What is FBL or Feedback Loop?

We are discussing about the technical terms and innovations of Email Marketing. The most specific term related to email marketing is the FBL. Many of us have not heard about this term FBL, but if you want your seed (email) to grow, flourish and to give fruits (business) then let’s gain an understanding of FBL to water it.

To understand FBL initially, put yourself in customers or readers shoes. As a user when you don’t want to receive any marketing or promotional emails, you just click the “Report spam button” which is readily available on your web page. This results in raising your complaint against IP address from which email was sent and the Internet Service Provider (ISP like Yahoo, hotmail, Gmail etc) will start blocking the emails from the IP address when the complaint rate increases, after many clients hitting the “Spam” button. It is natural behaviour of a readers who does not want to get any such mails ultimately hit the Spam button. But you can think what a big deal in it? The twist lies there only. Customers who are not willing to receive such emails from you should be removed your lists immediately as soon as you get unsubscribe or complaints. And you should abide by spamming rules and refrain sending email to same customer again.

This is where you can see the power of FBL; to understand simply, feedback loop is a tool with which the ISP will let you know that a certain number of customers are not willing to accept your proposal.

How FBL works?
The feedback provider (reader) and the feedback consumer (you) are the endpoints of the FBL. To understand better,

1) Customers like you send emails to recipients.
2) Users complaint to their their ISPs by hitting the Spam button, if it is not subscribed email.
3) The sender or the marketing team will be notified through a mail message about those complaints with some detailed information about complaint.
4) Further emails from the same IP address are blocked by the ISPs if complaint rate grows.

Why it is important to know about FBL?
This is considered to the most important tool in Email marketing as it makes you to identify your genuine customers from your entire list. Once this is cleared, then there will be no harm from the ISP end to your company. Generally complaint rates increase when you miss the promise you given to customers. Like sending non related information when they subscribed for other topic or sending email on regular basis to customers if they subscribed to receive email only once in a month.

Variations of FBL programmes:
You all know what is ISP (internet service provider). This is huge channel and there are nearly a large number of ISP’s – Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Rediff etc. Yes, what you are thinking is right, when there are multiple numbers of ISPs then there must be multiple FBL for their own. Every ISP’s FBL could follow different approach to manage complaints.

FBL Providers that MailGoes registered with:
Yahoo: Offers this site free of charge and is operated by ReturnPath: Keep in mind that the Yahoo FBL is Linked to your DKIM signature as opposed to IP address. However all others ISPs are linked to an IP address. http://feedbackloop.yahoo.net
AOL: http://postmaster.aol.com/Postmaster.FeedbackLoop.php
Hotmail: MSN/Hotmail feedback loop: This acts as a tool for Junk Email Reporting Programme (JMRPP) which helps large senders to weed out unwanted recipients from their email list.
Gmail: Gmail does not provide a Feedback loop nor do they accept register of entities. They follow different approach by using extensive filters and

Non-Return Path Operated FBL:
United Online: http://www.unitedonline.net/postmaster/whitelisted.html
Zoho: http://fbl.zoho.com

Return Path Operated FBL:
USA.net: http://fbl.usa.net/
RoadRunner: http://feedback.postmaster.rr.com/
Rackspace: http://fbl.apps.rackspace.com/
Cox: http://fbl.cox.net/
Comcast: http://feedback.comcast.net/
Blue Tie: http://feedback.bluetie.com/
HostedEmail: http://fbl.hostedemail.com/
FastMail: http://fbl.fastmail.fm
Synacor: http://fbl.synacor.com
Terra (Brazil): http://fbl.mail.terra.com.br/index.php?lang=en_US.utf8

Feedback Loops are opt-in email process for both the sender – giving the feedback and the receiver – receiving the feedback. At MailGoes, our automated process receives complaints from FBL pool and takes necessary action in order to avoid IP blacklisting issues.


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