AWS Messaging & Targeting Blog

Email Definitions: Complaints

TiNS [tɪnz]


  1. An acronym representing the phrase “This is Not Spam”
  2. Often used as slang to represent a non-complaint
  3. An email industry colloquialism.

Synonyms:  “This is Not Junk”

Antonyms: TiS, spam complaint

TiS [tɪz]


  1. If spelled with ‘(apostrophe), a contraction of it is
  2. An acronym representing the phrase “This is Spam”
  3. Often used as slang to represent a spam complaint
  4. Another email industry colloquialism.

Synonyms:  spam complaints, “This is Junk”

Antonyms: TiNS

‘TiS the season… Well, yes I know, not yet. But still, if you’ve read at all about email deliverability, you’ll quite often hear about “TiS” & “TiNS” data, spam complaints and feedback loops. Especially in the email community, discussion about complaints is as common as hearing “Jingle Bells” during the Christmas season. In this series of posts we will explain the importance of spam complaints. First, we will define “TiS” and “TiNS”, then how Feedback loops (FBLs) work, complaint rates, and finally how to handle complaints appropriately.

Let’s start with the definitions. Every time your recipients click on the “This is Spam” (or “TiS”) button in their email clients, they register a spam complaint. By doing so, users take advantage of the opportunity provided by their Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to voice their displeasure about any abusive or unwanted content which lands in their inboxes. Please note, although some ISPs do attempt to submit an unsubscribe requests on a user’s behalf in parallel, flagging an email as spam doesn’t mean automated opt-out from the sender’s mailing list.

“TiNS” (or “This is Not Spam”) data, on the other hand, is registered by ISPs when recipients mark messages already placed into the spam (or bulk/junk) folder as “not spam”. As a result, most email clients will essentially move the email from the spam to the inbox folder. Simply put, TiNS are considered a “thumbs up” for the message by the ISPs.

ISPs utilize TiS and TiNS data as inputs to gauge the quality of the email they receive. Based on the aggregate statistics per message, they are able to fine-tune their spam filters and get better at delivering unwanted email to the spam folder. Most importantly, complaints are vital data points, which, along with engagement, combine with bounces and spamtraps to shape your reputation in the eyes of the ISP.

To recap, TiS and TiNS are recipient-initiated actions taken in direct response to your message. That being said, are you wondering how to avoid TiS feedback? Here are our recommendations:

  •  Interact only with your email list (people who intentionally signed up to receive emails from your organization).
  • Strive to deliver high quality content  (e.g., hints and tips, promotions, announcements), essentially your value proposition. If you give the recipient reason to be happy when your email arrives, we doubt they will search for the TiS button.

Stay tuned for more posts in this series describing feedback loop (FBL) providers and how ISPs inform you when a spam complaint is recorded.