What are legitimate e-mail marketers supposed to do? They follow CAN-SPAM guidelines. They use proper permission marketing techniques. They mail only to opt-in lists. Still, recipients are increasing hitting the "This is spam" link.

After all, while marketers may have a set definition for spam, and know that they don't practice spamming, consumers have a broader view. Legally, e-mail isn't spam if a consumer has opted-in to receive messages. However it could also be argued that, if there is something in a user's e-mail box, and they don't want it there, it is spam.

According to a recent survey by Return Path, 34% of consumers said they deal with an increasing volume of e-mail by reporting it as spam to their ISPs, and that is up from 23.4% the previous year.

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