spam - what consumers really think

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  • 8/14/2019 SPAM - What Consumers Really Think


    SilverpopFrom First Click to Lifetime Customer

    Engagement Marketing Solutions

    Spam: What ConsumersReally ThinkSurvey Finds Growing Anger;

    Advice for AvoidingRecipients Wrath


  • 8/14/2019 SPAM - What Consumers Really Think


    Engagement Marketing SolutionsSilverpop STUDY 1-866-SILVPOP (745-8767) 2009 Copyright Silverpop. All rights reserved. The Silverpop logo is a registered trademark o Silverpop Systems Inc.

    Why Subscribers Click the Report Spam Button

    An interesting question engagement marketers might consider is how muchrecipients know about what actually happens when they click the spambutton in their email client. Do they report your messages as spam becausetheyre angry? Because they dont trust you and your unsubscribe link? Anddo they realize that by hitting the spam button, they can cause others whowant to receive your emails to not be able to receive them?

    To nd out why email recipients report messages as spam and how muchthey know about what happens when they do, Silverpop commissioned

    an online survey o consumers. More than 400 consumers age 18 to 55participated in Silverpops Spam Survey, indicating what they think aboutspam and expressing considerable angst about receiving it. All questionsallowed or multiple responses.

    Spam in the eye o the consumer

    In Silverpops survey, 83 percent o respondents said they think spam is aserious problem. And theyre pretty unhappy about it. Yet how recipientsde ne spam di ers dramatically rom how many marketers do.

    In the Silverpop Spam Survey, while 52 percent o email recipients saidspam is email they didnt subscribe to receive, 40 percent report mes-sages as spam simply because they dont want to receive them anymore.

    And a highly irritable 35 percent o online users consider spam to beemail rom any commercial entity rather than rom an individual theypersonally know. Any commercial entity.

    Many legitimate marketers dont look at spam in quite that way. While itstrue that you shouldnt email people without their permission, in the UnitedStates its not actually illegal to do so. Despite its name, the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act o 2003 does not actually outlaw unsolicited commercial email.Rather, it attempts to regulate commercial email by prohibiting subter uge,such as using misleading subject lines or disguising a messages origins.

    When reaching the global inbox, email marketers need to recognize thatmost other countries that have enacted email-related laws do make it illegto send commercial email to someone who has not expressly consented treceive your communications. For example, the European Parliament pasa directive in 2002 stating that, It is justi ed to require that prior explicitconsent o the recipients is obtained be ore such communications are addressed to them.1 Its critical to know and understand the geographic proo your customer base be ore ormulating your opt-in strategy.

    Additionally, even i youre sending unsolicited email to recipients incountries without legislation to prohibit it, most ISPs speci cally ban th

    sending o unsolicited bulk email. By sending email, you implicitly areagreeing to their terms o service.


    Survey fnds growing anger;advice or avoiding recipients wrath

    Your reputation as a sender is dinged every time a customer clicks thereport spam buttonthe link certain email so tware programs provideusers to complain when they receive unwanted email. I you get too manycomplaints, Internet service providers are likely to block messages emanating

    rom your sending IP address. And not just to those who complained, but toeveryone on your list.




    0% 10% 20% 30% 60%40% 50%

    In relation to email, what does the term "spam" mean?

    Email I didn'tsubscribe to receive

    Email I don't want to receive

    Email from anycommercial entity

    Despite more rigorous spam lters used by ISPs, corporations and indi-

    viduals, spam volumes continue to increase, with spam now accountingor 90 percent to 95 percent o all email sent.2 Recipients certainly eel te ects o increased spam, and theyre not happy about it.

    Consumers dont see spam leveling o

    Silverpop ound that 27 percent o consumers said theyre receiving amore spam this year than last, and the same percentage o respondentsbelieve theyre getting somewhat more spam, while 30 percent think theyre getting about the same amount as theyve always received. Onl12 percent o consumers said theyre getting somewhat less spam.

