A new report has found that marketing emails account for more than two-thirds (70%) of spam email complaints.
This is despite the fact that marketers only account for 18% of total email volume and just 0.03% of unique domains seen by ISPs.
Return Path’s Q3 Intelligence Report, which tracked more than 315,000 campaigns, suggests the disproportionately high number of spam complaints is caused by the fact that pushing emails to the spam folder has become a shortcut for deleting them.
But it’s not difficult to see why consumers might feel overwhelmed by marketing messages.
Knowing whether or not your emails are reaching the consumer’s inbox is one of the most basic measurements of email marketing.
Yet a new survey of 333 senior marketing executives by Return Path shows that 16% of marketers have no way of tracking email deliverability.
In fact only 41% of respondents said they had the information readily available in a dashboard.
The difficulty that marketers have in measuring campaign success is reflected in the fact that 26% of marketers claimed that knowing how to optimise email marketing was the greatest challenge they faced, while 24% said that analysing campaign results was the biggest challenge.
More stringent ISP filtering and deteriorating sender reputations mean that global email deliverability declined by 6% to 76.5% in the second half of 2011.
Email certification company Return Path announced the findings in its Global Email Deliverability Benchmark report, which monitored data from 1.1m campaigns.
These covered 142 ISPS in North America, Central and Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific territories from July through December of 2011.
In the UK, 83% of marketing emails reached the inbox, with 7% being delivered to the spam folder and 10% registered as missing or blocked.
The study suggests that an increased volume of emails also contributed to the fall in delivery rates, as overwhelmed consumers are more likely to mark emails as spam rather than unsubscribing.
Valentine’s Day is a difficult one for single people, and a great many of the UK’s 15m singles turn to online dating sites to find a special someone with whom to spend the evening.
Research suggests that there are 24m first dates in the UK each year, of which 69% are arranged through online dating.
As a result, online dating is an enormously competitive market, and sites must send relevant, engaging email that perfectly matches their subscribers’ wants and needs.
It’s a commonly believed myth in email marketing that the more email addresses a sender has on their database, the higher their chance of success.
In fact, this is an inaccurate and detrimental approach and many email marketers don’t consider the consequences of contacting people who aren’t interested in their brand or, worse still, don’t exist.
The seemingly endless parade of thousands of brands you’re faced with in the weekly ‘big shop’ means it’s sometimes impossible to know where to start.
Similarly, opening my email inbox only to be confronted by a mob of generic and impersonal marketing emails trying to feed me their latest offers can be overwhelming to say the least.
The depths to which people will sink to make an easy buck through internet scams never ceases to amaze me, and we have seen phishing scams which have used the recent earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand.
For example, in the aftermath of the New Zealand earthquake, disgraceful opportunists took advantage of this natural disaster by launching a scam, posing as the Red Cross to take advantage of the world’s sense of charity.
This serves as a grim reminder of the uncomfortable truth that we are never truly protected, especially when brands and ISPs are not doing everything possible to prevent phishing and spoofing scams.
UK marketers’ number one New Year’s Resolution must be to improve the email experience they offer their subscribers.
People are simply being force-fed too much email, which is typified by the sheer volume of emails sent during the festive period, consisting of sales and promotional emails that are mostly one-dimensional, monotonous and repetitive.
Email marketing has suffered some blows recently. But companies that threaten to stop using that marketing channel certainly get noticed. Rumors of Ben & Jerry's killing its email newsletter created a mild tempest online recently. Just this week, The Onion's AV Club stopped email messages, and Pepsi created ire among fans for simply moving some of its messaging from Facebook to Twitter.
Now there's a study that says email marketers aren't adapting their marketing emails to customer changes. They're sending messages to unresponsive email accounts, and according to Return Path, only 12.5% of marketers are doing anything about it.
Email deliverability remains a problem, particularly in North America, where 20 percent of permission-based commercial email landed in the junk folder or wasn't delivered at all.
Things went slightly better last year in Europe where 3.6 percent of the same type of email was junked and another 11 percent went missing entirely. The Asia Pacific region performed marginally better.