tip top shape.

One of the most important groups you can segment out is something we call “Complainers”. We call these users Complainers because they are known for sending emails to the spam folder. On the surface, this might not seem like the end of the world, but ESPs (email service providers) are getting smarter and smarter. They’re using user activity to help them sort their emails. When your emails are forwarded to someone’s spam folder, the ESP takes it as a clue that your email should be sent directly to spam folders across their recipients. To avoid this untimely fate, you should treat Complainers with special care.

How to Appeal to Complainers:


One of the main reasons Complainers send emails to spam is because they don’t know how to unsubscribe from your email list. Sending it to spam is just the easier option. Avoiding this pitfall is as easy as it is important. Make the unsubscribe button very clear, and don’t make the process overly complicated. Doing this is like giving the user a risk free trial. Not only could it potentially save your sender reputation, but it also conveys a confidence in your content. When you’re confident in your work, the user feels like they aren’t being tricked into engaging with you.

But how do you draw in an unwilling user? By making them feel like they’re more than a number. To begin, ease in to their inbox. Only send them emails that pertain specifically to them. That means emails with their receipts, delivery notifications or birthday coupons. Then, arming yourself with information you’ve gained from their previous activity on your site, introduce them to new products they might like.

Don’t Forget to Segment Your Email List!

Segment Before You Send

This is where segmenting your email list will come in handy. You can segment these in a lot of different ways. The more specific you can get, the better. Someone who has bought only vegan protein powders probably won’t be interested in a new steak recipe. But they may be interested in an article describing new ways to prepare meat alternatives.

It’s important to pay close attention to your email title with these users. Don’t yell at the user. Avoid using all capitals or more than one exclamation point. Be wary of words like free, sale, cash, increase sales or click here. These words are closely related to unwanted emails and could easily get your email sent to that dreaded spam folder, sending your sender reputation into a tailspin.

Keep Your Domain Name Simple.

simple domain names

Make sure these emails are coming from an easily recognizable email. Don’t fill it with odd names or a bunch of numbers. Keep it simple, from a noticeable domain name. Something like or By being very clear with who this email is coming from, you make the user feel comfortable opening it and engaging with your content.

It’s tempting to jam pack these emails with keywords. As marketers, we’re trained to take any opportunity to use those power words that we love so much, but push the breaks before you power through a list of ten SEO related words in the first paragraph. Key words are great, but they can stick out like a sore thumb and when these users catch a whiff of something out of place, they’re likely to back out, and fast. Instead, keep the language conversational and relative to their individual interests.

Now that you’ve safely dogged their spam folder and seeing your name in their inbox doesn’t have them rolling their eyes, give them a reason to get excited. Sometimes bribery is the best policy. This couldn’t be more true than when you’re dealing with Complainers. Make being subscribed to your emails worthwhile to them. Include exclusive deals, special sales or new mark-downs on items they regularly purchase. Make sure that these emails are still related to them and their interests.

Give the User a Chance to Engage.


Everyone likes to be heard, even Complainers so give the user the opportunity to engage. Send along a questionnaire, ask for comments on their purchase or their opinion on what you could be doing better. Not only does this help make the user feel cared for, it will also help increase user engagement in a customer that might have otherwise sent you to a spam folder and damaged your sender reputation.

The final step in solidifying your status in a Complainer’s inbox is to ask to be added to their white list. The white list ensures that your emails are approved to get into their inbox every time. It also signals to the ESP that you are a trustworthy domain. Appearing on a white list does wonders for your sender reputation. Once you’ve built a rapport with the user, send them an email with instructions on how to add you to their white list. Make the message lighthearted and the instructions clear. It’s a simple a process that lets you rest easy knowing that your email is safely sitting in your users inbox, ready to be enjoyed.

© Xverify 2011-2017. A VCN Media Company ® All Rights Reserved.