comments 13.11.2009 Paul Shuteyev @ Email Marketing News, General

What People Define as SPAM and Why Do They Do This?


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No Spam. Together we'll make it!

No Spam. Together we'll make it!

Ever have the feeling that you’re doing everything right with your email marketing, but the “spam demons” are out to get you? Well, we’re here to demystify the issue and to remind us all why certain mundane practices are so important to avoiding the dreaded spam folder.

Let’s review the top 11 reasons (though not always reasonable) why recipients flag emails as spam. Hopefully, this will help you evaluate your subject lines, titles, email frequency, etc. before sending to determine if you’re getting too close to these “danger zones”.

Epsilon International surveyed over 4,000 consume on why they flagged emails as spam. Here are their reasons in descending order:
1.    Try to trick me into opening it (74%)
2.    Offensive subject matter (68%)
3.    Any emails I did not ask for or subscribe to (62%)
4.    Senders who are unknown to me (61%)
5.    Emails automatically filtered into the junk mailbox (43%)
6.    Any email I don’t want, regardless of whether I subscribed (37%)
7.    Email sent from a sender not in my address book or approved sender list (34%)
8.    Email from a company I may have given permission to send me mail at one time, but that I no longer wish to receive (34%)
9.    From companies with an offline relationship, but never gave permission to contact me via email (32%)
10.    From companies I have done business with but send too frequently (27%)
11.    Email that tries to sell me a product or service, even if I know the sender (24%)

Reasons can be addressed by employing anti-spam best practices and avoiding common spam words. And finally, just taking extra care to ensure that your subject lines and titles clearly communicate your brand and the content of your message – all topics we’ve covered in recent blogs.

Now let’s look at the primary reasons recipients unsubscribe (same survey) to see if there are any common threads.  As you know, we’re all about solutions, so I’ve added some “corrective actions” to provide some takeways:
A.    Irrelevant content – It’s #1 folks! There are lots of suggestions in our blog archives, but we promise to keep researching and offering you more “relevant” tips.
B.    Receive too frequently ? #10 on the “spam” list but #2 here…wow! Run a free survey to find out how often your audience (s) wants to hear from you and what content they want to receive.
C.    Suspect email address being shared/sold – Both ”C” and “D” hammer this home. Always publish a concise Privacy Policy and always abide by your statement. Period.
D.    Don’t recall signing up – More common that you think, so it probably wouldn’t hurt to send a “thank you” for being a subscriber/customer every once in a while!
E.    Privacy concerns – Again, always include your Privacy Policy and ask them to read it!

Are you surprised at how easy it is to correct these negative results? And relieved we hope!

What People Define as SPAM and Why Do They Do This?
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Written by: Paul Shuteyev

I am an internet-marketing specialist.