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Are there still people who fall for spam?

I realize that there's a sucker born every minute, and that no-one ever lost money by over-estimating the stupidity of the American public.  But still... I find it hard to believe that there are still people out there who respond to spam messages.  When you get ~20 spam messages a day, like I do, surely even the dumbest person starts to catch on.

I'm confused why spam still exists.  Do people really order herbal viagra, and do they provide credit card numbers to pornography sites that advertise via spam?  If not, then why does spam still exist?  Has anyone done studies on this question?

Sarah Tonin
Tuesday, July 30, 2002

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=emailscam27&date=20020727&query=nigeria

Nat Ersoz
Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Re: above post.

The Linux mailing lists get one of these every couple of days.  Someone is getting taken.

Nat Ersoz
Tuesday, July 30, 2002

For a little spam humor:

http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/3667466.htm

mackinac
Wednesday, July 31, 2002

For a traditional direct marketing campaign a response rate of 2% (not take up just response), is considered very good.  Given the greater population of the net and the relative low per mailing cost, its probably something of the order of 0.002%.

I don't know that but it feels right.  So one in a thousand mailed to will respond, perhaps one in a thousand of those will actually intiiate a transaction.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Hey, don't knoock spam.  If it weren't for unsolicited e-mail, I never would have been able to purchase a swell time-share in Lagos.

Hardware Guy
Wednesday, July 31, 2002

A 2% reply rate is considered good in the email direct marketing world, too.  Some campaigns see much better than that.  Email is a much better advertising tool than, say, banner ads, which do have a response rate closer to 0.002% than 2%.

And yes, lots of people "fall for spam".  There's a whole industry now devoted to using email for direct marketing, just as there has been for snail mail for 20 years.  It does seem counter intuitive that it works, but most of the people who inhabit this forum are NOT the target audience for direct marketers of any kind.  AOLers in Middle America who also watch Home Shopping Network just after getting back from the grocery store with copies of the National Enquirer are the audience of direct marketing.  The majority of these people are very happy with spending their money this way, so who are we to judge?

To quote an astonishing statistic from CNN: only 20% of Americans believe the stories in supermarket tabloids.  "Only" 20% is "only" 60M people.  That's enough of a market to support a significant industry, and it does.

Yes, I work in that industry...
Wednesday, July 31, 2002

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