Author: Remy Bergsma

Total email volume reaches 280 billion per month, spam still at 85%

The total email volume per month has reached an impressive 280 billion, according to Cisco’s Senderbase. This is 203 billion more than 18 months before in January 2013.

Here’s the graphic showing the rise of email over the past year and a half, as well as the average part of total email volume being spam:

total-email-volume-2014-senderbase

In the past sumer, spam dropped month over month until November 2013, when it rose again with 206% compared to the month before.

Many online companies, including large corporations like Microsoft and Google, have been battling spam botnets in recent years. Success however has been temporary so far, with new botnets being launched soon after one gets taken down.

In the past years, the total email volume hasn’t been at a level it’s currently at, as you can see from this spam volume post from 2013. Also in 2013, it became clear that a large chunk of spam email was executed by just 100 operations.

When it comes to countries, USA still leads the scoreboard, but France and Brazil are not far behind.

What is interesting to see is that, sorted by network owner, the social networks aren’t up in the top anymore like before. Only Facebook shows itself in the top 100 when sorted by month, while LinkedIn, Twitter and other social networks cannot be found. In terms of ESPs (Email marketing Service Providers), ExactTarget is near the top of the ranks. This is to be expected as it is the largest ESP in the world in terms of volume: it is estimated that ExactTarget’s network sends out several billions of emails per month.

If you haven’t noticed more traffic in your inbox lately when it comes to spam, you have your ISP, inbox or webmail provider to thank for it: they keep all that spam at bay and stop it at the gates before it reaches your inbox. Now if only people would stop clicking on spam and scam links, maybe it would just go away completely.

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Twitter Worldcup promotion: an animated second round

Twitter has been switching up its email marketing campaigns. This time: Twitter Worldcup promotion. They have taken time to promote the World cup content on Twitter with this animated email. The email shows the 16 countries remaining in the second round. A screenshot of the Twitter email campaign is shown below, with the animated part separately below it:

twitter-worldcup

The strange thing is that, while the email itself has a with (on desktop) of 500 pixels, the animated gif itself is 1000 pixels wide.

See original here, and the resized example below:

twitter-worldcup-animation

If you choose to visit Twitter, you will see a dedicated Twitter Worldcup page showing upcoming or currently playing matches, with the option to view separate matches. Of course, the view is based on hashtags used: for the next match that would be BELvsUSA. Here’s the view, in this case with a tweet containing a Spongebob Squarepants image:

twitter-worldcup-headline

When it comes to real-time social media, nothing beats Twitter. Facebook is not adequate and too slow, and other social media don’t have the hashtag feature implemented as well as Twitter. This promotion shows that Twitter, although being a USA company, understands that the World cup football is a big thing worldwide. Even their own USA team is in the second round, which plays against Belgium today.

This Twitter Worldcup email campaign just shows that with one single email, Twitter knows how to drive traffic to its website. One of the main goals and uses of email marketing, after all.

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Want to receive less email?

Want to receive less email? That was the subject line of an email I recently received from a travel/hotel website called Hotelspecials.nl.

Here’s the full email:

want-to-receive-less-email

The snippet on top says: ‘do you prefer a bit less?’ Where the CTA below the ‘want to receive less email?’ says ‘Yes please!’.

This is quite unique in the email marketing industry as far as I know. Sure, quite a few companies allow you to change the desired frequency of emails received. For instance once a week or once a month. But this is (one of) the first I received that explicitly stated that you can choose to receive less email.

The CTA leads you to this page:

want-to-receive-less-email-2

This landing page for your ‘number to receive’ email settings shows three options:

- Once a week + last minute, which apparently is the default
- Once a week
- Once every two weeks

The last two options have an asterisk, where the asterisk text says: ‘Important: when you select this option, you won’t receive any last minute offer newsletters anymore.’ Very subtle but clear.

On the left of that screenshot you can see ‘Pauzeren’, which is Pause: you can apparently pause the newsletters, which is a feature not often offered by email sending companies.

I do wonder what the thought was behind this dedicated frequency check email. Hotelspecials.nl did not comment in detail about it when I talked to them about it on Twitter, only that they were happy it was appreciated.

To proactively seek out frequency changes by subscribers can mean that the company either sees little interactivity from the regular frequency of emails (which is roughly 2 times a week, sometimes 3), or that there have been too many unsubscribes because of frequency too high. To stem the tide they may have chosen this option, which puts the subscriber directly in power over the frequency of the newsletter and special offers.

Normally I don’t talk about Dutch email marketing examples here, but this one with the ‘want to receive less email?’ question was quite unique, so I decided to write about it. Have you come across any examples? Tell it through the comments or on Twitter.

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Email comic: Why phishing scams and spam still works

If you wonder why phishing scams and spam still work, Scott Adams recently posted a Dilbert comic that explains it all:

 

dilbert-phishing-scam-email-comic-spam

Yup, there are still people out there that respond to phishing scams, as is shown in the email comic above. This includes all forms of spam as well, by the way. As long as people keep doing that, phishing and spam still works. Educate your fellow human to not fall for the scam traps. Make them understand that any email that starts with Hello! or a certain pharmaceutical name should be met with distrust.

Remember: the only reason phishing scam people and spammers still make money after all these years is because people fall for their traps and emails. We can only stop this flood when we make sure they’ll go out of business: make spamming and scamming a non-profitable exercise. They will move on to other things, but hopefully keep all of our inboxes clean.

Don’t be that manager in the last panel of that Dilbert email comic, just filling in his bank account number details. Be one of the others saying ‘scam’ and delete the email. Make sure everyone else does as well, get those guys out of business!

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Campaign Monitor app launched: Monitor

A new Campaign Monitor app has been launched: it’s called Monitor. It allows you to see new subscribers join your lists. It also shows subscriber activities on World View, like clicks and opens. The Campaign Monitor app is free in the iTunes App Store: for now it’s only available for the iPhone.

Here’s what it looks like:

campaign-monitor-app-monitor-email-marketing-campaign-world-view

This is the main activity option: it also allows you to see live campaign activity like the aforementioned opens and clicks. An example screenshot below:

campaign-monitor-app-monitor-email-marketing-campaign-activity

When you switch to World View, you can tilt your iPhone so the Campaign Monitor app can take the full width of your device to show the activity on the map:

campaign-monitor-app-monitor-email-marketing-campaign-world-view-map

Campaign Monitor app: new subscribers, instant notifications and more

Have new subscribers in your Campaign Monitor account? You can view them sorted by today, this week, this month or all time. Example:

campaign-monitor-app-monitor-email-marketing-new-subscribers

Other functionality included in the app:

- Adding new subscribers to a list
- Instant notifications – new activity shown outside the app
- Multiple client management – very useful if you have multiple clients as an agency or designer
- Whitelabel version: a non-branded version of the app called Metrics is available for clients

You can download the Campaign Monitor app in the App Store for free here.

Read more about the new app on the Campaign Monitor website here.

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