Spam: what is this junk email?

email spam, what is spam

Spam is junk mail, usually in email messages. It can be sent in large quantities to unknown recipients or in small quantities to known recipients. It is usually commercial, but it can also include political or malicious content.

So how do you identify them? How to prevent from receiving them? What should you do to not be identified as a spammer when you send email campaigns?  

From spicy ham to inboxes, you are going to know all about this important part of email deliverability: spam. 

What is spam?

Nowadays, everyone uses the term spam. This is a very aggressive online marketing form that tries to reach the maximum number of users without targeting a specific customer. They are being sent in bulk without any targeting to people who have not requested an advertising message from the sender.

In addition to overloading our inboxes, they have a strong environmental impact due to the amount of electricity used to store them when they are not deleted.

Spam, a spicy idea?

We all know the term spam, but do you actually know its origin?

The story begins in 1937, when the American company Hormel Foods registered the brand name “SPiced hAM” or “Spiced Pork And Meat”. 

In 1970, the famous British humor team Monty Python performed a sketch in which a waitress proposed a menu with spiced ham in every dish.

"Egg and spam, egg bacon and spam, egg bacon sausage and spam, spam bacon sausage and spam, spam egg spam bacon and spam, spam sausage spam bacon spam tomato and spam..", announced the waitress, as a Viking group that was also there echoed her words, singing "SPAM! SPAM! SPAM!"

As a result, according to the BBC, Monty Python fans were inundated with the word Spam repeated hundreds of times. From then on, the term was used to define irrelevant words that interfere with conversations.

In 1978, the first spam was sent by Gary Thuerk’s company. The company mailed about 600 of its contacts an invitation to a product demonstration. 

Today, spam has taken many different forms and has become popular, peaking in the summer of 2008 and accounting for approximately 95% of all messages exchanged, according to Symantec. 

How to recognize a spam?

Most spams have a commercial purpose, they promote a product or service and seek to be clicked on. But spams are not necessarily commercial, they can also be political or malevolent.

To recognize these unwanted and unsolicited messages, here are some features that will help you easily identify them:

  • The sender or the domain name are different, contain errors or are falsified (example: a letter has been changed),
  • It contains major spelling mistakes, conjugation errors, …
  • The subject is not relevant to you, and typically the topics of these emails are :
    • Adult industry and dating
    • Drug industry, medicines (for sexual stimulation, to prevent aging, for weight loss, …)
    • Money, related gambling,

There are also in spam, emails more “personal” requesting to resend the mail to these contacts, as well as emails offering money in response to them.

Finally, frauds, such as phishing (with the aim of stealing personal data), are also considered as spam.

How not to be defined as a spam?

Are you planning to write emailing campaigns to offer your services to your leads or do you simply want to inform your customers about a news concerning your company? But you are wondering how not to be considered as a spammer?

Here are some tips to help you not to be considered as a spammer by the providers and land in mailboxes.

Avoid spam by working on your email form

First, you'll need to consider how you're going to introduce yourself to your email recipients. You must be transparent with your intentions.
Your emailing must be read by your targets without them feeling offended. For example, if you want to sell products and services, avoid using too much commercial language: spam is synonymous with meaningless commercial emails.
Regarding the form, avoid making the email too long. The main purpose of an emailing is to transmit information to a recipient: there is no point in drowning him under a huge amount of text.

Make your email attractive so it doesn't end up in spam

Having the right content is also essential to ensure that you are not considered a spammer.
The content of your emailing should be categorized according to the target you want to reach. Appealing to the recipients' curiosity is always a good idea, but you don't want to get too commercial, either.
Choose content that is likely to interest them, but not too presumptuous. For example, if you want to introduce yourself to a new client, there's no need to try to convince them that your company is the best on the market.
An emailing should also be short and concise. You can use text, images, graphics, etc. In any case, make your email visually appealing.

Follow the standards of the fight against spam

Next, you will need to pick the right time to send your emailings. Avoid sending emailing campaigns in a hurry. Consider the interest that the recipients of your emailing may have in receiving the email you send them. Test their interest in your email campaign.

  • Get an explicit agreement from the recipient on the volume and frequency of the emails that will be sent
  • The email must be consistent with its title and specify if it is a promotional content
  • A quick unsubscribe link highlighted The customer must have the option to reply to the email with a similar address
  • Have a public WHOIS (contraction of who is?) that allows to easily find the person who takes care of an IP address or a domain name.
    And do not forget to add a link to close your emailing: this will show the recipients that you want to share useful information with them and avoid them feeling attacked by your emails.

  • In conclusion, spam is defined as unwanted e-mail. This is usually due to a lack of filtering, poor email hygiene or a compromised email account. Spam can have a negative impact on the deliverability and reputation of your emails.

    If you are experiencing problems with the delivery of your spam emails, contact MailSoar.