The Rise of Spam in Communications

Stay Compliant. Stay Connected.

Spam has infiltrated our inboxes, crept into our call logs, and entered the text chat. The rise of spam across email, phone, and text messaging continues to cause concern, posing a particularly difficult challenge for legitimate consumer finance organizations seeking to establish meaningful connections with their customers. In this blog, we will examine the current state of spam across email, phone, and text communication and uncover solutions to effectively navigate through the clutter, build brand trust, and foster genuine connections.

Key Insights

        • 157% increase in text spam from 2022 to 2023.
        • Banking is among the top targeted topics for fraudulent, or spam, texts messages.
        • 14.5 million spam emails are sent daily.
        • The rise in spam has resulted in strict new regulations from Google and Yahoo which will impact businesses, both fraudulent and legitimate, that send more than 5,000 emails per day.
        • In December 2023 Americans received 17 spam calls per day.

Text Messaging

Text message spam is on the rise, fueled by loopholes in regulations like the 2019 TRACED Act, to combat robocall violations. Scammers are adapting by shifting to text messages, exploiting gaps in the rules. The latest statistics for 2023 highlights the severity of the text spam issue, with Americans receiving an alarming 415 million spam texts daily. Weekly totals surpass 2.9 billion. The concerning trend reflects a 157% year-over-year increase, largely influenced by factors like COVID-19, the TRACED Act, and evolving technology. The majority of spam campaigns target the following topics:

Text Spam Top Topics

Despite these challenges, there are ways for compliant businesses to break through the spam clutter with strategic texting strategies.

To combat the rise of text spam, consumer finance organizations can reinforce the legitimacy of their brand by:

  1. Sending Contact Cards (vCard) via MMS: Contact cards provide subscribers with an easy way to save sender information. This builds recognition and trust, especially on platforms like iOS that prioritize messages from saved contacts.
  2. Investing in a Short Code (a 5- to 6-digit phone number): Short codes elevate a sender’s status, as they undergo a stringent approval process, ensuring proper consent and messaging practices. Businesses using short codes have greater deliverability, and increased messaging throughput; both are essential factors when reaching a sizable audience in the battle against text message spam.
  3. Maintaining Compliant Messaging Practices: Adhere to regulatory frameworks and compliance standards, including guidelines set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and TCPA, to ensure responsible and lawful text messaging practices.
  4. Obtaining Subscriber Consent: Compliance includes ensuring that text messages are sent with the proper consent of subscribers. It is your responsibility, as a business, to collect your customers’ consent prior to messaging them. Wireless carriers work to prevent unauthorized or unsolicited text messages, maintaining a commitment to user privacy and security.

Email

In 2022, global email spam reached a staggering 49%, up from 46% in the previous year, accounting for 14.5 million messages daily. To address this issue, major email service providers like Google and Yahoo are implementing stringent measures to curb spam through new legislations and rules.

Consumer Responses to Spam Emails

Beginning early 2024, both Google and Yahoo will block emails from domains sending 5,000 or more emails a day with a 0.3% abuse (spam) rate. Google’s new requirements for bulk senders include the mandatory authentication of emails, easy one-click unsubscribes, and maintaining a clear spam rate threshold. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in delayed, blocked, or spam-filtered bulk emails.

As we enter a new era of email regulations, many businesses are moving away from email as their primary source of communication with consumers.

Phone

In December 2023, Americans were bombarded with 107 million spam calls daily, totaling 3.34 billion for the month – an average of 17 spam calls per person per day. This surge in spam has led to a significant shift in behavior, with people avoiding answering calls from unfamiliar or unsaved numbers, rendering phone calls less effective for businesses trying to reach their customers.

To combat the rising tide of spam calls, Apple introduced ‘Live Voicemail’ in June 2023. This feature provides users with live transcriptions as callers leave messages, allowing them to decide whether to answer the call in real-time. With ‘Silence Unknown Callers’ activated, calls from unknown numbers are directed to Live Voicemail without ringing. Spam calls identified by carriers are instantly declined, providing users with peace of mind and the ability to ignore potential spam or privacy-invading calls without missing important ones. As phone call spam continues to rise, these innovative measures aim to empower consumers in the battle against unwanted and intrusive calls.

How to Stay Connected

It is evident that businesses today, particularly those in consumer finance, face a critical need for a direct and effective way to connect with customers. Amidst the spam and communication clutter, text messaging remains the optimal solution for customer connection. By strategically employing methods like sending contact cards, investing in short codes, and maintaining compliance, consumer finance organizations can cut through the noise and establish trust. As email faces stringent regulations and phone calls are increasingly ignored, the immediacy and reliability of text messaging provides a unique advantage. Now is the time to embrace the power of text messaging to forge genuine connections with your audience.

Ready to break through the clutter? Let’s talk!

 

Sources: Apple, Google, Text Em All, Eftsure, Tech Report, Robokiller, Orbit Media Studios

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