What Is Spam?

Yesterday, I discussed the fact that and, serendipitously enough, today .

While Smith’s spam ran afoul of , as I discussed yesterday, most consumers have a much looser definition of what is and is not spam.

by sheds some more light on the topic and flags some issues you should be aware of in your efforts.

The Return Path survey found that 34% of online North Americans reported the sender of what they believed to be spam email to their ISP; sixty-eight percent just deleted emails they considered spam; and 30% unsubscribed from what they considered spam.

Perhaps the surge in the volume of email received during the holiday season increases the perception that people are getting more spam. Seventeen percent found the surge in email volume overwhelming; 26% believed they just got more spam; and 24% said they got much more email but it was manageable.

The survey also confirmed the "known sender" phenomenon: That people are more likely to trust opening an email from a known source. More than 60% of online North Americans said that knowing or trusting the sender was a key factor in deciding whether to open that email. Forty-eight percent said they opened email from companies that had sent them prior valuable emails.

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