Email Abuse Reports

Email Abuse Reports are sent by receiving email providers in response to some perceived abuse, usually a report of a SPAM email. SmartSurvey take these reports seriously since they count for a lot towards our sending ability and email sending for all customers.

You might receive an email saying that you have received an abuse report which will detail what will happen.

Why do people mark things as SPAM?

  1. The most common reason, regardless of legality, is simply that the email annoyed the person who received it and this is made worse if it is not clear why they should be sent the email
  2. Some people mistakenly use the SPAM button as a way of saying "Unsubscribe"
  3. In some cases, you are not sending the email legally and the recipient is correctly marking it as SPAM

What do you need to do?

In most cases, invitations will be stopped after a small number of abuse reports are received and you will need to contact our Support Team to re-enable the invitation.

If a number of abuse reports are received across your account within a time period (currently 0.8% of an invite and/or 20 per day) then your ability to send with the email tool will be disabled and, again, you will need to contact our Support Team and take genuine steps to reduce these abuse reports.

Reducing Abuse Reports

The main principle in reducing these things happening is to think about your email needs from the viewpoint of the recipient.

Please refer to

  • Many companies believe in sending out the absolute highest number of emails and thinking that this will ensure the highest response rate. This is not true, a smaller number of engaged recipients is much better than a large number of people who are not interested and will consider your approach as unsolicited/SPAM.
  • Most business send out far too many "how did we do" emails. Do NOT send reminders to people if they haven't filled these in, this just increases the chance of emails being marked as SPAM. In many cases, you don't need these, you should have better ways of knowing your staff are effective other than asking every single customer to use their own time to do your job for you!
  • Consider other more effective ways to get feedback than via email e.g. Social Media links; contact via an intermediary (e.g. something sent to a school to hand out to students); working groups of interested parties.
  • Keep the time between geeting contact data and using it short. If, for example, you send out a regular "How did our company do" to your customers, ensure they are recent customers so that the link between their transaction and the feedback is obvious.
  • Ensure you make it VERY clear on your emails why the person is receiving the email. some examples: "As a new employee of XYZ, you are required to fill in the linked Survey...", "Since you purchased a product from us recently, you could win £100 of vouchers if you can tell us how we did"
  • If you are not the legal holder of the original list (you are acting as a Service Provider), then you MUST ensure that the recipients have CONSENTED to receiving the relevant email: legimitate interest is not acceptable for third-party lists. Your access to the email tool will be disabled if abuse complaints are received so it is in your interest to have an appropriate contract with your customers so they can confirm this with you. If the emails are transactional and are based on a business relationship you have with your recipients, then consent is not required.
  • If you require consent, you must keep records of consent that can be provided in case of an escalation. We will not simply take someone's word for it that consent was lawfully obtained.
  • Do not simply use the default copy for invitation messages, but personalise it, ideally with your own branding, so it is clear - in some cases, people don't spot that it is a legimiate email from a supplier they know and mark it as SPAM because it looks too generic.
  • Do not use email addresses that you have had for a long time (> 6 months - 1 year) unless you know that the person is still engaging with your organisation. If not, allow people to re-opt-in or delete their contact details.
  • Have an effective means to keep contact lists up-to-date; process opt-outs very quickly, it should not take you longer than an hour to do so; get people to re-opt-in to receiving what you are sending; deal with any bounces that occur in SmartSurvey and proactively work to use this as a way to keep lists of a high quality.


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