You probably aren’t sending spam, but you are sending bacon

Have you noticed how you don’t get as much spam in your email as you used to? That’s because the anti-spam programs are getting smarter, and finally out-smarting the spammers.

So of course, there’s something new to take the place of spam as the annoying inbox-clogger. It’s called bacon, because it tastes better than spam, but it’s pretty much just as bad for you. Check out this post and nifty info-graphic at What’s worse than email spam? Bacon.

Bacon is legitimate email, mostly commercial sources. It’s stuff we signed up for. The only problem with it is the cumulative volume of it. According to some sources, there’s now as much bacon in people’s inboxes as messages from real people — and there will soon be more.

Thing is, it’s growing because it works. Emailing your customers with news and offers is just smart business — or fundraising.

If you’re emailing to your supporters and people who’ve subscribed — and you really should be — you are part of the rising tide of bacon. That means sometimes your message is welcome. But inevitably it sometimes isn’t welcome, and the unwelcome state is likely to be more and more often as bacon increases.

Here’s what happens to bacon now:


  • 18% is wanted
  • 61% is deleted
  • 14% reported as spam
  • 7% unsubscribe

You aren’t going to solve the problem by just cutting back on the number of messages you send. You’ll just be less present in the bulk of bacon your people are getting.

What you really have to do it make sure you are relevant. It’s the less relevant messages that get deleted. And a few less-relevant messages in a row will cause people to assume the next one isn’t relevant.

If you’re like most nonprofit emailers, you have nondonors in your email file, and their response rate to email appeals is extremely low. That’s a sign that your appeals are dangerously near irrelevant for those people. So make sure at least some of the time you’re giving them opportunities to act in ways other than giving. This can keep them engaged, which will improve their chances of giving eventually.

The other thing to do is make it easy to unsubscribe –better they walk away than report your email as spam, which can make your messages undeliverable even to some who want it.

Thanks to @spurdave for the tip.


Comments

4 responses to “You probably aren’t sending spam, but you are sending bacon”

  1. Jessica Avatar

    I love this because FFN is one of the 20-plus subscriptions that I have automatically sent to the “Bacon” folder of my inbox. However, FFN is also the ONLY email in my Bacon folder that I choose to read daily, or as often as it comes in. This is because the content is so bite-size and relevant that I know I will take some wisdom/advice from it every time I read it.

  2. Jessica Avatar

    I love this because FFN is one of the 20-plus subscriptions that I have automatically sent to the “Bacon” folder of my inbox. However, FFN is also the ONLY email in my Bacon folder that I choose to read daily, or as often as it comes in. This is because the content is so bite-size and relevant that I know I will take some wisdom/advice from it every time I read it.

  3. I agree. For our good and solicited mail not to be flagged as spam, we should consider the interval in which we send emails.

  4. I agree. For our good and solicited mail not to be flagged as spam, we should consider the interval in which we send emails.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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