Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Monday, March 26, 2007

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.

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Blogger Bob Coffield said...

I agree with your assessment and that email (including spam) is out of control. As an attorney my main form of communication these days in via email. Over the last 5 years there has been a tidal shift in how we communication. It use to be 90% by letter and 10% via email. It now is probably reversed.

Over the last year the volume of email I receive (spam or otherwise) has definitely increased. It has increased to a level where it is almost impossible to continue to organize and sort email as they come in. If I sorted email now days that may be all I get done in a day.

The increase in volume of email is why I believe services like GMail have become so popular. GMail does away with the need to spend time sorting and allows the user a great search tool to find the emails they need. Searching email is definitely not the forte of Outlook.

I'd be interested to hear your comments and thoughts on the value of RSS for getting your media message out. I see RSS as the solution to the exponential email growth. RSS puts the controls back in the hands of the user. As an avid RSS user I can pick and choose and stop subscribing to content that I want to receive. I would think that this is the next logical step for a marketing person who wants to make their message stand out from the volumes of email.

5:32 AM


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