Quick email deliverability trick

By on January 28, 2013
Email deliverability tricks - Reduce Spam reports

If you use email marketing to promote products or your business, you know the Importance of getting good deliverability rates. Deliverability is a metric used to measure how often your emails actually make it into your subscriber’s inbox. Now days, with spam filters becoming more critical of email content and things like priority inbox, getting the most out of email marketing endeavors is a growing challenge.

The fact is some people don’t want your marketing message. Send as much free high quality content as you want, they still don’t want to see it. Maybe they don’t remember opting into your list or don’t remember buying your product. Or maybe you have let your list get “cold”. Whatever the case may be, you need to do everything you can to ensure your efforts do not go to waste.

Your subscribers don’t realize how powerful that little “report as spam” button can be. Enough of those clicks and you can say goodbye to getting into a given email service’s mailboxes.

You should always do your best to send out the best content you can and treat your subscribers like you would a family member (after all, they often help keep your lights on). By doing your best to send out interesting and valuable emails, you will retain and engage your list.

However, some subscribers are not and never will be interested in your marketing message. You can’t make everybody happy all the time. So how can you reduce those complaints?

The Trick

If you are experiencing a high volume of complaints or have been warned by your email-marketing provider, it is time to implement this trick.

The trick is to easily make your unsubscribe link accessible. It sounds simple and it is something that is already in your emails, but you probably aren’t doing this…

At the very top of your email you are going to add 2 links. A link where the anchor text is “Unsubscribe”, and the other reads “Report as Spam”. These links are to be placed before any other content, at the very top of the mail. Both will be linked to your unsubscribe or “manage your subscription” pages. Most, if not all, email marketing platforms will have a short code (also known as a merge code). If you are having trouble finding this code, you can always copy and paste it from the bottom of your email template.

The idea here is to take focus away from the “native” “report spam” button, you know, the one that is a part of gmail or other mail provider’s interface. Hopefully, you can direct those unhappy clicks to just unsubscribe from your list. Trust me you don’t want them on your list anyway.

A friend of mine was able to implement this trick and was able to drop his complaint percentage rate by more than half. This can work wonders for your ISP relationships and general email deliverability. If you plan on sending a controversial mail, or something that has a bold message, consider giving this a shot. The better deliverability you get, the more money your list will generate for your business. By maintaining a healthy list, and following good email marketing practices; you ensure the longevity of your list and cultivate a happy group of subscribers.

About Kevin Clanton

Kevin Clanton is part of the new generation of Internet marketers, originally starting his career as a programmer obsessed with all things information / technology. Online Marketing has quickly become his primary focus; where he is able to leverage his background in development to implement his dreams & ideas in order to quickly produce data on their effectiveness. Google Kevin has an intense drive to be as well rounded as possible in his business pursuits. He isn’t satisfied until he has a firm understanding of all aspects of a given business strategy.


  1. Kathi Guidry

    May 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Email marketing is directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It usually involves using email to send ads, request business, or solicit sales or donations, and is meant to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness.^`

    Check out all of the most recent short article at our own web blog

  2. Pingback: Quick email deliverability trick from Driving TrafficSeven Touch Marketing Systems | Seven Touch Marketing Systems

  3. Glo Justice

    February 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Nothing is more annoying than not being able to quickly unsubscribe. It seems some authors go out of their way to make it difficult, hoping it will keep everyone subscribed. Instead, it definitely increases the likelihood of more spam complaints. Given an easy way to unsubscribe, I will do so. Make it difficult, and I am going to file an angry complaint. Putting the link at the top is a great idea I will now add. Thanks.

  4. Krissy L

    February 6, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    We do the same thing.
    We even go as far as to BEG with the very first line
    NOT to report as spam, that they can one click to remove themselves
    or simply reply to the email and we will be glad to remove them for them instantly.
    Sooo important to keep in good gracious.

  5. Clarence Fisher

    February 3, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I’ve seen this done and wondered how effective it was. I thought it might be inviting unsubscribes, but you’re right. If they don’t want to be there we should get them out quick! Thanks!

  6. Tyronne Ratcliff

    January 30, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks for the email marketing tips, I’m seeing more and more marketers doing what you just talked about,must pretty effective I’m guessing.

