A study conducted by marketing services firm Q Interactive and MR agency MarketingSherpa has found that many consumers are reporting legitimate e-mail communications as spam.
The Spam Complainers Survey investigated consumer perceptions of what they consider to be spam, why they report e-mails as spam, and what they think happens when the 'Report Spam' button is clicked.
Fifty-six percent of respondents say they sometimes report messages as spam even if they know the sender or just aren't interested in the message sent, whereas 50% consider that receiving too many e-mails from companies they do know is also spam. Around a third (31%) said that they consider e-mails that were once useful but aren't relevant anymore are spam.
Consumers are also confused about what happens when they click on the 'Report Spam' button. More than half of respondents (56%) thought doing so would filter all e-mail from that particular sender, while 21% believe it will notify the sender that the recipient did not find the e-mail useful. Again, around half of those asked (47%) believe that they will be unsubscribed from a list by reporting an e-mail as spam.
In addition, 43% don't bother to use the advertiser's unsubscribe links in an e-mail and prefer to use the 'Report Spam' button in the belief this will remove them from the advertiser's mailing list.
'Spam complaints are the primary metric that ISPs use to determine e-mail delivery. This study shows that consumers don't really understand how the complaint system works and that e-mailers don't understand how consumers define spam,' commented Stefan Tornquist, Research Director at MarketingSherpa.
To address this miscommunication among consumers, Q Interactive is calling on the industry to better educate consumers and for ISPs to better process this data.
MarketingSherpa was founded in March 2000 and became part of research and marketing science firm MECLABS in November 2006 (www.mrweb.com/drno/news7575.htm ).
Web sites: www.qinteractive.com and www.marketingsherpa.com .
All articles 2006-20 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.