Over at Spamtacular Mickey talks about the email marketers’ syllogism.
- Anyone who doesn’t want our mail will opt-out.
- Most people don’t opt-out.
- Therefore, most people want our mail.
This clearly fallacious reasoning is something I deal with frequently with my clients, particularly those who come to me for reputation repair. They can’t understand why people are calling them spammers, because their unsubscribe rates and complaint rates are very low. The low complaints and unsubscribes must mean their mail is wanted. Unfortunately, the email marketers’ syllogism leads them to faulty conclusions.
There are many reasons people don’t opt-out of mail they don’t want. Some of it may be practical, the mail never hits their inbox, either due to ISP level filters or their own personal filters. Some people take a stance that they do not opt out of mail they did not opt-in to and if they don’t recognize the company, they won’t opt-out.
In any case, low levels of opt-outs or even this-is-spam hits does not mean that recipients want that mail. The sooner marketers figure this out, the better for them and their delivery.