  7. Charlene Christiano

    January 29, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Interesting thought. I recently had someone opt-in for a downloadable product she wanted via a JV event, then received my next follow up email 1 week later and reported me as spam. Sometimes no matter what you do, people will complain. But, this is a trick that might be worth doing, especially when promoting affiliates or big product launches. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Charles

    January 29, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Can you please write a post about the most high level SEO methods that work right now? Like guest blogging…I know that works well. And perhaps blog networks and other methods – and then create a 3 month process for ranking any sight – I read your hands free link building pdf. That was good. But can you make something like that but a tad more updated?

    That would be perfect!!!

  9. rossana

    January 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    I don’t have a website yet. I think about , but I don’t have any brilliant idea. I need to work, wood be good to have a strike of genius.
    Los Angeles

    • Kevin Clanton

      January 29, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      You don’t have to start with an earth shaking, money generating, juggernaut of an idea.
      And if you wait for one, you will likely wait forever..
      Ask yourself how you can provide value, or ask yourself what do you enjoy talking/writing about…
      There you will find your answer…
      Good luck,

  10. Jo

    January 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Great read to learn a lot from. Thanks, Ryan.

  11. Terence Coughlin

    January 29, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    At first, this sounded like a nice idea. But as I reflect on it a bit more, the embedded “Report as Spam” idea sounds a bit deceptive. When I report something as spam to gmail, I want gmail to know about it, not necessarily the sender of the message. I can respect the rationale of this tactic from the sender’s perspective, but it still makes me a little queasy.

  12. john ahrens

    January 29, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I have recieved many emails from you. I am interested but do not know how to get started. I left a voice message one time on your phone and got no call back. How does your program work? Do I have to pay anything? Where do I contact you for more information?

  13. Daniel

    January 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Great tip. I would highly recommend this if you email a cold/warm list that you haven’t sent anything to in a while as these can often generate complaints if they don’t remember how they registered.

  14. Tom Kulzer

    January 29, 2013 at 11:30 am

    For context, I’m the founder of AWeber, an email marketing service provider serving 120,00 SMB customers.

    Making the unsubscribe link more prominent at the top of messages is great and something we frequently recommend. Your “trick” of making the unsubscribe link labeled “Report as Spam” is massively deceptive and absolutely a horrid practice. Doing this at AWeber would result in a warning to remove it and if not removed, likely account closure. Tricking people is never a good way to build a good reputation or base a foundation of trust on.

    • Kevin Clanton

      January 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks for commenting Tom! Honor to have you here…
      That is great information for everyone.
      We currently run our own mail servers,
      so in this case we might have pushed the envelope on what is acceptable for a SAAS email marketing platform.

      Please check the policies of your email marketing platform to insure that this (using the unsubscribe link with anchor text as “Report as Spam”) is within their terms of service.
      If it is questionable (or you aren’t sure) just stick to making your unsubscribe link more prominent in your message.

      I think the idea of this came from the general subscriber’s lack of knowledge between the two concepts.

      Another good practice is if you are mailing newly acquired leads or haven’t mailed them in a while, is to remind them at the top of the mail how they got on your list.

      IE: You subscribed to our list by filling out the subscription form on example.com/free-report on Jan 1st 2011, if you would like to stop receiving our messages, please unsubscribe here”

  15. Candas

    January 29, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Informative article. Next time your run it consider assig screen shot examples. Would have made it that much more useful.

  16. Gina

    January 29, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Great advice,thanks for this valuable tip. Simple!

  17. James Watson

    January 29, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Hi Kevin

    Interesting idea which makes lots of sense – a DECOY spam button in your email :)

    However, in the email you sent with Ryan linking to this post I noticed you didn’t use it…

    I suppose that was because it was a warm list hence a low spam risk?


    • Kevin Clanton

      January 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      Right, We are currently in good standing with ISPs & our subscribers..
      It may not always be that way, but we are certainly going to try and keep it up.
      Thanks for noticing, I thought it was a little silly that I didn’t illustrate that in the email..

  18. Andy Bailey

    January 29, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Such a simple tip and I’ve seen similar results myself when I made my unsub link a lot more prominent. Never thoug about putting it at the top of the mail though.. I’ll give this a try

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