The definition of spam has effectively changed from ‘unsolicited commercial email‘ – a concept based on permission – to a perception-based definition of mail simply being unwanted, according to the Spam Complainers Survey.

The report, conducted by Q Interactive in conjunction with MarketingSherpa, attempted to gauge consumers’ perception of what spam is and why they report emails as junk.

Over half of the survey participants – 56 per cent – said they consider marketing messages from known senders to be spam if the message is “just not interesting to me”.

In addition, some 50 per cent of respondents said they consider spam to be “too frequent emails from companies I know”, while 31 per cent cited “emails that were once useful but aren’t relevant anymore” as spam.

Matt Wise, president and chief executive of Q Interactive said: “What this survey uncovered is a major disconnect in consumers’ understanding and use of the report spam button, as well as consumers’ definition of spam from ‘I didn’t sign up for it’ to ‘I don’t like it’.”
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