“This is spam” is not a substitute for “Unsubscribe”

According to a recent survey promoted by MarketingSherpa most consumers don’t correctly comprehend the term “spam”: 56% consider marketing messages from known senders to be spam if the message is “just not interesting to me.” But there’s more. Regarding the use of the “report spam” button – the primary tool that internet service providers (ISPs) provide readers to counter spam – nearly half of respondents (48%) provided a reason other than “did not sign up for email” for reporting an email as spam.
Confusion is pervasive among consumers regarding what they believe will happen as a result of clicking the “report spam” button:

* Over half of respondents, 56%, reported that it will “filter all email from that sender.”

* 21% said it will notify the sender that the recipient did not find that specific email useful so the sender will “do a better job of mailing me” in the future.

* 47% said they would be unsubscribed from the list by clicking “report spam,” whereas 53% do not think that’s the case.

Not surprisingly, accompanying such confusion is the frequent misuse of the “report spam” button:

* A large number of consumers, 43%, forgo advertiser-supplied unsubscribe links in email and simply use the ISP’s “report spam” button to unsubscribe from an advertiser’s list – regardless of whether the email fits the consumer’s definition of spam.

* 21% use the “report spam” button to unsubscribe from email that they specifically do not consider spam.

That’s not a great scenario. Actually “This is spam” button should be used on a message you know for certain you did not sign up to receive and to report a truly spam message that has arrived. That’s the purpose of the spam button.

But then how can we limit this misuse?
A good start is to personalize the form field with your company name or brand.  You could then analyze your newsletters: is the unsubscribe link easy to find?  how many clicks are necessary to be unsubscribed by your list?  A good idea to limit complaints is to move the unsubscribe link to the top of your message.
And finally do not be lazy! Before sending out another newsletter make sure to unsubscribe all the recipients who have previously requested to be canceled!

Via | Marketingsherpa