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BizReport : Email Marketing : September 28, 2009

Do you know the US's spam capital?

When it comes to email marketing there are a number of rules to follow. Mailing on certain days, keeping up with lists, authenticating messages and the list goes on. But did you know that mailings to certain states could be more 'at risk' for deletion or spam flagging than others? A new report from Symantec's MessageLabs sheds light on the highest-spammed states.

by Kristina Knight

According to the report Idaho is the ">most spammed state with just over 93% of emails being spam. Other highly spammed states include Kentucky, New Jersey, Illinois, Alabama, Indiana and Massachusetts. Many of these states are seeing spam levels that exceed even the global spam rate of 86.4%. Why?

The problem really is global. There are currently between four and six million computers forming botnets, a leading cause in spam, and sending more than 151 billion emails each day. Because of this many consumers either delete or send questionable messages straight to junk folders, hurting the reputation of legitimate mailers.

"Some of the high spam levels seen across the US can be attributed to the economic challenges experienced globally since the end of 2008 as well as Internet advancement including the high adoption of social networking," said Paul Wood, MessageLabs Intelligence Senior Analyst, Symantec. "Spammers have taken full advantage of both the economic uncertainty of some and the trustworthiness of others for their own rewards. Automated tools, resilient botnets and targeted spam campaigns are all part of the spammers' toolkit and they are constantly evolving these techniques to outsmart any effort to stop them. No state is immune to the affects of spam."

What can be done? First, email marketers should be authenticating messages. Second, use white-listing practices and keep up with bouncing emails or non-responding list members. By culling lists regularly there is a better chance of reaching consumers who are in-market and engaged rather than wasting time by emailing uninterested consumers. Finally, focus some attention on states who aren't struggling with spam.

Montana, Alaska, Kansas and South Dakota are among the least-spammed states, so their consumer base may be more interested in legitimate email messages. That isn't to suggest that highly spammed states should be left off of email lists, no matter what the state, email marketers must pay close attention to list performance to get the most from marketing campaigns.

Tags: email, email marketing, email messages, MessageLabs, most spammed state, spam rates, spam trends, Symantec

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