Email Deliverability – Why TINS and TIS Matter To You!

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email-envelope-1TIS vs TINS

Yesterday I asked for your assistance in helping me resolve some delivery ability issues with my newsletter by marking false-positive emails found in your spam box as “not spam”.

Today, lets get just a little geeky and have a look at what happens with the spam button and not-spam buttons.

TIS & TINS are two acroynms used by the ISPs to allow their client-recipients to provide feedback about the emails you send.

TIS = This Is Spam = “the spam button”


This sends a signal from the receiver to their email provider that tells the email provider that you are sending spam.

This is known as a complaint.

TINS = This Is NOT Spam = “the not spam button”


This is a button, located within nearly every spam box, that lets a client-recipient tell their email provider that something was wrongfully put into the spam folder.

These two make up a critical part of the “feedback loop” that allow recipents to tell everyone up the chain about whether you are behaving or misbehaving.

The TINS and TIS buttons have positive and negative effects on the deliverability of BOTH the email service provider you are using (such as aweber) AND on any email, from any location, carrying the same links to domains that were involved in that email.

Who Does TINS and TIS Impact?

1) An email service provider (ie Aweber, GetResponse) can have one of their IP addresses blacklisted which can hurt a lot of senders if even one sender misbehaves.

2) Additionally, and equally as common, a domain URL can get blacklisted and any email that links to that URL may go to spam.

We see a lot of domain blacklisting from domains that are participating in ANY big product launch.

Clickbank, Infusionsoft, etc have regular issues with blacklistings just due to the amount of emails of a promotional sort that link to their URLs.

Common link shorteners such as are also almost always blacklisted and should never be used within your emails that you actually want to hit the inbox. 

Now you have a better understanding of why your email service provider seems to get “bent out of shape” if your complaint rates go to high!

Generally speaking  the industry standard allows for about a 1% complaint rate. That means up to one TIS per 1,000 pieces of email you send out.  However, the more often you hit the 1% mark, the more likely you are to see your deliverability fall over time due to your own actions.

There are a lot more factors that go into deliverability than just complaints and blacklisted URLs so a liberal application of the TINS (this is not spam) button is sometimes called for to help correct for deliverability that may be drifting in the wrong direction. 

So, the next time you see a colleague’s email in your spam box, be a sweetie and click the “not spam” button… and if you really are tired of the list then feel free to go about unsubscribing yourself correctly. 

The TIS (this is spam) button should be reserved for true spam and is not the correct way to remove yourself from a list unless you hate someone! ;)

~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing

PS: When mailing out affiliate links, always be sure to use something like Pretty Link or similar tools on them first so that the odds of them being pre-blacklisted are significantly lowered and you get into the inbox.  

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  1. says

    This is a great tip and tool that you shared with us. Everytime I get an email from a trusted source I am going to do them a favor and click not spam. There has been a couple times where I have received an email on lists I am apart of and they have asked if the receiver can agree that the email was not spam through the TINS. I think this action you must be careful with, in my yes if you have built a strong relationship with your list you may be able to pull it off but otherwise it may hurt you more than expected. What do you think?

  2. says

    Hi Kim I was wondering what TIS & TINS Was? I did just learn about this spam thing from your last post but I guess I really paid attention to why some e-mail goes into spam and some not.. I always thought it had to do with the title of the e-mail. Well I guess I should look at my spam folder once in a while as this is something I never do.. Thanks for sharing Chery :)

  3. says

    Thanks Kim,
    This is very good information for us to mark mails as not spam and for our prospects to advise to do the same with the mails they get from us to mark them as non spam as well.
    Thanks Kim this is very useful for all of us!

  4. says

    Correct Yorinda! The law requires them to honor the unsubscribe request. If they continue mailing then that is EXACTLY what the spam button is for! (The law actually allows them up to 10 days to remove you but almost all modern systems are capable of instant removal and that’s generally what I expect from them.)

  5. says

    Kim this is very go information we can take to the bank. Your article has helped us to understand our spam and regular email a little better. Thanks Kim for keeping us informed.

  6. says

    Problem: Thunderbird, is my primary desktop mail client. Comcast provides Norton AntiSpam which identifies, but does not filter, what it believes to be spam. (It misses a many and I forward them to after making sure they are spam). There is no button or other way that I know of in Thunderbird to tell Norton they have made a mistake.

    OTOH, there is no simple way to send spam to spamcop on my iPad client. This problem has a long way to go before being solved.

  7. says

    Thanks Kim for explaining this one in a language we can understand. I’ve had many emails still coming after I’ve asked to be removed, I guess I will click the spam button on them in the future. Amazing they don’t take me off the list with the modern technology available today.

  8. dallas says

    Great tips! I will have to make sure I get removed properly without using the spam button (except when really needed). Thanks!

  9. says

    You know, I didn’t know that about and the other url shorteners being banned but it makes sense the amount they get used.

    Will make sure I avoid in future – thanks.

    – Ian

  10. says

    Interesting Kim, I didn’t know that having an email marked as spam could effect such a wide ranging amount of others – people linking to that domain and people on the same IP address. I have to say, I think that is somewhat of an over-the-top response by spam filters etc. I do always unsubscribe from newsletters in the way you suggest; I am a good boy :P

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