Email Marketing and Abuse Report Thresholds
I want to apologize in advance for getting a little ranty, but I have to get this out.
I was shut down by my email marketing vendor for the second time because I exceeded an abuse threshold of .04 percent. What constitutes abuse you ask? According to my vendor, abuse is when a user flags an email as spam using either an independent anti-spam software or built in protection provided by the ISP handling the mail. The abuse rate has nothing to do with the users who use the UNSUBSCRIBE link located at the end of the email. Now the next question on your mind is how bad did you exceed the threshold. My level of abuse was .08 (double the maximum allowance).
Just so you know . . .
Here comes the ranty part
Like I said before, I am extra careful to comply with the AntiSpam requirements, so much that I will read every unsubscribe and double check to see that they were actually taken off the list. Sometimes the user will send an unsubscribe request from an email address different then what they registered and I go out of my way to find the right address and remove it. Here is where it gets stupid. Some times I will get an email asking me to remove them because the unsubscribe link doesn't work. Now, the unsubscribe feature is fully provided by my vendor, I have no control over it whatsoever. I explain to my vendor that it is very likely that I am being reported as spam because your stupid unsubscribe link doesn't work. I have have been sending to this this list for four years, and never had a problem until now.
The abuse rate thresholds are dumb too.
Here is my frustration.
With the Internet being what it is in the real estate industry, we that effectively use web and email based prospecting tools have a competitive advantage over those who wait for the lead to come walking through the door. What this means for us is that we as e-realtors (or whatever you want to call it) have this advantage because we can reach people at their first notion of home buying. It's a numbers game at this stage, some will be receptive, some will not but with these low abuse thresholds we may not be able to reach them at all in the future.
What do we do?