The Perfect Unsolicited Email


A short time ago our research partner in the UK received, as businesses do from time to time, an unsolicited commercial email (UCE). Now whilst legal in the UK, UCE does fall into a grey area in terms of classification. After all, one person’s spam is another person’s ham..

Semantics aside, this particular example caught our eye for its near-perfect deliverability. For our own research purposes, we naturally process every email that reaches our doors and this one registered a 97.38% deliverability score.

Now this is top-notch stuff, given that the global average for bulk mail at time of writing is hovering around 78%. It’s even on par with our own customers’ long-term mailing performance.

Essentially, if this was sent to a list of 10,000 valid addresses, around 9,738 would go straight to the inbox. Yep, that good.

Here it is in its full glory (click to enlarge):

The Perfect Unsolicited Email


Compared to the usual BUY! BUY! BUY! breed of in-your-face salesy copy, this reads rather well. Personal, succinct, non-flashy, with quiet references to existing customers and direct contact details. We damn nearly rang them back to enquire about 0800 numbers we don’t need..

Content aside, their sending infrastructure is nearly flawless. Common authentication protocols are implemented correctly; MIME components are matching; links are consistent with the return-path, from and reply-to, as well as the embedded contact details; there’s also a clear and relatively unambiguous unsubscribe. Of course, there are some minor improvements that can be made for that extra 1-2% gain, but this may only be worth the extra work involved if the list-size is large enough.

So, there you have it. A well written, unobtrusive, business-like email with broad vocabulary and a near-flawless infrastructure could potentially reach more of your audience and therefore deliver better results than all the image-heavy, buzzword-packed promo-monsters one can muster; especially in the B2B arena.

Sometimes screaming it out just ruffles feathers and rouses filters.