My take on the spam button report…

Recently there was a report released (DMNews) about the use and understanding of the “Report spam” button by consumers and that they actually report legitimate email as spam.

This is not really a surprise, experience shows that users will use the button for the following reasons:

  • As an unsubscribe – ISPs are looking at ways to manage this – Hotmail was the first to implement an Unsubscribe button for “Known senders”.
  • By mistake – Users are potentially reporting a number of unsolicited email at the same time and if your message/brand is not clear you might get included in the mass report. Even personal email communications get reported as spam.
  • To tell you “It’s just not relevant – spam has evolved from pills, porn and gambling to stuff I (the consumer) just don’t want.

Mark has a great write up summarizing a few of the other articles written about this report.

Watch the trends in your Feedback Loops to identify potential issues in your email program, group these individuals by collection source (especially if your using multiple collection locations), Types of messages being sent and the demographics of your members to focus and improve your messaging so that it becomes relevant to your subscribers.

If your not watching – be warned – the ISPs and your ESP are all watching and you might just find your self in hot water with one or both of them.

Author: Matt V - @emailkarma

Matthew Vernhout is a digital messaging industry veteran and Certified International Privacy Professional (Canada) (CIPP/C) with nearly two decades of experience in email marketing. Matthew is 250ok’s Director of Privacy, and he is currently the Vice Chair of the eec, after serving for several years as the Chair of their Advocacy Subcommittee. Matthew was recognized as the 2019 eec thought-leader of the year.

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1 Comment

  1. Why do so many marketers think they have a right to send messages that their recipients don’t want?

    Seems to me that (as you often say on this blog) lack of relevancy is the brokenness, not the button.

    One thing I’d disagree with, though, is the idea that “spam has evolved from pills, porn and gambling.” It hasn’t. There’s more volume of that kind of spam than all legitimate email marketing combined, and users report it as spam all the time.

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