How not to be a spammer [6]: Don’t Irritate Your Readers

How can legitimate direct marketers get their messages through more reliably? How can they avoid being branded as a "spammer"?

We wrote about this problem before. See [1] and [2]. This is the fourth of an irregular series of blog posts where we'll examine some additional ideas. the previous posts in the series are here: [3] [4] [5].

Many legitimate bulk emailers worry about recipients clicking the "This Is Spam" button instead of unsubscribing. As we've said before, this might be because the recipient has forgotten that they signed up, or that they want to unsubscribe but are too lazy.

The problem with the reporting button is that every click of the button reduces your deliverability not only to that recipient, but to all recipients on that ISP or using that spam filtering solution. It also increases the likelihood of an abuse complaint made to your ISP and/or hosting company.

There's another reason why recipients might report your message as spam, which we want to talk about today. If you do stupid things and irritate your readership.

Of course, it goes without saying that the content that you send should always be useful, relevant, and desirable by recipients. (It does go without saying, doesn't it?) A sender that consistently sends me messages that are of no interest will get a request from me to unsubscribe, as sure as night follows day.

But what about some subtler examples? Here's one:

I'm on a opt-in newsletter list that sends me useful information and the occasional interesting offer. Recently, they've started sending me offers that sound very attractive. I click-through to the web page, read more, and decide to sign up. I fill in a fairly lengthy form, including information that they already know about me (stupid), click the Submit button, and ... get a page that tells me that I'm not eligible for the offer, because I don't live in the US!

That's very stupid: they already know where I live. Why then did they send me the offer? What a waste of my time. How spammy.

Do you have any examples of stupid legitimate bulk content? Let us know using the Comments feature below...

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment. To comment, first join our community.