The future cost of spam: an FAQ

There’s already been a lot of interest in our two spam cost reports (here and here), released yesterday. One of the questions that’s coming up is about how the costs will likely change in the future. Will they go up, down, or stay the same?

In the future, the cost of spam should reduce, because the spam volume will substantially reduce. This seems like a bold claim, we know, but hear us out; here’s the logic:

  1. Spammers spam because they make money from commissions on sales of the "spamvertised" products (herbal Viagra, pornography, bootlegged software, etc.).
  2. They only earn commissions on sales, naturally.
  3. Sales can only come from click-throughs.
  4. Recipients can only click through from spam that gets delivered!

So, if we can prevent the vast majority of spam from getting delivered to recipients, the economic incentive to spam is destroyed, so we solve the spam problem.

This sounds a little simplistic, but it is in essence is where the anti-spam industry is going. As more and more mailboxes are protected by better and better spam filters, the email spam problem will be solved. Legislation also plays a part, but is not on its own a panacea.

One Trackback

  1. By Smoking Gun on February 25, 2005 at 11:38 AM

    Spam-Kosten weltweit: 50 Milliarden Dollar

    Spam kostet deutsche Unternehmen pro Mailbox und Jahr 241 Dollar . In den USA sind es “nur” 170 Dollar. Der Unterschied wird von Ferris Research in einer neuen Studie auf unterschiedliche Techniken beim Spam-Schutz und auf höhere Arbeitskosten hier …

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