Do You Hate Spam?

Email marketers are people. And people don’t like spam.

Those are two statements I feel comfortable making. And if both are true, then the transitive property would tell us that Email Marketers don’t like Spam.

And yet, so many email marketers are spammers. And countless other, would-be email marketers don’t get the full ROI out of their email programs because they’re afraid to be seen as spammers.

Its 2015 people. The rules are pretty clear. We know what spam is. And we know how to be successful email marketers without spamming people.

The good news is that spam levels are their lowest since spamming became a thing people did. The bad news is that far too many companies are still spamming people.

There is no longer any excuse to sending spam. If you don’t know whether or not your email marketing programs could be considered spam, do the research. Talk to consultants or account managers at the big email marketing platforms. Review all your emails, how you get the names, etc.

You can succeed at email marketing without pissing people off. I promise.

What is Spam?

It’s not a tasty ham substitute.

When we refer to spam on this blog, we are referring to email. Specifically, we’re referring to email that for one reason or another is not solicited.

Back in the day, we all had a “Junk” folder. Gmail made it popular to refer to it as a “Spam” folder, because that’s where your spam goes.

In reality, spam and junk are referring to the same thing. When we get an envelope in the mail from a bank or credit card company we don’t belong to saying, “You’ve been pre-approved”, we know it’s junk. Spam is the same thing, in our email inboxes.

Either the email is from a company that we never signed up with, or it’s an email that does not apply to us, or its unexpectedly high pressure, creepy, or sales-y in nature. It’s a turnoff, and if it lands in our inbox, we’re not happy.

Being seen by your customers or potential customers as guilty of spamming them is not a good thing. It can ruin your reputation, steering you in the direction of a used car salesman.

And nowadays, the term spam has spread far enough that it can apply to any promotional message that we might view is unsolicited and inconvenient. A popup ad on a website feels spammy. A flyer stuffed in my door or stuck on my car’s windshield feels spammy.

Spam is not good marketing.

Spam is what gives marketers a bad name.