where does the term SPAM come from?

WhatCounts Admin Deliverability

Where does the term SPAM email marketing come from?

Most email marketers know the term SPAM: Messages consisting of unsolicited advertisements sent as a mass email.

You meticulously ensure your campaigns steer away from the actions strictly forbidden in the CAN SPAM Act of 2003. You dread your emails getting sent to the SPAM folder dungeon. And this makes deliverability more of an art more than a science.

But do you know where the term SPAM – in reference to junk mail – actually originates?

the term SPAM defined

SPAM has been around just about as long as email marketing has. It started in the 70s with ARPANET.

The practice of using mass email marketing to solicit business grew into the 80s, including concepts such as the chain letter.

From the beginning, marketers frowned upon the practice. After all, no one had opted-in to receiving the messages. Many argued the practice of SPAM was flooding their inboxes with unwanted messages. It ruined the conversation, productivity, and purpose of email.

Therefore, in reference to a Monty Python skit, consumers labeled the unwanted messages with SPAM.

The term SPAM flooded email marketing dialogue. It prevented any real conversation and remained unwanted. Most of all, people considered it annoying… the very definition of SPAM.

Thankfully, the makers of the canned delicacy didn’t have an issue with junk email marketing being referred to with the term SPAM (free advertising?) and we continue to call it that to this day.

conclusion: handling spam

Understand the origins of SPAM are important because it still affects email marketing every day.

Sending annoying, unwanted messages is still against the rules. And even if it wasn’t, no one reads unsolicited emails anymore. That means your open rates tank and you lose money.

SPAM has a negative connotation. For good reason: No successful email marketer likes to be associated with it.

If your emails are being marked as SPAM or you struggle with getting your messages into the inbox, our team of deliverability experts can help. We have years of experience helping brands improve their sending scores and get their messages delivered. To start the conversation with us, just reach out.

Schedule a demo with WhatCounts email service provider today!