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OK, so who are the idiots that respond to spam email?

OK, I've gotta ask the question. Who are the idiots that respond to spam email?
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Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

OK, I've gotta ask the question. Who are the idiots that respond to spam email?

Spammers are turning a profit despite only getting one response for every 12.5m e-mails they send, finds a study.

By hijacking a working spam network, US researchers have uncovered some of the economics of being a junk mailer.

The numbers are interesting:

"After 26 days, and almost 350 million e-mail messages, only 28 sales resulted," wrote the researchers.

The response rate for this campaign was less than 0.00001%. This is far below the average of 2.15% reported by legitimate direct mail organisations.

"Taken together, these conversions would have resulted in revenues of $2,731.88—a bit over $100 a day for the measurement period," said the researchers.

So, out of 350 million emails sent, 28 idiots respond. Please, someone give me their address so I can send someone around to remove their keyboards.  Looking at the numbers another way, because of 28 idiots (maybe a few less if there were repeat sales ... which would reflect very badly on the individual), we all end up being deluged by junk. Whoever you are, thanks, thanks a lot. Thanks for making spamming profitable.

Junk email is a massive problem, and for people with multiple email accounts, the problem grows geometrically. It's hard for anyone who has an email account to not come into contact with spam. But to respond to it, and then go on to buy a poduct, boggles the mind.

I know how much of a problem spam can be. I try to take a multi-pronged approach to dealing with it as I find that no one system really works all that well. It's all too easy to set the system up too aggressively and lose important email. I set emails servers to reject the blatantly spammy emails then I use client side software to sift through the rest. The best consumer package I've come across so far is iHateSpam v5 - it's now a very rare occasion where I see spam in my inbox, and genuine email slip through effortlessly.

Anyone here know anyone who looks at spam email as legitimate? What are your preferred methods of making spam go away?

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