How to know if email is marked as spam by recipient


Today we were discussing about email services in our team. My one team member informed us about Amazon Web Service they are using in their institute to send bulk emails. He said that AWS also give you a report of emails getting bounced back. It is not a difficult task as I think. But, it also reports you if recipient marked it as spam. HOW??

Is it really possible because I could not think of any trick here. Once the email is in recipient’s territory(SMTP server) we have no information about it. I am a windows forms guy and not have much knowledge about Web and Web Services. I tried Googling and even Binging this time, but nothing of much use.

Don’t expect a code reference or what I have tried. I have spent hours and hours in just searching but ended with no good. Sometimes I feel my friend was lying and if really it was the case, then I must say he has good control over his facial expressions.

Even similar question did not satisfy me much.


Many email providers like Yahoo Mail! and AOL offer so called feedback loops. You, or an email service provider like Amazon, can apply to take part. If accepted, you (or Amazon) will receive a report via email each time one of your recipients clicks “this email is spam”. There’s also a reporting standard called ARF (Abuse Reporting Format). This way, you (Amazon) can find out how many complaints you got. (Of course the goal is to remove the complainers. They obviously don’t want your emails.)

Some resources of interest:

  1. Apply for Yahoo! Feedback Loop
  2. Feedback Loops @wikipedia
  3. List of Feedback Loops (for US mainly)
  4. Infos on ARF and FBL from AOL

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