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The truth about spam, social media and email


When you tell people you send email for a brand, oftentimes their reaction is, “Oh, you mean like spam?”

It’s a fair question, dating back to the day when a marketer would send a one-size-fits-all email to any email address they could lay hands on, hoping someone would click. Spam is defined as “irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the internet to a large number of recipients.” (It’s also known as “a canned meat product made mainly from ham,” but we’ll leave that Spam for another time.)

Though spam is associated with email, does it appear elsewhere? Absolutely. If you’ve ever seen an ad in your social media feed and wondered, “Why on EARTH am I seeing THAT?” That could be considered spam because of those two magic words in the definition: irrelevant and inappropriate.

It doesn’t matter the channel; if you’re sending messages to a large number of people digitally and they’re not relevant or appropriate for that person, you’re committing the cardinal sin of spamming. (May the marketing gods have mercy upon thee!) But let’s not get those confused with a message that IS relevant, something they’d actually be interested in, that they might even welcome! That’s the good stuff.

So how do we do more of that and less spamming?

One key way is to use AI to learn about your audience. With machine learning, you can gather more signals from your audience about their needs, wants, likes, and purchasing intent so that everything you send them is even more relevant. Tools like Phrasee are a great way to not only learn about your audience but continually send them the most relevant messages with just a click of the magic button.

And when you combine Phrasee with other personalization technology to get hyper-super-mega-ultra targeted? The results will astound you. Dixons Carphone tried this approach, and it led to a whopping 102% increase in campaign revenue.

As marketers, we should always be striving to be the most relevant that we can possibly be. So the next time someone accuses you of sending spam, you can tell them, “I don’t send spam – I send relevance.” Then do a sassy little hair flip and walk away – you’ve got relevance to spread, after all!


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