It's time for another entry in the DELIVTERMS dictionary! Today, let's define JMRP.

JMRP is the "Junk Mail Reporting Program," the mechanism by which email sending platforms and internet service providers can receive complaints back whenever an (Microsoft OLC) user clicks the "report spam" button to tell Microsoft that they think a particular email message is spam.

You might find some older documentation that refers to this as the "Junk Mail Reporting Partner Program" (JMRPP) – that's an older name for the same thing.

Overall, mailbox providers and internet service providers call these types of mechanisms "Feedback Loops." Thus, the JMRP is the Microsoft ISP feedback loop.

A sender must utilize a dedicated sending IP address to sign up for JMRP; the intent is for the owner of an IP address to get complaints back about mail sent from their own IP address. (Platform owners, whether or not they offer dedicated IP addresses or shared IP addresses, are encouraged to sign up for JMRP to monitor client activity.)

If you're a dedicated IP sender or manager for a sending platform, you'd sign up for JMRP as follows:

  1. Register your sending IP addresses with Microsoft SNDS (Smart Network Data Service). This is the reputation portal that Microsoft offers to give you feedback regarding your sending reputation as measured by Microsoft's stats. Don't forget to complete the confirmation step. (Learn more about SNDS here.)
  2. Go to the Junk Mail Reporting Program page on the Microsoft SNDS website. Here you'll be able to view and edit any current JMRP feeds (FBL configurations) already in place for any of your IP addresses. Assuming you have none, you'll create one by scrolling to the bottom of the page and selecting "Click here to create new feed."
  3. Fill out the JMRP feed creation form, starting with these fields: Company Name, Contact email address, Complaint feedback email address, Complain Format, Maximum Complaint to send per IP per day, and Maximum Complaint to send per day across all IPs. Be careful here – if you don't know what you're doing, don't do this. You don't want to tell Microsoft to start sending thousands of complaints to a regular user's mailbox. You'll pound that mailbox flat. (I've seen it happen.) This is meant for automation. Hire your friendly neighborhood deliverability consultant if you don't know what to do here.
  4. Select which IPs you want this feedback loop to cover, and agree to the terms of service they present to you.

That should do it. Complaints should start to flow within the next day or two.

What you do with complaints received depends on your goals and situation, but broadly speaking, I'd suggest logging complaints to identify which lists, segments, data sources or clients are most problematic. The sends with the highest complaints are likely to cause blocking beyond a certain point, and it is in nobody's best interest to continue to send mail generating high percentages of complaints. You also have the opportunity to unsubscribe everyone who complains; if they report your mail as spam, they don't want it. That's not a substitute for permission, though. Lack of clear permission drives higher complaints and mailbox providers know this. The goal is not to "list wash" your complainers away; the goal is to give you feedback to make sure you're able to send mail successfully to those who have requested it, and that means identifying lists and data sources that fall outside that acceptable criteria and cleaning those up or stopping that mail.

There's been lots of talk lately about whether or not feedback loops are valuable or necessary today, given that Validity is beginning to charge for access to the raw complaint feeds for the majority of providers (though this doesn't affect Microsoft, or Yahoo). The jury's still out on what happens in the long term, but for now, Microsoft JMRP remains free and can potentially provide insight that you may not be able to otherwise obtain. Sign up, if you can.

Don't forget to check out the DELIVTERMS section here on Spam Resource, where we define the common terms used in email technology and deliverability.

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