The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email
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What You Should Know About Feedback Loops for Email Marketing

Digital marketing is all about reputation, and unfortunately reputations are fragile. It does not take many complaints for an ISP to block a sender. To prevent this, the percentage of messages reported as spam should be well under 1%, and should actually be closer to a tenth of a percent. In addition to professional design, good opt-in practices, and strong segmentation, feedback loops are invaluable to protecting your credibility as an online marketer.

The Unsubscribe Link Is Not Enough
Most professional marketing email designs provide an “unsubscribe” link. This would seem to be the most courteous and clean way to allow people to opt-out of a campaign. However, no matter how well the email presents the unsubscribe link, many users are likely to regard the message as junk. You cannot rely on such a link to protect your reputation.

Feedback Loops Tell Us More Than Just Who Marked The Message As Spam
When a service provider gives you access to a feedback loop, you will receive a fairly reliable, automated stream of messages that your recipients regarded as spam. The level of sophistication involved in dealing with these messages is up to you, but the wisest course of action is to take them in bulk, parse out all of the useful data, and truly treat the mechanism as a way to get constructive feedback.

There are many subtle reasons why recipients perceive messages as spam. Use the loop as a way to correct errors and hone messages so that they do not damage your sender reputation.

Not All Providers Offer Feedback Loops
Feedback loops are restricted to the most trustworthy email service providers (ESP). They are available with Yahoo, Hotmail, and most of the recognizable names in email service. However, Gmail offers the functionality in a different manner - the List-Unsubscribe feature. This approach embeds the option for the receiver to “unsubscribe and report spam” via the email header.

As a rule, marketers should not overlook complaints or consider them irrelevant retaliation from an unruly subscriber. They should instead use feedback loops and the data they provide as tools to better their message content and improve upon their sender score.

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