Did you know that every time you mark an email as spam a marketer dies? This of course is not true but as someone who works in the field of marketing, I can say it sure feels that way.

spam literally kills marketers

With all of the emails you are getting in response to the GDPR coming into effect, we thought this would be a great opportunity to discuss this very serious issue. Companies are coming out of the woodwork to grace your inbox. Email lists you didn’t even know you were subscribed to, and brands you haven’t even heard of are asking if you still want to receive their emails. The first round of emails was the “Updating Our Privacy Policy” and now it’s moved onto the “Do You Still Want To Hear From Us?” emails. We agree it’s overwhelming – trust us, we’re getting the same emails as you. We sympathize, but here’s why you should never flag a marketing email as spam.

 There’s an unsubscribe for a reason

Just because emails you may be receiving are no longer relevant to you, doesn’t mean they are spam. Take me for example. I have 3 different email addresses and those are just my personal accounts. There’s the one I use for important communications like paying bills, another one for online shopping, and one I use when I don’t really want to give someone my email address. I get a ton of emails and still, it’s rare that I receive a totally unwarranted email. At some point or another, I signed up for any one of the hundreds of email communications I receive in my inbox every day. Just because the content is no longer relevant to me does not mean I’m being spammed.

Behind every email you receive is a marketing fairy like myself, who puts time, effort and a little bit of magic into every email that ends up in your inbox. We agree that no one should be forced to receive emails from brands they have no interest in, that’s why there are laws in place that prevent this. Companies are required to give users the alibility to easily unsubscribe from email communications. Unsubscribing is empowering because it gets you one step closer to a clean inbox full of content from brands you actually want to hear from. Who doesn’t want that?

It affects deliverability

There’s a difference between unsubscribing from an email and marking it as spam. A high unsubscribe rate does not reflect well on a marketing team’s performance, especially if it increases progressively. Unsubscribe rates could mean that your content is not relevant to the user or your emails are too being sent too frequently. However undesirable, unsubscribe rates are not as bad as being flagged as spam. Spam is an email you never signed up for. Spam is unsolicited. Every time someone marks one of your emails as spam it counts against your credibility. Each abuse complaint report is handled by the individual email service provider and ultimately effects your email deliverability for clients within that email service, including those who actually want to see your emails.

Unless it really is spam

No one appreciates spam emails, they are annoying, intrusive and potentially dangerous. Often times, users are tricked into downloading malware, following unsafe links, and sharing their private information with malicious parties via spam email. You can spot spammy emails from a mile away. Some warning signs:

  • No option to unsubscribe
  • Dear Sir or Madam
  • They ask you for a favor or personal information
  • The sender’s email address looks spammy/fake
  • They try to get you to click a link because it’s critical to your wellbeing 

If an email really is spam you should mark it as so, but if you are flagging it as spam out of your own personal laziness, on behalf of marketers everywhere we are asking you to please unsubscribe instead. The difference for you? There is no difference. Besides perhaps the additional click it takes to unsubscribe, you achieve the same results and make a difference in a marketer’s life.

why you should not flag a marketing email as spam