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Let’s Talk About Spam

No Spam!

Spam is one of those four letter words that, if you’re a marketer, you never want to hear. To spam is to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. As a marketer, landing a spot in someone’s spam folder is tragic.

Return Path released their first Q3 Email Intelligence Report looking at email placement, reputation and performance. We took a look at this report and gathered the following.  

Email Marketing is effective, if it makes it to the Inbox.

  • Email marketing is an ROI powerhouse. The ROI per Dollar spent in Q3 was $40.56 for email, $22.24 for organic search and only $19.72 for display ads. As you can see, email marketing still produces the greatest ROI, making it the most effective marketing tool. If, you can land a spot in the inbox, that is.
  • There is a reason that people sign up for email newsletters, plain and simple, they want to receive them. 29% of the emails we receive are marketing newsletters, compared to 9% of social alerts.
  • Of all emails sent, marketing emails see the most complaints in the inbox.

Why does a newsletter never make it into the Inbox?

  • The ‘Mark as Spam’ button is often used for anything the recipient does not wish to receive, even if they originally opted in to receive the newsletter. To combat this, marketers should be constantly tracking their newsletters' analytics, and make note of complaints, clicks, unsubscribes, etc.
  • Spam traps are another obstacle keeping your newsletters from hitting the Inbox.  There are two types of spam traps, pristine and recycled.
  • Pristine: Pristine traps are new email addresses that never sign up for email, and exist to identify spammers. Any marketer with a legitimate list should never be caught in such a trap.
  • Recycled: Recycled spam traps are emails that were once active, but have been abandoned for an extended period of time. Again, with proper email list hygiene this trap can be avoided.

Avoiding spam traps is easily avoided if you are maintaining your emails lists, and updating them as you go to avoid sending to inactive emails, unsubscribes, complainers, etc.

Once a marketer has been deemed a spammer, it is very difficult to rid yourself of that reputation, leading to poor inbox placement, lower open rates, and little ROI.

So, how can you avoid being pegged a spammer?

  1. Track your emails! Do your research. Make sure that you remove all complainers, bounced email addresses, and unsubscribes from your email list.  Stay up to date with this, as it can take as little as 6 months for an abandoned email address to be converted into a spam trap.
  2. Avoid using Spam trigger words. Stay tuned for a list of the 50 most common spam trigger words.
  3. Send useful and relevant content that engages your subscribers. Providing your readers with shareable and pertinent email newsletters, not just promotions, gives them a reason to open your newsletter and read it, rather than hit the ‘Mark as Spam’ button.
  4. Include an unsubscribe option in every newsletter. You made sure they wanted to be on the list, but lets just say they want out. Let them. Allowing a person to easily unsubscribe from your email list decreases the likelihood they will hit the ‘Mark as Spam’ button.
  5. Keep your email format clean and consistent. Avoid using too many fonts and colors. Keeping your newsletter professional and easily recognizable to your subscribers lessens the chances of them mistaking your email newsletter for another and marking it as spam. 

Spam is one of those four letter words, as a marketer, you never want to hear. Luckily, if you use GreenRope, you can easily track and see where you stand on the spammer scale.


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