About Spam
Internet Business Magic
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About Spam

I probably get more spam than you do, but maybe not. Last time I checked I average about 2000 unwanted email messages a day. I hate it.

Let’s not get confused about this. I subscribe to a number of newsletters, and I get business mail. I want those.

But there’s a lot of unwanted stuff coming my way. My email is getting pounded with mortgage offers, software deals, pharmaceuticals, and porn, all unwanted. I pay for my internet service, and I pay for servers. So I pay to get it, even when I don’t want it. They I pay again to get rid of it. It also takes time to go through my email to trash it. And some of it is embarrassing… well, worse than embarrassing, and I think you know what I mean.

Two thoughts…

First, don’t send spam.

Your newsletters, and your business offers all need to go to an “opt-in” list, people who have requested them. On one hand, it’s the law. On the other hand, it’s good business. Rather than make people mad, send email only to people who request it.

Second, don’t put up with spam.

At one point I thought the answer to all this spam was to charge the sender a small fee for every email sent, something like 1/100 of a cent per message. It’s affordable for legitimate marketers, but those who send eight million messages a day wouldn’t be able to afford it.

That’ s the approach Bill Gates put forth recently. While it would work, eventually the price would go up. Maybe a penny a message, maybe a nickel. At even a penny, you’d have to pay a thousand bucks to mail your newsletter to 100,000 subscribers who asked for your newsletter. Many people would think that sounds okay, but lots of small businesses would find it prohibitive. You might not be able to mail as often, or at all. And some, maybe most, of the information you used to get for free would stop coming.

So I don’t think charging is the answer.

The answer is “challenge-response.”

That’s what SpamArrest calls it. They have put together a remarkable service, and a very reasonable price.

The simplified story is this: SpamArrest picks up your email, and any mail received from someone whose email address is not in your address book is placed in a pending file. They are immediately sent a “challenge” email that directs them to a web page where they enter a code displayed on the page. When entered successfully, their email is moved to your inbox, and their email is placed in a database so their later emails will continue to come through.

The logic is this: Spammers send millions of emails; it’s all automated. They’re not going to sit down and respond to the challenges. Learn more.