Consumer attitudes toward spam continue to shift dramatically, demanding an equal shift in email marketing strategies. In the early 2000s, spam was malicious, unrequested email. By the late 2000s, inbox providers effectively blocked all malicious spam, so consumers redefined spam as email that was irrelevant and otherwise unwanted—even if they’d given the brand permission to email them.

To understand how consumers currently define spam and why they end email relationships with brands, Litmus and Fluent surveyed more than 1,300 American adults, using Fluent’s ad serving technology.

Their findings indicate that consumers have further expanded their definition of spam, broadening it for an omnichannel world.

“Whether an email user reports an email as spam is now affected by more than just the content of the email itself,” says Jordan Cohen, Fluent’s Chief Marketing Officer. “It’s also affected by the mobile app or web landing page experience, as well as the person’s recent experiences with the brand in other channels."

In addition to spam complaint motivations, they also asked consumers about why they unsubscribe. It turns out that the same drivers that increase spam complaints also increase unsubscribes. Their research confirms that consumers are further blurring the line between unsubscribes and complaints. In their eyes, there’s now very little difference between those two actions.

Based on their findings, they’ve developed a 7-point plan for how marketers can avoid spam complaints and extend subscriber relationships.

1. Improve your permissioning to ensure that your email consents are strong

2. Send relevant emails at a good cadence

3. Create mobile-friendly emails

4. Create mobile-friendly landing page experiences

5. Make opting out easy to avoid frustrating subscribers

6. React to bad customer service experiences 

7. Maintain your subscribers’ interest

Let’s talk about how we can work together to improve your Email Marketing Campaigns… 

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 Source: E-Book “Adapting to Consumers’ New Definition of Spam”