Google Has Officially Declared War On Spam

Here is how it will affect everyone using email for sales and marketing.

Since 1999, I’ve used email as my primary method for client acquisition in the B2B space. What’s coming may have the biggest impact on how we use email that I have ever seen.

We have an email spam problem, and everyone knows it.

Email remains, far and away, the most used—and depended on—communication platform online.

The average person spends between 321 to 352 minutes a day on email.

Over 5 hours per day!

That’s 10X longer than on Facebook and 600X longer than on LinkedIn.

Nothing else comes close to the time spent on email.

Feel free to fact-check me.

No decision maker on Earth checks their LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or messaging platforms as often as email. Slack might be the exception, as some people are obsessed with it.

So the news of Google announcing its war on spam should get your attention…because it will affect you.

We Saw This Coming Over 2 Years Ago

The only question we had was, “Why did it take so long?”

For two years, we felt like Chicken Little (the sky is falling).

We’ve been telling clients sending email blasts that it would die suddenly (because that’s what spammers do, and AI can’t tell the difference), so they needed to build workflows and behavior-based segmentation.

Drip emails are more friendly to the mailbox providers. They require less server resources, and thus inbox better…

while email blasts mimic what spammers do.

Everyone Has An Email Account

More people are likely to have an email account than a bank account, television set, or even a car.

Email is a major profit center for mailbox providers. And they have no plans of giving that up.

Yet, unwanted emails—mostly marketing emails—are the primary source of negative sentiment about email.

And that is bad for business for mailbox providers, because:

  1. Unwanted emails take up server resources (which costs money)
  2. They create a negative user experience (bad for the brand)
  3. They reduce ad revenue as users spend less time lingering on email

Spam is an existential threat to the cash cow which is email, so active measures will be put in place to save it.

And don’t think Google will be the only mailbox provider doing this. They all will.

Some people are making this out to be a cold email issue. It’s not.

It’s an email issue.

Here is where you are vulnerable:

  • If your spam complaint rate is above 0.1% (1 in 1000), you’re going to run into a problem.
  • If your unsubscribe rate is above 0.5%, you’re going to run into a problem.
  • If your bounce rate is above 2%, you’re going to run into a problem.
  • If your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC (setting the protection policy to quarantine or reject) are not properly authenticated, you’re going to run into a problem.

And most people are not in compliance with the above requirements with their emails (optin and cold email).

With optin email, you are going to need to build workflows based on behavior segmentation.

That means you’re going to have to plan email campaigns and be much more strategic.

If you come up with an idea, or topic, and send an email blast, your list will soon be worthless (because your emails will not be delivered to their inbox).

Cold email will have another set of problems, too numerous to go through here…but I will cover them.

If this makes you nervous, it should. It is a big deal.

If you’re not nervous, that’s on me. I failed to articulate the seriousness of the situation.

This is a developing story, and for that reason, I’m launching a private podcast this month, so you will be prepared.

I will be covering topics privately that I will not discuss publicly. Topics you will want to know.

I haven’t decided on a name for the podcast yet, but if you use email in your sales and marketing process, you would be well advised to subscribe.

If you’re interested, leave a comment or DM me. When the first episode goes live, I’ll let you know.

Ed Forteau

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