  • 8/14/2019 SPAM - What Consumers Really Think


  • 8/14/2019 SPAM - What Consumers Really Think


    Engagement Marketing SolutionsSilverpop STUDY 1-866-SILVPOP (745-8767) 2009 Copyright Silverpop. All rights reserved. The Silverpop logo is a registered trademark o Silverpop Systems Inc.

    2. Only send what they asked for

    Make sure your messages are relevant, and send only what subscribershave asked or. One way to ensure relevance is to o er pre erences

    at opt-in so that subscribers can select the types o messages theyare interested in. I subscribers opt in to receive your Best Practicesnewsletter, dont start suddenly sending them your pure product promotionemails, unless they also clearly request them.

    Never assume subscribers will want to receive di erent content justbecause they already subscribe to your messages, or because youthink they will like the new content once they see it. Sending content orpromotions that are outside o what most subscribers would expect islikely to drive your spam complaint rate higher.

    5. Make sure subscribers recognize your messages

    Research has shown that subscribers rst look at the From line o anemail and then the subject line. Use a recognizable name, such as yourbrand or company name, in the From eld. And resist the urge to use

    overly clever or tricky subject lines that could con use or annoy recipi Also, keep your messages consistent with your overall brand image. Irecipients suddenly begin to see emails in their inbox with a drasticallyun amiliar look and eel, they may quickly delete them or report themspam without even realizing theyre rom your company.

    6. Practice good list hygiene

    List quality can a ect whether an ISP accepts or rejects your messages.Make sure you remove hard bouncesaddresses returned as permanentlundeliverableand spam complaints rom your list a ter every send, anpromptly handle unsubscribe requests.


    83% Yes






    Did you know that by hitting the spam button, youcould cause email from that company to not bedelivered to others who registered for and want

    to receive its messages?

    Knowing that hitting the spam button blocks thesenders emails from reaching people from who

    really want to receive them, would you continue tohit the spam button anyway?





    0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%

    What do you think happens when you reportan email as spam by hitting the

    "This is spam" button in your email program?

    Company is notified totake me off their list

    My email provider will blocktheir messages from my inbox

    Email to other subscribersmay get blocked

    Company reported forbreaking the law

    3. Provide a clear and easy-to-use opt-out mechanism

    Always o er a clear way or an email customer to unsubscribe rom uturemessages. While you may not want subscribers to leave your email pro-gram, i you make it di cult or them to do so, they may just hit the spambutton instead. I your spam complaint rates are high, consider includingan unsubscribe link at the top o your message in addition to the ooter.

    4. Dont send too often or too infrequently

    Maxing out your subscribers tolerance or your messages is never a goodstrategy. You run the risk o annoying people to the point where they hitthe spam button and walk away rom you orever. Increased requencymay raise spam complaint rates above ISP inbox thresholds, getting your

    messages blocked or ltered and reducing your overall delivery rate. It cancost you customers and direct revenue.

    But on the fip side, under-mailing can hurt, too. Email is an immediatemedium. Not only will subscribers orget about you i you wait too long tosend that all-important rst message a ter opt-in, they will lose interesti there are long gaps between messages. In addition, i you wait monthsbetween mailings, your 5 percent monthly bounce rate may suddenlyskyrocket to 20 percent or more with several months worth o dead anddormant email addresses, making you look like a spammer to the ISPseven without recipients complaints.

    Also consider clearing your list o deadwoodaddresses that haveshown no activity over a certain length o time. How requently you sand what youre sending determines how o ten you should scrub yourlist o inactive addresses. Unresponsive recipients can harm deliverabibecause ISPs will o ten use old, abandoned email addresses as honeypots or spam traps. They presume that since the address is clearly nolonger being used to opt in to any email programs, then the only peoplesending to it must be spammers.

  • 8/14/2019 SPAM - What Consumers Really Think


    Engagement Marketing SolutionsSilverpop STUDY 1-866-SILVPOP (745-8767) 2009 Copyright Silverpop. All rights reserved. The Silverpop logo is a registered trademark o Silverpop Systems Inc.

    To get around the problem o blocking senders with good reputations,Forrester Research predicts that uture ltering systems may not onlytrac