I recently put out a question to my social media followers asking them what the term ’email marketing’ meant to them.  The first response I received said simply ‘spam‘.

And this isn’t an uncommon feeling! Many people would answer in the same way, so I thought it was time I addressed the subject and let you know the difference with three really easy to remember definitions…

Jam EmailsJAM Emails

This is your ‘sweet spot’!
Jam emails are those that are wanted by the recipient, who has explicitly opted in to receive marketing emails from the company. (I.E. checked a box on sign up to say they want to receive emails)
The recipient has an interest in the content being sent and they engage with messages.

 

Ham EmailsHAM Emails

Similar to JAM but one step down, these people have also provided an explicit opt in, but for one reason or another they are no longer interested in the content and probably aren’t engaging with your emails.
But, they did want to receive these emails at one point or another.

 

Spam EmailsSPAM Emails

And then there is spam….
Emails the recipient did not opt in to receive and don’t want.
They probably don’t even know the company or person sending the emails – they’re cold and unwanted and they’re probably not even interested in the content of the emails.

(There are also Phishing and scam emails which we’ll leave for another day….)

The important distinction here is between the permission given:

SPAM = NO PERMISSION TO SEND MARKETING EMAILS
EMAIL MARKETING = FULL EXPLICIT PERMISSIONING TO SEND MARKETING EMAILS

So if you consider email marketing to be spam, is that because that’s exactly what your providing people with?!

Want to learn more about how not to be considered as a spammer and get real engagement with your campaigns? Check out our new online training course – The Beginners Guide to Email Marketing through our sister brand The Email Marketing Academy here >