MarketingSherpa and Q Interactive worked together to learn more about how consumers perceive spam. They wanted to know what people thought about spam and what people considered spam.
56% of e-mail users regard marketing e-mails as spam. If they just don't find the messages interesting, they mark it as spam. This is a strikingly high number when you think about it.
The example used in the industry is Victoria Secret. They have a brand that will only send you email if you've provided them with permission to send it to you (we would hope). However, many people mark their emails as spam for a variety of reasons. Firstly, you may order a nice gift for your loved one, and later find yourself on the Victoria Secret mailing list. We've all been in this position with one company or another. So, is it spam? I didn't really want it, and it's not really what I want to see on a Tuesday at 10AM. But, according to their policy, which I did accept, they have permission to send me email.
So, it's not surprising when so much legitimate email marketing is marked as spam. It's also not surprising that some of these people actually feel like this is spam, and that the company sending the email should have penalties for sending them the email they previously requested.
Ryan Pitylak can help you think through these issues if you'd like.