SPAM – Or how not to bother your customers !

In 1970, the world acclaimed British comedy show “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” made a sketch about a cafe that only served breakfasts containing SPAM in it. As the desperate costumer tried to ask for something without SPAM he was rudely bother by a group of vikings chanting the nonsense words “SPAM, SPAM SPAM…”

From then on the word became a synonym of something annoying, it wasn’t until the early 90’s that the word found a meaning in the context of electronic communications. Nowadays we regard SPAM as “Unsolicited Bulk Email”*,meaning that the recipient of the email hasn’t granted any permission to receive such communications, and that the email is part of a collection of several emails with the exact same content.

Most of the times these emails have a commercial intention, and in some cases they have a scam or fraudulent nature. In other cases, what can be SPAM for some people may not be for others: Familiarity with the brand, Relevance of the content, Experience with the sender. All of these are subjectives aspects that can condone an email as SPAM or not.

So now that we understand a little better the concept of SPAM let’s review a couple of situations in which marketers can send communications to consumers without them being classified as unsolicited emails:

  • The consumers has given explicit consent to the company to send them communications related to a topic of their interest // A user opting-in to receive offers from a e-commerce website. 

OR

  • The company has collected from the consumer their email, while explaining the purpose of the action // When a consumer registers for a pharmacy rewards program and the store clerks collects their email. 

Sources:

*Spamhouse- https://www.spamhaus.org/consumer/definition/

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