Corporate Eye

9 in 10 Emails are Spam Says Cisco Annual Security Report

Each year, Cisco publishes its annual security report.  This year’s report tells us that 90% (or nearly 200 billion) of all the email messages sent each day are spam.  Next time your leadership comes to you and asks you to put together a marketing or branding email campaign, and you tell them to invest in measures to ensure your email is not diverted to recipients’ spam folders, but to save money, they say no, show them this report.  Every step you can take to ensure your email messages get to the recipients’ inboxes are essential to your campaign’s overall success.

Perhaps the biggest challenge of creating a successful email campaign isn’t getting people to open your message and follow your call to action, but making sure they get to see it sitting in their inboxes.  Even the most compelling title for your email doesn’t help if consumers never see it.  At the very least, an email authentication program is critical.  While not full-proof, it certainly increases the chances for your email to make it to its final destination correctly.

Next, make sure your email title is great but free from words that spam filters associate with spam, such as: free, no fees, guarantee, congratulations, winner, 100% satisfaction, pre-approved, and all those other words that I’m sure you’ve seen in your own email inbox on more than one occasion.  If you want your email to get to its final destination correctly, you need to make sure your technical team does what they need to do behind the scenes, but you also need to do your job.  That means, you have to know how to write an email message that has the best chances for successfully navigating individual spam filters.

With telemarketing practically nonexistent these days and direct mail prices through the roof, email marketing is the one of the only cost effective wide-scale direct response marketing tactics left.  Just like direct mail and telemarketing faced the circular file or a quick hang up, email marketing faces the  delete key.  However, email marketing has the added hurdle to leap related to spam.  With 90% of email identified as spam, the process gets more challenging and more important everyday.

What steps have you taken to ensure your email marketing campaigns make it to recipients’ inboxes?  Leave a comment and share your success story.

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

It seems like this would be true. I hate email spam.

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