What is a "Complaint"?
A "Complaint" is also known as an "Abuse Report" is when a recipient marks an email as "Spam" or "Junk", effectively moving the email from their inbox to their Spam/Junk folder. Or when a recipient Unsubscribes and in the process confirms that they "did not ask to receive this email".
Both events are tracked as a Complaint and will register on your account as such.
Acceptable Industry Standards
The email industry has firmly set 0.1% as the maximum acceptable rate of complaints. This is calculated by dividing the number of complaints by the number of emails that were sent. ((complaints/sent) * 100)
However, many ISPs can start to defer email after just 0.01%.
Elastic Email Complaint Thresholds
Complaint to Sent Ratio
As stated before, this is the standard ratio that the industry looks at. Elastic Email calculates this statistic based on the last 30 days of your account activity. The maximum acceptable limit is 0.15%. However, if the account reaches 0.05% complaint rate then any additional complaints will generate a notification email. Each complaint that occurs while the account is above this threshold will generate a notification.
If the account rises to or above 0.15% then it will automatically be placed Under Review. Additionally, if the account is reactivated, the Contact Pruning feature will automatically be enabled and set to a contact score of 10.
Complaint to Open Ratio
The other statistic that is looked at is the complaint to open ratio. ((complaints/opens) *100 ) While there is very little published by the industry on this statistic, it is well known that this is a key statistic in evaluating whether email is solicited. The reason being that, if an ISP diverts emails directly to Spam/Junk folders then the "complaint to sent ratio" could be very low. As the emails are already in the spam folders, no complaints would be registered. So, it is important to then monitor the ratio of complaints compared to the number of opens.
If the account reaches a 1% complaint to open ratio then any additional complaints will generate a notification.
If the account reaches a 5% complaint to open ratio then the account will automatically be put Under Review. Additionally, if the account is reactivated, the Contact Pruning feature will automatically be enabled and set to a score of 10.
Room For Improvement
Elastic Email does understand that all mail can generate a mistaken complaint or two, so we do not start enforcing these rules until we have received 5 or more complaints for the account.
Should an account be put Under Review and reactivated, the account will be offered a fresh start from the time it is reactivated.
Elastic Email and our Customer Success team is dedicated to helping you resolve your complaints issue should you experience this problem. We are happy to provide a fair number of chances to help you achieve acceptable rates. We offer all the tools and features you need to maintain proper email etiquette.
Private IPs and complaint thresholds
Private IPs separate users from the shared IP pools and give them complete control over their reputation. For this reason complaint rate thresholds are more lax for users sending through a private IP. If everything else fails, we invite you to read on and consider sending through a private IP.