Consumers Unclear About What Constitutes Spam

What’s considered spam has changed in recent years from unsolicited email to unwanted email. Understanding what consumers consider spam and why they report emails as spam are key ingredients in effective email insurance marketing.

Consider the findings of the “Spam Complainers Survey” completed by Q Interactive and MarketingSherpa last year:

Most consumers don’t have a clear definition of what constitutes spam:

  • 56 percent consider emails from known senders to be spam if the message is “just not interesting to me.”

  • 50 percent of respondents consider “too frequent emails from companies I know” to be spam.

  • 31 percent cite “emails that were once useful but aren’t relevant anymore.”

Consumers also use their ISP’s report spam button to mark messages as spam that don’t necessarily fit the bill. Nearly half of respondents (48 percent) provided a reason other than “did not sign up for email” for reporting an email as spam.

Respondents cited various non-permission-based reasons for hitting the spam button:

  • “The email was not of interest to me” (41 percent).

  • “I receive too much email from the sender” (25 percent).

  • “I receive too much email from all senders” (20 percent).