Select Page

What Are Email Spam Reports, and Why Do They Matter?

Travis Balinas
May 29, 2014

What are Email Spam Reports and Why Do They MatterNobody likes getting junk mail, aka, spam emails. They’re unsolicited, unwanted, trash and often a scam. That’s why email providers work hard to keep those annoying emails out of your inbox and most likely undelivered. But as any good email marketer knows, being reported as spam is both a worrisome notion and an inevitable reality.

So What Are Spam Reports?

Simply stated, this is when someone reports an email that you sent to them as being spam. While you might think this simply means that the email gets moved to the spam folder, it actually has a greater impact than that. Most major email services will start blocking the IP address all of your emails are sent from if they receive more than a handful of complaints. This has a direct impact on your email deliverability and your ability to send any emails, not just emails to the account who reported you as spam.

This Sounds Rather Terrifying

The CAN-SPAM Act was introduced in 2003 and gives email marketers three guidelines to follow in order to be compliant: unsubscribe, content and sending behavior. It’s less about punishing the good guys and more about making everyone’s email inbox a safe place to click and read.

OutboundEngine takes these compliance rules seriously and works fervently to ensure that our clients are in the clear. Currently, our spam reports are at 0.03%, or three reports per every 10,000 emails.

I Swear My Emails Aren’t Spam!

It’s virtually impossible to avoid being reported as spam. Even with a 100% clean email list, some people will mark something as spam just as a way to unsubscribe from an email.

As I mentioned in an earlier postyou want to make it incredibly simple for people to unsubscribe from your emails. As email marketers, we know the rules and behind-the-scenes magic that occurs when someone reports an email as spam. But for the everyday user, they may think they’re simply unsubscribing from an email and do not realize the impact this could have on your ability to send emails to anyone.

How Can I Minimize Spam Reports?

Just remember two things:

  1. You don’t have to be a spammer to be reported for spamming.
  2. If you send email newsletters long enough, it’s bound to happen.

And as long as you’re legitimately obtaining email addresses from your actual customers and clients (not purchased lists) and staying CAN-SPAM compliant, you’ll have no trouble keeping this number low, too.


Spam reports are a real thing that email marketers have to worry about and take very seriously. Give people a way to unsubscribe and make sure you have a clean email list to keep your IP address in good standing. Without a good IP address, there’s no way to get your emails sent. That’s why we do our best to keep our customers safe and protected.

Read Next

We write great emails

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of our blog, tailored for you.