SPAM is Out of Control
More thoughts on e-mail marketing. SPAM is clutter, purely and simply. We would all like to ignore it ... perhaps make it go away. That does not appear likely to happen. Consider the following:
"Nine out of every 10 messages delivered on the Internet are SPAM. The volume of SPAM has doubled in the last year."
Source: New York Times, Dec. 6, 2006.
And the Times may have lowballed the estimate, in light of the following:
"Volume of SPAM has tripled in the last six-month period."
Source: Return Path, Inc., 2007.
Unsolicited messages are junking up the e-mail medium, choking it with useless clutter. If we want to conduct effective marketing via e-mail, we must keep tabs on such conditions. The marketing genius will learn to mitigate the threats and challenges associated with SPAM.
Two insights immediately emerge. First and foremost, you have to get your message opened to stand a chance to be effective. That means that our message has to stand out from all of the SPAM. It has to appear legitimate, relevant and compelling. It has to appear to come from a recognizable, trusted source. Does your message appear to originate from your company ... or does it appear to come from a third party ... or does it originate from some cryptic source? Check your "From" field. Are you utlizing your "Subject" field effectively? Never leave it blank. (We'll cover this in depth later.)
Finally, we don't want our message to look like SPAM. Not even a chance of being confused as an unsolicited message is tolerable. If your message causes the recipient to hit the "Mark As Spam" button, your e-mail reputation could be tarnished. You could wind up blacklisted (more to come on this topic).
Alas, marketing genius, do not despair. A little knowledge combined with some best practices will enable you to conquer the SPAM plague.