As a Mom, I’m no stranger to complaints. And while I would love to tune out these complaints, I can’t. From “I don’t like this shirt” to “I don’t want to go to the store or take a bath or (insert almost anything here),” I’ve heard more than my share of complaints. With my children, I have taught them that every complaint is an opportunity to learn how to “use our words” and “find solutions.” Unfortunately, complaints aren’t limited to the life of a Mom (or Dad or grandparent). Complaints can also be a challenge for marketers. While ignoring complaints may be the easy thing to do, marketers can’t afford to do so. Complaints are subscribers’ way of communicating dissatisfaction with your email program; and should be treated as a wake-up call for marketers.
Recently, Return Path has been talking quite a bit about complaints. Our recent study has revealed how high complaints affect your reputation (and how a low complaint doesn’t necessarily mean you have a good program). In addition, our new and improved Reputation Monitor breaks down sender reputation into a variety of key metrics, and can help you quickly identify what is affecting ISP inbox placement, and how you can immediately set forth to resolve those issues.
So what can marketers do to address complaints or decrease the likelihood of complaints in the future? Here are some basic guidelines all marketers should follow at the various stages of the customer lifecycle:
If complaints are on the rise, are there specific messages that are driving up complaints? Have there been any major program changes that changed your subscribers’ experiences? Did you send emails to an older file? Digging into the root cause of complaints can provide email program insights for the future.
In addition, make it easy for disengaged subscribers to unsubscribe from your email program. Losing a subscriber via your unsubscribe process is a much better alternative than a subscriber hitting the “this is spam/junk” button and registering a complaint with the ISP.
Complaints provide an opportunity for marketers to find solutions, but it can be tricky. In addition to the improvements made to Return Path’s Reputation Monitor, the Professional Services team at Return Path can help you identify the areas of most vulnerability and provide practical and actionable advice for decreasing complaints and positively impacting response.