Email Spam Defined

Email spam refers to unsolicited or unwanted emails sent in bulk to a large number of recipients. These emails are usually sent for commercial purposes, such as promoting a product or service, or for fraudulent purposes, such as phishing scams or other types of online scams.

Email spam can also be used to spread malware or viruses, and it can be a nuisance to users who receive a large volume of unwanted emails. Many email providers have implemented spam filters to automatically detect and block these types of emails, but some spam messages may still slip through.

How to Use it in a Sentence

It's important to use a reputable email service provider to avoid having your marketing emails flagged as email spam.

Common Email Spam FAQs

Legitimate marketing emails are sent to subscribers who have opted-in to receive emails from the sender. These emails contain relevant and valuable content that is of interest to the recipient. On the other hand, email spam is sent to recipients who have not given permission to receive emails from the sender and often contains irrelevant or misleading content.

People send spam emails for a variety of reasons, but the main motive is typically to make money through fraudulent or illegal means. Spam emails are often sent in large volumes to random or purchased email addresses in the hopes of tricking recipients into taking some sort of action, such as clicking a link or providing personal information. The most common types of spam emails include:

  1. Phishing scams: These emails attempt to trick recipients into providing personal or financial information, such as login credentials or credit card numbers, by posing as a legitimate organization or service.
  2. Scams and frauds: These emails offer false or misleading information, such as fake job offers or lottery winnings, in an attempt to get recipients to pay money or provide personal information.
  3. Malware and virus distribution: These emails contain links or attachments that, when clicked or downloaded, infect the recipient's computer with malware or viruses.

In addition to these motives, some spammers may also send spam emails as a form of harassment or to spread malicious content or propaganda. Regardless of the motive, spam emails are generally considered unethical and can be harmful to recipients, both financially and in terms of online security.

There are a variety of reasons why people send spam emails. People that intentionally send spam emails typically do so to make money through fraudulent or deceptive means. Spam emails often contain phishing scams, malware, or other fraudulent content that trick the recipient into clicking a link or providing personal information. Spammers may also use email as a way to promote illegal or unethical products, services, or content.

Some spam emails may result from a mistake or technical issue, but most spam emails are sent intentionally as part of a spamming campaign. It's important to practice good email best practices and be mindful of email compliance guidelines to avoid unintentionally spamming your audience.

To avoid being flagged as spam, ensure your emails are relevant and valuable to the recipient by using personalization techniques and segmenting your subscriber list. Use a reputable Email Service Provider (ESP) that follows best practices for email deliverability. Also, avoid using spam trigger words, writing in all caps, and including too many images or links in your email.

For more information, check out these relevant articles:

Some best practices for email marketing to avoid spamming include:

  • Getting permission to send emails
  • Providing valuable and relevant content — you can help ensure that your content will be viewed as valuable by:
    • Allowing users to choose what types of communication they want to receive when they opt-in and providing additional context to inform their opt-in decision
    • Leveraging advanced audience segmentation and personalization to surface content and communication that is related to a users actions and preferences (ex: abandoned cart emails)
  • Using a reputable email service provider
  • Including an easy opt-out process within your emails
  • Monitoring email deliverability and spam complaints

What's considered a "good" email frequency depends on the industry, target audience, and content being sent. It's generally a good idea to avoid sending too many emails in a short period of time, as this can lead to unsubscribes as well as spam complaints.

To grow your email list organically, ensure your website has prominent sign-up forms and use social media to promote your email newsletter. You can also try offering a valuable incentive, such as a free eBook or discount code, in exchange for the recipient's email address.

OneSignal makes growing your email subscriber list easy by providing a pre-made, customizable web prompt to capture visitors' phone numbers and email addresses.

To measure the success of your email marketing campaigns, track metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and unsubscribe rates. You can also use A/B testing to compare the effectiveness of different email elements, such as subject lines, images, and calls-to-action.

Top engagement solutions such as OneSignal provide built-in email analytics and A/B testing features to help you optimize and manage your campaigns from one intuitive dashboard.

Yes, you can include promotional content in transactional emails as long as it's relevant to the recipient and does not overwhelm the primary transactional message. However, be sure to follow email laws and regulations, and always provide an easy opt-out process. Check out this article about the difference between transactional and promotional messages for more context.

To make sure your email content is relevant and valuable to your subscribers, it's important to segment your email list based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. Also, ask for feedback and regularly review and update your email content to ensure it meets the needs and interests of your audience.

Yes, it's more than okay to use emojis in your email subject lines and body — as long as they are relevant and appropriate for your audience and do not distract from the primary message, emojis can improve click-through rates and draw attention to your email.

Make sure your unsubscribe process is easy and prominent in your emails. Honor all opt-out requests promptly and avoid sending any further emails to those who have opted out. Also, regularly clean your email list to remove inactive or unengaged subscribers.