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One of most notable trends seen now is increased use of Spam emails that are attached with viruses. The virus-to-email ratio grew worse during 2002-2003, mainly because many home users and small businesses don’t keep their security up to date, report notes.
Although viruses caused most immediate damage to corporate networks in 2002, threat of Spam is rising, as well. In November-2002, this surge peaked, with one in three emails identified as Spam. MessageLabs predicts that Spam will continue its exponential growth into 2003 – 2004.
The Players and Terrain One of my co-workers, Robert, was watching me opt-out from a Spam email list, and he said, “Don’t do that, you are about to confirm that your email address is valid and you will get more Junk email” that makes me really think, how wild is world?
Let us first recognize two forces in cyber-land between lobbyists for Direct Marketing Association and other advertising entities that want spamming to continue, and Internet advocates who want spamming to cease. Some of advertising folks are willing to secede from their forced occupation, agreeing that a recipient might have right to “opt out” from getting Spam. Internet advocates say this continues to put cost on ISPs and individuals. Many want to return to days when Spam was what Hormel meant it to be: canned meat.
On a good note, in response to growing anti-spam movement, legislators have taken action. Their efforts are reflected in several anti-spam laws being considered in state and federal legislative committees. Several of these laws will affect telemarketing and email marketing efforts with nationally recognized Do-Not-Call lists and stiff penalties against unsolicited emails. These impending laws have many marketers concerned. Their fear is that proposed legislation will be far reaching and bring an end to legitimate marketing campaigns.
Legitimate marketers should not fear this legislation. These laws will ultimately help increase effectiveness of marketing campaigns and will help increase response rate to marketer’s emails.
Finally, Walking Line Between email and Spam How do you differentiate your message from everyone else’s? It might be tempting to add bells and whistles to get emails noticed. Meanwhile, users find themselves facing a lot of choices in their in-boxes each day, with more to come. Jupiter recently predicted that by 2005, average U.S. online consumer would get as many as 950 email messages—every day.
Getting people to say “yes” to marketing emails and then getting them messages that are most likely to make them buy is a thriving industry of its own. On one end of spectrum are tailored email newsletters that deliver news, information or other content that people have specifically requested, together with advertising messages. Way over on other side of line is where you’ll find unsolicited bulk email full of annoying, hard-sell pitches.
Somewhere in between is random email from a Web merchant you bought from long ago, reminding you that an online buying opportunity still exists on its site. Now there goes challenge of showing how good marketing skills you have, if you can walk that line.
By Yatin Patel Published in http://www.siliconindia.com September 2003