Sometimes subscribers are afraid to use the unsubscribe link. Maybe they assume that by clicking on it, the joke will be on them, and it will cause hundreds of new spam messages to flood their inbox. Or maybe they don’t trust the unsubscribe link because there was insufficient permission for the marketer to mail to them in the first place. It’s a bad situation for marketers, because if your constituents don’t feel comfortable complaining directly to you, they’ll find someone else who is ready and willing to listen. That’s right, they’ll push that little red button that every marketer dreads: “This is spam.” Getting reported as spam enough times can take a big toll on your deliverability rates (to the point that you’re unable to deliver any email to your audience at that ISP). Even worse, your subscriber might complain to one of the third-party blacklist organizations. These organizations make their money by providing their clients—usually ISPs—with a list of known spammers. Earlier, I mentioned that the term viral marketing may sound unpleasant, but it’s actually good for your organization. In this case, the spam list is just what it sounds like—bad, bad, very bad. You don’t want to be on that list.
Your email service provider or software vendor needs to provide your spam complaints as an element of its general reporting. Nothing can cut off your email marketing efforts faster or more painfully than getting blacklisted due to spam complaints.