The following is a guest post from Graham at our Compliance Desk.

Bacn is the new spam and major ISPs are making changes to make sure that your inbox stays healthy. For clarity, “spam” is simply email that people don’t want. Bacn is a newer phenomena defined as “email you want—but not right now.” This can be something like daily deals, notifications, or advertisements from some of your favorite clothing sites. Bacn, unlike spam, has been opted into and therefore, is usually of some importance to the recipient, but isn’t urgent.

But bacn can also be considered a nuisance. Personally, I get a notification every time I receive an email and on the off chance that it is important, I check it. But more often than not, I end up disappointed to find that my mailbox is being filled with bacn, loaded with unwanted fat and distracting my productivity. Bacn is detrimental to the recipient and increasingly, to the sender. Now, instead of reading the excess of bacn I receive, I automatically click delete whenever I receive those messages. In fact, most of the time when I realize that I am being bombarded, I unsubscribe. This is unfortunate for the sender and for me since I am interested in their product or service, but the frequency of their sending coupled with the lack of it’s importance causes our relationship to crumble.

Solution for me (the recipient)

ISPs have been investigating solutions to bacn overload for a while. Most notably, Gmail recently introduced a new tabbed inbox. There are also services like Mail Act-On and Sanebox that have developed their entire service off of bacn but in the best way. They offer nice features for organizing and filtering your mailbox, so you can focus on the emails you want to read.

Solution for the sender

With more tools like those above that aim to phase bacn off the menu, it increases the need for senders to really earn their clicks and opens. Our advice stays the same: keep your content relevant and your frequency respectful. This means that every time an email is sent, it should bring the recipient something that they find to be of value. With every connection, consider what value you can add to that connection. The relationships we cling to are those we feel are instructive; that approach us in a human way and that want to share an experience. We push away those relationships that we feel are naggy or forceful. Bacn is that relationship where you enjoy their company but don’t have the time to meet their demands. An irrelevant email can break a recipient’s trust by putting the sender in the danger zone of losing the relationship.

For more advice on how to craft thoughtful yet effective emails, download our free guide: Transactional and Marketing Email: How to Build an Integrated Email Program