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Laura Betterly was once dubbed the “Spam Queen” by the Wall Street Journal.  The title wasn’t entirely accurate as she was really just one of many run-of-the-mill bulk mailers, and never did offers for porn, enlarging body parts, viagra, etc.  In other words, she was nothing like the true hall-of-famers like Scott Richter and Sanford Wallace.  But the title stuck and she got some noteworthy press for it.

But she doesn’t spam anymore. 

Why?  She writes about current marketing practices and spam in an article here.

It’s actually an interesting read.  Take this, for example under the heading “The future of bulk email and why it is likely to remain dead”:

“In other words, Spam is a four-letter word.

Legitimate marketers are staying away in droves and it’s easy to see why. First of all let’s look at some facts. In the United States, it is legal to send unsolicited commercial e-mail. The CAN SPAM act allows for this. You have to provide a way to opt-out and not hide who you are, and a few more simple but ethical rules.

Although it is legal, there isn’t an internet service provider in the United States who will allow you to send unsolicited commercial e-mail.

Larger mailers have opt-in information from lists they purchase which imply consent but those lists aren’t originated from the mailer, but from other sub-mailers—you get a free thing or access to a particular site and the user checks a box that it is okay to get information from their “affiliates and partners.”

The “affiliates and partners” they are referring to are those who pay for the e-mail addresses and opt-in information.

These guys are sending you mail legally, but the fact is, they are not getting into your e-mail box for the most part. Blocking, filtering, and doing it the “legal” way bulk wise, is just not working.

Not to mention, there is no way to prove that the recipients opted in or are willing to get the message since they opted in at someone else’s site, not yours.

The response rate is pathetic and when that mail does get through, you have many disgruntled individuals who never remember opting in, so in their view, the mail is unsolicited. The only way to get e-mail into inboxes en masse is by not following the rules, so the only messages getting through are the scams, including the pornographic, illegal, and objectionable.

It is ironic that the very thing people want to rail against, they are getting more of in the aftermath of Can-Spam.”


Alex Eckelberry