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When Will the Spammers Stop?

Mark Kawabe - Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I know I shouldn't, but I hope for a day when reputable businesses don't spam prospective customers. Now that Bill C-28 is a law, there is a glimmer of light at the end of the shaft. It seems though that most businesses are still in the dark.

Today I'll pick on the Buffalo Sabres who on Feb. 8 sent me an "insider" email promoting their game against the Thrashers on Feb. 23. The email address they used was only ever used once for one purpose - to register a domain for a client. It's never been used otherwise, so how did it wind up on a mailing list for the Buffalo Sabres?

Simple: the Sabres organization probably bought a list with email addresses and other contact information "scraped" from online domain registry databases. Oh sure, they were probably told that everyone on the list had "opted in", but the reality is there are precious few lists like that and the list owners, if they're smart, wouldn't dream of corrupting their brand by sharing their carefully-built list.

So, what can you do about spam now that there's a law about it? Until enforcement comes into effect in the next 6~8 months, you can expect things will stay much the same. However, you CAN help educate other business owners about the new laws so they will reconsider their actions. And of course, don't buy anything that is promoted through spam. If there's no money to be made doing it, eventually people will stop using it. Then again, with 200 BILLION spam messages being sent per day (as of August 2010), someone's making money, somewhere.

Please don't let it be you.