What Consumers Consider as Spam Email

in Email Marketing

We all have opinions about what constitutes spam email, our frustrations with receiving it and how we go about trying to avoid it. Using email marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways for reaching buyers. While consumers generally feel that email marketing is less intrusive than tactics such as telemarketing and in-person sales calls, there is increasing annoyance with the overall volume of email and unwanted types of email.

According to a research study conducted by Epsilon that surveyed over 4,000 consumer respondents in select countries in North America, Asia Pacific and Europe; the following percentage of consumers in this survey considered the following types of email as spam (in descending order):

  • Try to trick me into opening it (74%)
  • Offensive subject matter (68%)
  • Any emails I did not ask for or subscribe to (62%)
  • Senders who are unknown to me (61%)
  • Emails automatically filtered into the junk mailbox (43%)
  • Any email I don’t want, regardless of whether I subscribed (37%)
  • Email sent from a sender not in my address book or approved sender list (34%)
  • 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%)
  • From companies with an offline relationship, but never gave permission to contact me via email (32%)
  • From companies I have done business with but send too frequently (27%)
  • Email that tries to sell me a product or service, even if I know the sender (24%)

(percentage is average across all countries surveyed)

Consumers generally use tactics such as unsubscribing, junk mail folder, reporting spam, blocking senders and spam filtering to limit what they perceive as spam. There is also a growing number of consumers who use “special” or fake email addresses when they provide personal information or make a purchase.

The following are the top 5 reasons consumers gave for unsubscribing to email in this survey:

  • Irrelevant content
  • Receive too frequently
  • Suspect email address being shared/sold
  • Don’t recall signing up
  • Privacy concerns

How to use this information to benefit your business

  • Regardless of what you consider as spam email, it’s important to be cognizant of what your subscribers think is spam.
  • Use a professional email marketing service to deliver your marketing emails. These services provide continually updated guidance on best practices and check each email for probability of triggering spam filters. See this Email Marketing article for more information.
  • Ensure that you observe regulatory / legal requirements such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the USA and rules in other countries for sending emails.
  • People subscribe to your email list based on a specific offer and promise you make – stay true to that offer and promise.
  • Make it easy for subscribers to change their subscription preferences or unsubscribe to avoid being submitted to spammer lists.

Copyright © 2009 Ingistics LLC and Marketance™ www.marketance.com

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