Spam or No Spam, That is the Question

How do you determine if an email is spam or not? I rely heavily on my filters, but I can scan the list of subjects and senders and can determine very quickly what I delete and what I read.

In December 2006, the Email Sender and Provider Coalition (ESPC) conducted a survey in conjunction with marketing research firm Ipsos to provide insight into the email behaviors of today’s consumers. The ESPC surveyed a random sample of 2,252 Internet users from top U.S. ISPs (AOL, MSN/Hotmail, Yahoo!, Lycos, Excite, Gmail, Netscape, Compuserve) in order to gauge consumers’ behaviors and views toward spam, unsubscribe features and emerging anti-spam technologies.

Junk Mail

Courtesy of Michael Bretherton

Reporting Spam:

The survey results indicate a high awareness and knowledge of the “Report spam” function and its purpose.

  • 83 percent of respondents indicate that they have used a “Report Spam” button.
  • 80 percent decide whether to click on the “Report Spam” or “Junk” button without opening the actual
    message;

    • 69% base the decision on “SUBJECT”
    • 73% base the decision on “FROM”
  • 79 percent of panelists indicate they use the “Report Spam” button when they don’t know who the sender is.
  • 20 percent admit to using the “Report Spam” button as a quick way to unsubscribe.
  • 66 percent were willing to provide additional information on why they were reporting something as spam

What can we learn from this? A clear, effective subject line is critical and sending to people you know or who have requested information from you will reduce the chance of getting deleted before read.

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