A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Spam Isn’t The Problem For Email Marketing

Friday, May 20th, 2011

According to a couple of university researchers specializing in the field of “spamalytics,” there may be a way to eliminate the scourge of spam 7 years after Bill Gates promised us it would be gone within 2 years.

Not surprisingly, the key to their plan is following the money.

“…95 percent of the credit card transactions for the spam-advertised drugs and herbal remedies … were handled by just three financial companies — one based in Azerbaijan, one in Denmark and one in Nevis, in the West Indies.”

Shut those companies down and spammers’ work gets a lot harder. (Interesting factoid from the article: selling $100 worth of Viagra requires sending 12.5 million email messages!)

Here’s a link to the article.

It would be nice to think email would once again be a  more viable marketing medium, but I’m not sure how big an impact this change would have. I think that most spam these days – which the article estimates as 90% of all email – is filtered out before it gets to the end user, either by ISPs, local spam filtering, or other inbox tricks.

The bigger concern is what we’ve heard some refer to as “bacon.” It’s not spam in the sense of being “unsolicited email of a commercial nature.” It’s emails we’ve all signed up for but have lost interest in, either because our needs have changed or because the sender has done a poor job of meeting our needs.

So the onus stays on digital marketers to be more creative in building campaigns that their audience can connect with. It’s not viagra messages that are keeping your click rates down; it’s poor content badly targeted.


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