7 Ways To Avoid Spam Complaints When You Use Mailing Lists

Creating your own mailing list for marketing purposes can be a real pain. You have to research to make sure you’re targeting the right audience, convince them to opt in, wait weeks or months for it to grow, and then there’s that pesky CAN-SPAM Act you need to be in compliance with.

For many companies, buying a ready-made mailing list from a third party is an attractive solution. If your company is considering this, read carefully. Buying a list from an unscrupulous provider or just making a simple mistake can lead to a flood of spam complaints and a real headache. Business2Community.com offers seven tips to make the use of mailing lists successful:

1.  Be careful how you speak. Every ISP has a list of words plugged into its spam filter. The lists tend to change regularly as spam filters evolve and update, but a good rule of thumb is to avoid any words that give your emails an aggressive tone and cutesy subject lines that may have little to do with the message’s content.

2. Mind your manners.  Send an introductory message and explain why getting your emails is a good thing.

3. Be upfront. Let them know what kinds of emails you plan to send, and give them a way to choose which ones they want-and of course make it easy for them to have their address removed from your list!

4. Consider getting certified. According to Business2Community:

The Return Path Sender Score Certified Status is the digital ID that allows you to reach your recipients’ inboxes as a trusted sender for most major ISPs. In order to acquire this status, you need to pass the standards and requirements set by Return Path for email campaign practices.

5. Get on the right list. Don’t be afraid to ask that they whitelist your address.

6. Keep up with your housecleaning. Monitor the responses to your campaigns and remove any addresses that bounce back and comply with any unsubscription requests right away. It’s also a good idea to remove addresses that come back with sender response requirements. Earthlink addresses are notorious for this.

7. Consider outsourcing. It may be a good idea to let a third party run your campaigns but choose carefully!

If you know of any other tips and would like to share them, leave us a comment below!

Written by Sue Walsh


  1. Addison · September 12, 2012

    Ready-made lists usually have plenty of dead souls in them, so after all it might turn better to build the list yourself from scratch than to buy it from somewhere. Anyway, thanks for the tips – they are pretty useful for those cases when you do need to buy a list because it is not possible to make it on your own.

Leave A Reply