Email Deliverability – Why TINS and TIS Matter To You!

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”


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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!

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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