Understanding Spam in Email Marketing

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email spam

This is a guest post with a backgrounder on Spam and eMail tactics.

email spam

Email spam, or junk mail, is sending and receiving unsolicited messages via email. While most spam messages are actually untargeted promotional emails, a percentage of junk emails also contain disguised links to familiar websites, but which are actually phishing attempts, or host malware meant to infect your computer system. Junk email can also contain scripts or executable file attachments which can then brick your computer, spy on you, or fill your browsers with adware.

Email spam has a long history, first appearing in the 90s, when botnets, which are practically networks of infected computers, began sending unsolicited emails to thousands of people present on their lists. Regardless that since the Internet became a reality, junk email was prohibited, it still represents a practice today. Email spam stands against the ethical principles of email marketing and can often be classified as unsolicited bulk email, which is mail sent in large quantities, or unsolicited commercial emails.

In a recent infographic at Website Builder, unsolicited emails and spam were both studied. The angle, however, was to help determine what encouraged people to mark authentic, promotional emails from companies that they may have interacted with in the past, as spam.

Most people want their main inbox free of any advertisement offers, and often have a dedicated folder. However, there are times when certain emails can become annoying, and to put a stop to it, 21% of email recipients tend to report emails as spam, even if they know it isn’t. While this is a problem for advertisers, as it will stop them from getting their message across, it’s also a warning that emails are perhaps annoying, no longer engaging, or that customers no longer want contact with the company.

Studies have also shown that 43% of email recipients tend to report emails as spam based on the ‘from’ email name or address. It was also discovered that 69% of recipients click the spam button based solely on the contents of the subject line. Therefore, marketing teams should be creative, and use subject lines that will not be classed as spam by their recipients. In cases where customers do not click the spam button, yet are becoming annoyed with a marketer, they may unsubscribe. Yet, the average unsubscribes rate is fairly low, at only 0.25%.

No surprise. It is essential for email marketers to target their audience well, avoid becoming a nuisance, and send the right emails, at the right times, to avoid being classified as spam, and ignored forever.

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  1. […] Use a legitimate address: Don’t send emails from a “No-reply” email address. 43% of email recipients click the spam button based on the email “from” name or email address. […]

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