The practice of spam, which consists of using electronic means to send unsolicited messages, is highly detrimental to the credibility of companies
Who has never received an email with offers of medicine to lose 30kg in a month, get rich overnight, have hair back, among other miraculous promises?
Practised by malicious people or even by companies that mistakenly see it as an easy and cheap way to advertise products and services, SPAM is highly harmful to the reputation of brands.
In a Digital Marketing strategy, SPAM is also the shortest way to reach the dreaded blacklists.
Therefore, in this post, Blue World City will talk about the origin of this practice so infamous and we bring some tips for you to keep your strategy away from it.
What is SPAM?
Sending unsolicited messages on the internet was dubbed SPAM after a skit by the British humor group Monty Python.
In the program, two customers go to a cafe and realize that canned foods from the US brand SPAM are part of every item on the menu — even if the customer doesn’t want to.
The practice of SPAM consists of using electronic means to send unsolicited messages, generally with the aim of advertising products and services, but also to apply scams, spread rumors and spread malicious software (or malware ).
One of the main features of SPAM is the sending of mass advertising. That’s because, since the recipients are random, it is necessary to reach as many people as possible to generate interest in a small portion, compensating the spammer’s effort. Messages are also forwarded in a short time and at a low cost.
It’s hard to name any benefits of SPAM, but when it comes to disadvantages, the list is immense.
For companies, in addition to eroding credibility, sending SPAM is a way to generate unnecessary expenses, as sending emails and other messages that could be forwarded to really interested people are wasted.
For the receiver, inconvenience is the main damage, as SPAM makes them waste time opening and deleting unnecessary messages.
Although the classic way to practice SPAM is email, it can arrive through several other channels that send messages in bulk. Learn more about SPAM in each of them:
SPAM in Email Marketing
The line that defines SPAM and Email Marketing is often a fine one.
Both SPAM and Email Marketing are fired for commercial purposes. However, the same message can be considered SPAM by one person and friendly by another, if the first one has not opted to receive it. This authorization is called an opt-in.
If a recipient does not choose to receive emails from your company and still receives them, you can mark the email as SPAM. Such a complaint has a heavy reputational impact, and the more complaints, the worse the delivery.
Some email servers, tired of so much SPAM, decided to track the IP of the server who sent the messages and put them on a kind of blacklist.
Whenever an email comes from that server, it is immediately considered SPAM. The practice worked well and this list was shared with other servers.
The main providers today use this list, and once you’ve joined it, it’s very difficult to get out. Our suggestion to overcome this barrier is to send Email Marketing only if you have permission.
The only way to get out of a blacklist is to prove you had the opt-in to send the message. In order not to enter it, always follow the good practices of Email Marketing.
Spamdexing involves some of the various techniques of black hat SEO, which are attempts to manipulate search engines to index content and get a better ranking on Google.
These practices are harmful to your website, however. We know that since the 2000s Google has frequently updated its algorithm to identify techniques for manipulating results, punishing sites that use them (even removing these sites from the search engine, in the most extreme cases) and prioritizing those that offer quality content and focused on the user.
SPAM on blogs
Have you ever seen totally irrelevant comments on blogs and forums, just for the purpose of including a link? This is another attempt to get authority and traffic more easily.
The practice, which was once very common to try to improve page ranking, fell out of favor with the inclusion of the nofollow tag in these spaces. The tag identifies to search engine robots that all links inserted in the site should not receive any authority.
Today the only advantage that still exists to include a link in comments and forums is the generation of traffic and, in some cases, the possibility of generating Leads.
In this case, if the link is relevant to the forum discussion or content comments, including a link in those places can have positive results.
SPAM in messaging and SMS apps
The forms of communication evolved, and SPAM as well. Thus, apps like WhatsApp, Telegram and Skype have been targeted by spammers.
Those who receive this type of message can block and report the accounts that sent the SPAM or change the privacy settings to receive messages only from their own contacts.
As a result, with the popularity of messaging apps like the ones mentioned above, the old SMS has ended up underused, serving more for sending SPAM than for its original purpose. There are even applications dedicated to blocking this type of SPAM — an example is the Call Blocker.
SPAM on social networks
On social networks, unwanted content can manifest itself in different ways, such as groups, comment boxes, personal messages, malicious links, fake profiles, among others.
In groups or communities, the spammer can take advantage of people’s common interests to make related advertisements. Already in the comments of fan pages or busy publications, you can post promotion links randomly.
