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BizReport : : November 28, 2012

Return Path: Majority of spam complaints relate to legitimate emails

Marketers risk being labeled a "spam brand", according to new research from Return Path that found the majority of "this is spam" complaints relate to legitimate emails. The solution? Keep recipient enthusiasm high.

by Helen Leggatt

return-path-logo.jpegEmail recipients are flagging legitimate email newsletters and notifications as spam, according to Return Path's July-September Email Intelligence Report. In fact, marketing messages were found to account for a whopping 70% of spam complaints.

Marketing messages also accounted for 60% of all hits on spam traps, email addresses used to catch and flag spam.

According to George Bilbrey, Return Path co-founder and president, the high percentage of spam complaints from marketing messages results from email recipients failing to use a formal unsubscribe process, and instead choosing to use the "this is spam" button.

Compared to the same period in 2011, marketers' inbox placement rates have decreased about 5%. The practice of spam reporting instead of unsubscribing could well be behind declining email deliverability rates, according to the report.

"While this makes it more difficult for marketers because a previously interested recipient may now be marking their information as spam, it is also important that marketers learn from these actions and consider changing their email marketing strategy to keep recipient enthusiasm high," said Bilbrey.

Tags: email marketing, email performance, engagement, spam, unsubscribe

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