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The 'right-time' marketing blog gives insights and leadership in calendar marketing and other smart, timely communications.

Calendar spam does NOT live here!

Calendar spam does NOT live here!

Sadly, spammers are now targeting vulnerabilities in Apple’s Calendar software as a means of bypassing traditional spam filters aligned with personal email accounts, to deliver unwanted advertisements and other promotional content in the form of a calendar invitation.

Whether it be cheap boots, sunglasses or bracelets, this new form of spamming is becoming a thorn in the side of Apple device owners, previously used to their calendar being a sacred ‘spam free’ zone.

Whilst Apple is currently working on a fix to close these vulnerabilities, there are some quick fixes to stop the flow of spam to your calendar.

NOTHING TO DO WITH ECAL

It’s important to clarify that the issue derives specifically from the connection between Apple’s iCloud service and the Apple Calendar software. It is not related to ECAL whatsoever, and it does not affect Outlook or Google calendar users.  Apple have stated publicly they are actively working to address the issue.

ECAL has always taken a strong stance on its standards of communications and security.  We love calendars way too much to fill them with spam! All ECAL clients must adhere to our very own ‘Contact Standards Policy‘, which we developed way back in the absence of any regulatory law specifically related to calendar communications. ECAL’s high security technology also defends against intrusion by spammers.

With ECAL, clients completely control the content, and own any user data collected by the software. ECAL end-users can have complete confidence that by using ECAL to ‘add to calendar’, they are secure, they are receiving official content directly from the rights holder, their calendar is protected against aggressive marketing, and their personal data will be respected and stored securely.

TIPS FOR ‘BEST PRACTICE’ CALENDAR COMMUNICATIONS

  1. Offer content choice. By segmenting your content, users can then receive the information they want (and expect) to receive in their calendar.
  2. Be specific, in terms of both content and timing. Ensure it’s the ‘right message’ at the ‘right time’.
  3. Limit alerts. Alerts are very effective in influencing user behaviour, and in driving sales and engagement. When setting alerts, just think about how many alerts an average user may receive on a daily / weekly basis.
  4. Love the channel. Think of your calendar audience as ‘high value VIP’s’. With engagement and purchase rates so high, it’s a channel worth nurturing.
  5. Respect and reward users. Follow the guidelines in the ECAL contact standards policy when creating targeted marketing campaigns (actually – this isn’t a tip, it’s a requirement).  All targeted messaging into the calendar should meet three ‘tests’ – it must be ‘Specific’ (in content and timing); ‘Relevant’ (to the users’ profile); and of reasonably ‘High Value’ (i.e. worth it!). Follow this, and you can’t go wrong.

Whilst ECAL is as annoyed as everyone else at the spam issue affecting Apple Calendar, we will continue to do our part to ensure all digital calendars remain the secure and high value communications channel, happily relied upon by millions of users worldwide.

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