In 2004, Bill Gates predicted that spam will be solved in two years. Still, we see it everywhere on the internet.
Companies and individuals use shady marketing techniques like spam to get marketing benefits. Instead, they just annoy users.
Spam has reached email, social media, search engines, and more. It seems like Bill’s prediction has failed miserably. In fact, we are witnessing an increase in spam rather than control over it.
This article is all about spam marketing. I’ll talk about its background and different types of spam. I’ll discuss five ways to avoid it.
Ready? Let’s get to it.
How Did Spam Marketing Start?
Spam or electronic spamming involves sending unsolicited messages using electronic media. Mostly, it is related to ads of a single company.
The most recognized form is email spam. However, there are more forms of spams, such as:
- Unsolicited Emails: It’s is the most common online spamming tactic. People will buy lists and use shady practices to reach customers personally.
- Spam in search & content marketing: It involves site scraping and duplicate content. It also includes paid backlinks.
- Social media spam: Facebook considers it spam if you contact people with unwanted content or requests.
- PPC Fraud: It happens when someone pays people to click on a competitor’s ads just to increase their cost.
The origin of the word “spam” dates back to the 20th century. A food product named “Spam” was introduced. Soon, it was disliked by several people.
The food product “Spam” was canned spiced ham (combine these two words, and we get spam.). The name got more popular when a Monty Python sketch featured Spam in every dish. Gradually, this name became undesirable.
Although spam got its name in the 20th century, it started well before the 1900s. A London-based dentist sent unsolicited messages to members of the British Parliament somewhere in the 19th century.
However, they didn’t welcome it. In fact, one of them sent it to the editor of The Times of London to complain. The editor published it in the newspaper that must have become a source of distrust for the dentist’s business.
Five Ways to Avoid Spam Marketing
Serve Your Audience
If this is your intention, your chances of being considered spam are almost zero. If you follow this rule, you’ll send an email only when it serves your audience. You’ll craft a blog post when it matters the most to your audience.
But we witness spam content often. Content that is not created to serve your audience.
No one creates content with the intention of making it spam. But when your priority is generating backlinks, scoring first on Google’s first page, or to generating more leads, then your content can become spam.
There is no problem with having these kinds of goals. But your priority should be serving your audience.
You want to create content that is valuable and relevant. An email that gets replies. A blog post that will inspire them. A YouTube video they will share on different social media.
Avoid Spam Words
You might be using spam words without knowing about them. For example, the London-based fundraising website Go Get Funding had this problem. They were using “raise money!” in their welcome emails.
Changing the words to “raise funds” and removing the exclamation point helped them with their delivery rates. Like money, words such as free, buy, and promo should be handled with care.
Present Your Identity
This is an obvious way to avoid coming off as spam. But I don’t know why people choose to use impersonal or generic email addresses.
Instead, your email address should preferably include your personal name. In addition to that, yourname@company is far better than firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember that your customers should identify you easily on all marketing channels, not just email.
Interact Without Marketing Goals In Mind
This might sound weird, but it works. If you are interacting with people just for marketing purposes, you might be going towards spam.
Take the example of comment spam. If you start posting comments with your website’s link on other people’s blogs, you will be deemed untrustworthy. And if you are using spambots or scripts, you are risking too much.
Think about it: why would you want to post a link in a comment if someone hasn’t asked for it? Maybe you want to do it for SEO purposes. And yes, it can help with SEO, but you should not risk doing spamming for a little SEO juice.
Seek Expert Advice
In your opinion, you are doing everything right, but still, you are regarded as spam.
It sounds a bit harsh, but you might be lacking sound knowledge and hands-on experience of the craft.
We, at Blue Waves Digital, do content marketing every day. We know what works and what doesn’t. You can reach out to us for help.
Or you might have another marketing agency in mind. It doesn’t matter. In the end, you should be doing things right.
Working with professionals has many advantages. Marketing firms will handle your email list, content plans, and more. For example, did you know that 30,000 emails a month or more enable ISPs to recognize legitimate senders? What if you don’t send that many emails?
Then, the professional will move you to a recognized emailing service such as Constant Contact, iContact, or Mailchimp. This way, you’ll be perceived as more credible. But if you did everything yourself, it would have taken you so much time to learn about these tricks.
Spam marketing is a bad practice, but the problem is that individuals who lack knowledge and practice start doing it.
Use the tips and strategies discussed in this article to avoid coming off as spam.
And let me know what topic you want me to cover in the next post.