How to keep your Digital Marketing strategy away from SPAM
In addition to not practising the SPAM techniques listed above, there are some actions you can take to ensure that your Digital Marketing strategy is free from this practice. Check out some:
1. Don’t buy email lists
When we talk about Email Marketing, it is important to keep in mind that under no circumstances buying emails is beneficial.
Purchased lists often contain addresses that belong to random people who, in addition to not having given permission to receive your emails, are probably not interested in your product or service.
There are a number of reasons not to buy mailing lists: First, any unauthorized message is an inconvenient interruption. In addition, the user can mark the company as SPAM, harming deliverability, and injure it on social networks, which destroys credibility.
You can capture emails from your website visitors with Landing Pages, pop-ups and forms. That way, they know they will receive your communications, leaving you to send relevant content to build relationships that lead to sales. All of this can be done with RD Station Marketing
2. Sanitize your email list
Speaking of email lists, remember to sanitize yours! The main purpose of sanitization is to remove all emails that are neither valid nor relevant for your company’s upcoming campaigns.
If you are sending emails to many addresses that do not exist, this is seen as a strong sign that the list is not quality and is not being treated with due care.
Thus, the sending email server is “unseen” and, even when the message is relevant and the recipient wants to receive the email, the content can end up in anti-spam filters.
In practice, sanitization serves to eliminate irrelevant emails and is essential to maintain a good reputation and ensure good deliverability.
3. Do not use click-hunting titles
Click-hunting titles are used a lot on Facebook. In case you don’t remember, they’re the ones like “you won’t believe what happened in such a place” and usually don’t tell you what the content is about unless the user clicks on the link.
Since 2014, Facebook has been fighting this strategy. Last year, the social network released an update to further ban the practice.
The system implemented by Facebook identifies if a post has characteristics that omit information necessary for understanding the content of the article and that create misleading expectations in the reader, reducing the organic reach of these fan pages .
To avoid these punishments, be clear on your titles! And, in addition, deliver in the text what the statement promises.
4. Write faceless SPAM emails
Avoid emails written in red or with characteristics normally associated with SPAM, such as the miraculous promises we mentioned at the beginning of the post.
There are a few things you can follow so that your email doesn’t look unwanted: limit the subject to about 50 characters and don’t use capital letters; avoid using excessively terms such as promotion, free, click here, free, credit etc.; don’t exaggerate the use of exclamations and question marks.
Also read: How to create Email Marketing subjects that arouse curiosity + 30 templates
5. Use HTML templates
Major email services (such as Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo!) have a default security lock for viewing any email that has its content all in images.
With our day to day more and more abundant of information, it is rare that users have time and interest to the point of authorizing the exhibition and only then discovering what the email is about and see if it’s worth clicking.
This doesn’t work well. The email needs to show what it came from right away. When using just an image, many recipients will ignore the email, or delete it or mark it as SPAM.
The best way to make sure that the email message will be transmitted to the recipient, even if the recipient does not authorize the display of the images, is to use an HTML email template with good distribution between text and images with alt tags.
Preferably, use HTML templates that are already ready and optimized for different services and devices. Most tools provide these templates and, if you prefer, with a quick Google search you can already find many with excellent quality.
6. Don’t be pushy on social media
A common form of SPAM on social networks is to take advantage of the comments section of publications that are booming to spread fanpages, products, services, websites, among others. This can lead to your profile or fan page being reported and, in extreme cases, taken down.
Currently, there are also bots that follow people on Facebook, Instagram and other social networks in order to get followers, in an automation of the famous “follow back”. But if you try to follow a personal profile and get turned down, don’t insist!
In either case, it’s best to produce interesting content to be organically followed by people interested in your business.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is SPAM?
SPAM is the practice of using electronic means to send unsolicited messages. In general, the purpose of SPAM is to advertise products and services, but also to apply scams, spread rumors and spread malicious software. Its name is based on a Monty Python skit.
What types of SPAM are there?
Although the classic way to practice SPAM is email, it can come through several other channels that send mass messages, such as: SPAM in blogs, SPAM in messaging and SMS applications, SPAM in social networks and Spamdexing.
What is the difference between SPAM and Email Marketing?
SPAM and Email Marketing are fired for commercial purposes. However, the same message can be considered SPAM by one person and friendly by another, if the first one has not opted to receive it. This authorization is called an opt-in. If a recipient does not choose to receive emails from your company and still receives them, they can mark the email as SPAM.
How to avoid SPAM in a digital marketing strategy?
Don’t practice SPAM techniques, don’t buy email lists, sanitize your email list, don’t use click-hunting titles, write emails without a SPAM face, use HTML templates, don’t be insistent on social networks.