The Real Cost of Spam with Your Eggs

by Louellen Coker on February 22, 2009

Whether or not you like SPAM with your eggs in the morning,you likely get a healthy dose of spam delivered to your inbox, IM, cell phone, or chat room each and every day. Spam that arrives in your inbox is a little different than the spam that is involved in Spamdexing, but it is annoying just the same.

What is Spam, Anyway?

Spam, is not the same as SPAM®—the processed meat product that was created in 1937 and played a huge part of feeding soldiers and recipients of humanitarian aid during World War II. In its broadest definition, spam is any email you didn’t want to receive (whether or not the sender broke any rules). The most common definition is that spam is unsolicited email—kind of like that junk mail that mysteriously arrives in your mailbox.

So, What’s the Big Deal with Spam?

You may be one of the fortunate ones who can wonder, what’s the big deal about a few extra emails? And ask what’s the big deal about deleting a few emails? If you fall into this category, my hat goes off to you (and I want to know your secret)! For the rest of us, we spend a good deal of time weeding through an unending crop of unsolicited emails day after day, after day, after day….

Though you can get rid of spam with a click of a mouse or delete button, spam actually has some very real costs for your business.

Spam is a huge productivity sucker!

It takes time to go through your inbox. Express Computer Online tells us, “According to other industry sources, spam costs businesses around $20.5 billion annually in decreased productivity as well as in technical expenses. The average loss per employee annually because of spam is approximately $1,934.”

Spam sucks up your fiscal resources!

Whether you funnel your email through an email host such as Rackspace, or pay someone to constantly tweak your spam settings, you’re spending money I’m pretty sure you’d rather be spending elsewhere. Spamming is such a problem that there is an ever-increasing number of lawsuits being filed, with healthy fines being imposed on those who violate the spamming laws.

Spam sucks up your physical resources!

Many of our clients are required by law to store all email that they receive for a set period of time. For those that receive 1000s of unsolicited emails each day per user, server space will eventually fill up.

Spam causes you to lose valuable communication with your customers!

Inevitably important emails will randomly be filtered by your junk mail filter. And whether it’s a request for a quote or a service ticket, misdirected emails can cause you to miss opportunities or appear unprofessional to your clients. (The excuse, “Your email got caught in my spam filter” is so common that with some people give it the same credibility that a teacher gives a student’s “The dog ate my homework” excuse.

Spam causes you to lose credibility!

Increasingly, Content Solutions customers are adding email campaigns to their conversations with their customers. And, judging by the number of emails that I receive every day, it’s a widespread movement. Unfortunately, not everyone follows the rules about contacting existing and potential clients. Frustrated users click “block sender” and/or “report as spam” when they recieve your communication. When this happens, not only does your client not receive your email, you’ve fallen into the “spammer” category in their eyes. Generally not a good place to be.

How Can I Communicate Effectively with My Clients?

Online communication is here to stay. We work with our clients to answer just this question. As we build your email marketing campaign, we

  • Pack your communique with information your client might want to know.
  • Send emails regularly, but don’t overwhelm your customer with too many emails.
  • Build your email list the right way.
  • Be aware of the spamming laws and the CAN-SPAM Act and make sure you’re following the rules.

What are the Most Common Errors DIYers Make?

If you opt to embark on the journey of building and sending your own email campaigns, you’ll want to avoid a few innocent mistakes

  • Forgetting to include physical mailing address in the email footer
  • Failure to properly clean unsubscribers from a list
  • Misuse of the word “free” in subject lines
  • Not warning about inappropriate content in your subject lines

The list goes on. Most email marketing services have a great deal of information included in their blogs and support materials that will help you create a spam-free communication.

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