Jun 25, 2008

Abuse Complaints Going Up?

abuse-complaints-yahoo.gifSome of our users are getting really worried about their abuse complaint numbers spiking (from 1 or 2 per campaign to 5 or 7) recently.

Nice to hear you’re so concerned! But there’s nothing to worry about in the short term. Here’s what’s happening…

Background info: ISP feedback loops

Your abuse complaints come from users who hit their "This is spam" button in their email programs. When they do that, their ISPs send MailChimp a warning. We take the warning, find out who complained, and then we automatically remove them from your list (so you don’t get anymore complaints from them in the future).

ISPs call this their "feedback loop." When people click this button, think of it less as an "OMG, I’m getting blacklisted" situation, and more of a "Shucks, I’ve just been un-friended."

If you consistently get too many abuse complaints, or if you get a number that exceeds our threshold, we’ll suspend your account for investigation. Most of the time, we find out the problem is an old list, or someone rushed a campaign out the door and didn’t include a proper subject line or from-name, or they didn’t give their email design a professional look to match their website.

Why the recent spike?

yahoo-logo.JPGAnyway, the reason you’re seeing more complaints per campaign is because a new ISP has been added to the feedback loop system.

Yahoo recently launched their own feedback loop, and MailChimp is one of the ESPs that get their reports (just under the wire, too).

So you’re starting to see subscribers with Yahoo email addresses complain on your list for the first time.

This will level out soon, as they finally get weeded out of your list.

If they don’t level out for your campaigns, then it’s a sign you’ve got a list management issue somewhere, and you should look into it (here are some tips for diagnosing abuse complaint problems).