Wanted: Method to identify spam complaints

Wanted: Method to identify spam complaints

I am honestly surprised this isn't a feature already:

I need a way to identify the following:

  • how many of the unsubscribes from a message hit the "junk" button, or otherwise complained about a specific batch email.

So that I can:

  • identify which campaigns/lists/messages have the highest and lowest complaint percentages.

Please can this be added as a feature?  I have been informed by support that the only way to see if someone labeled an email as junk is to look in the activity of each individual unsubscribed person.

Thanks ever so!

Level 10 - Community Moderator

Unfortunately -- for your purposes, if not for others'! -- Marketo takes a sort of "don't-ask, don't-tell" approach about abuse. In other words, they'd rather not know in detail because that might make them complicit in your actions.

The feedback loop (FBL) capability offered by some major email providers is meant to offer feedback to the ESP (that is, Marketo, not you). But unless Marketo has a secret arrangement we don't know about, Gmail's FBL, for the biggest example, isn't used. So it isn't a matter of presenting the data to you or not, it's that the data is deliberately not gathered at all.

Not applicable

Yes, that is the impression I am getting. It seems counter-productive.  I want to make our email better, and send content that people want to read.

I am used to a message report that looks like this:


Please Marketo can we add this to the features list?  Maybe as a turn-on function if you want to hide it by default?

Level 9

Never thought of that. Interesting to know.

Level 10 - Community Moderator

It's the way I've always imagined it, as I run a DMCA-shielded app myself and we've done the ol' DADT forever. Maybe it's something else but it makes the most sense.

Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Similar to how other ESPs - like Campaign Monitor - have done it for years:


Level 7


Marketo does note in the Unsubscribe Reason when someone is unsubscribed through our Feedback Loop partnerships and this can be accessed through Smart Lists.  This articles describes how to build that Smart List - Finding Leads that are Auto Unsubscribed for Email Spam Complaints / Feedback Loop (FBL)

Also, here are a few more resources about feedback we receive from ISPs when recipients complain:

Feedback Loops (FBL)

What’s the difference between an Abuse Report and a Feedback Loop Complaint?

As Yosa mentioned above, knowing the complaint rate for an email can be helpful to determine program effectiveness.  Because leads are unsubscribed when we see feedback from ISPs you can also use the unsubscribe rate in the Email Performance Report and monitor for fluctuations.


Kiersti Esparza

Director, Email Privacy & Deliverability


Community Manager
Status changed to: Open Ideas
Level 10

Just a side note here that RCE does calculate complaint rates—I'm not sure if it's just looking at Cat 1 bounces or Unsubscribe Reasons with certain keywords populated or what have you, but there is some precedent for breaking this out separately. While there are definitely other ways to pull this data out, it's a bit unfortunate that it's not as readily available anywhere else like Email Insights.