30% Of Internet Users Admit To Buying From Spam

from the hence-your-email-inbox dept

Over the years, we've seen plenty of studies or reports about the people who actually buy from spam. The percentages vary widely, with one report saying 4% of spam recipients buy from spam, another saying 11% and another saying 20%. Those were all a few years ago. A more recent study is now claiming that 30% of people will readily admit to buying from spam. Of course, the methodologies could be different, as some may count things such as marketing emails that you signed up for as spam, while others probably would not. Either way, it's clear that plenty of people are still buying, because otherwise spam would have died out a long time ago.

There is one other interesting point made in the study. It notes that the industry consensus is that less than one in a million emails leads to a sale (actually, the report says ten in ten million, but I don't see why that shouldn't be reduced), but that number is somewhat misleading, because so much spam is caught in filters. So, the percentage of spams that get through and lead to a sale is much, much higher.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 6:28am

    I suggest that . . .

    These peoples internet privilidges be revoked (much like I believe Bush supporters should lose thier right to vote) as they have demostrated thier judgement to be so poor as to cause potential danger to the rest of us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Peet McKimmie (profile), Aug 21st, 2008 @ 6:44am

    It's quite possible...

    ...that the company phrased the question as "have you purchased a product solely as a result of receiving an email advertising it?", in which case I would have to say "Yes". Then they just made the (erroneous) assumption that all emails advertising products are SPAM and produced the (bad) headline.

    I get regular "weekly bargain" emails from two tech companies and one "office supplies" company; I frequently purchase items on deep reductions from them. I signed up for these emails after purchasing from these companies and confirming they were real and trustworthy. I would *never* buy something marketed by SPAMming.

     

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  3.  
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    Gunnar, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 7:00am

    I'm in the same boat. I'm sure I've bought something that I saw in an email from Newegg or Threadless.

     

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  4.  
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    Sierra Night Tide, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 7:01am

    Spam -- not so good

    Why? I don't get it. Before buying anything from anyone and any company online I do a search for the company reputation, return policy, CSR ect...

    Most Spam is junk products and or ways to just steal money. Hell even the big known companies do it. It took me 3 1/2 months to get off of Match.com auto payments and even than I had to cancel and change credit cards to ensure they stopped. I made the Spam buying mistake once and they charged me double two weeks later in a sneaky thought I wouldn't notice way.

    NEVER buy from Spam.

    However, if the survey is poorly written than I could see why the % is high.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Xanthir, FCD, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 7:02am

    Re: It's quite possible...

    I'd agree that the surveys were very likely worded badly like that. Even among the large group of non-techies among my family and friends that I help out, I don't think a single one has ever actually bought anything from a spam.

    Honestly, the most accurate way to gauge this would probably be just to ask whether they've ever enlarged their penis. ^_^

     

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  6.  
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    Mel, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 7:07am

    Look at the person on your left ...

    Now look at the person on your right.

    One of you needs to stop buying from spam

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 7:19am

    This just in

    A new study says that 83% of all studies are pure bunk.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Matt Bennett, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 7:20am

    So if we're talking about the traditional, truly random, "increase you size" spam (rather than newsletters people signed up for), then 4% would be a huge number. I can tell you as a sales guy, if I did targeted email blast, to people in my contact list, who theoretically might be interested in my product, a 4% response rate would still be doing pretty damn well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 7:21am

    there is a sucker born every minute, 'nough said!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    joe, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 7:25am

    as pogo said

    "we have met the enemy and he is us."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Michael G., Aug 21st, 2008 @ 8:11am

    Spam rules!

    Did anyone see the pop-up selling the autographed O.J. Simpson wood-chipper for ten bucks. Arrived yesterday and love it. Getting one for the wife for Christmas, if she's still here by then. Long live spam!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Greg, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 8:32am

    Re: I suggest that . . .

    And I suggest that you, as a liberal, lose your right to speak. As that's what will eventually happen if liberals like Obama or Hilary get into power.

    Danger to the rest of us resides in people like you. The people you support would just allow terrorism and attacks on the US to continue unabated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 8:40am

    bottom line is some ppl are just idiots:
    how many ppl use to follow up on the "if you dont forward this email message your hotmail account will be deleted"

    i acctually know a few ppl who actually believed the "nigerian general/king scam". Granted thats slightly a different story but if so many fall for those why not "try" there luck on those great bagerns in those spam emails.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    David, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 8:47am

    Just out of curiousity, if you're underage and you get spam from companies selling cigarettes, cigars, and alcohol, can you sue them for exposing minors to such things? They may say "we didn't know they were underage blah blah" but the fact is that spam is technically "illegal,", just that we can't enforce it or find the culprit easily.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: I suggest that . . .

    "Danger to the rest of us resides in people like you. The people you support would just allow terrorism and attacks on the US to continue unabated."

    I understand the Republican party is the party of cowardice these days (just look at the white house full of draft dodgers you guys wanted – or the constant Bush-Rove political attacks on ACTUAL veterans). Really, you Republicans need to "man up" a little and stop cowering. Maybe your already frightened enough to surrender the very ideals America stands for, but some of us care a little more about our country and are not going to simply be scared into destroying it. It’s not terrorists who currently offer the most damaging potential threat to the United States . . . it’s you and the other cowering sheeple whimpering for some "big daddy" to protect them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Dave Barnes, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 9:22am

    Survey asked...

    "Marshal’s research, which asked ‘What purchases have you made from spam,’ attracted 622 responses with 29.1 percent indicating that they had made purchases."

    But, it is NOT a random sample survey!

    "Marshal’s research results are derived from a web-based survey hosted on the Marshal website during June and July 2008. Respondents were asked to select the types of products they had purchased via spam email campaigns from a list of the most commonly spammed products."

    So, while the results make for great headlines, they a statistical nonsense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Sierra Night Tide, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re: I suggest that . . .

    And I suggest that you, speaking as a liberal, lose your right to speak because you we don't need no more stinking McCains & Bushes -- we have enough!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Ssgt. Miller, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: I suggest that . . .

    And I suggest to you, Keep it up, Open that big fat opening you call a mouth and shout it out, we should lose our right to free speach (at least everyone that doenst agree with you)
    You will help us all do a few things:
    1) Identify the Idiots
    2) Shows us the Liberal Thought (or lack there of) Process
    3) Helps Show the rest of the population what Barrack and Bilary's Policies will do

    Freedom is a Responsablity and requires action, not just words and taxes

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    anne, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 10:14am

    I think this number (30%) is awfully high, and agree that the question was probably not written in a way that was clear to people. As a curious side note, I just checked my spam email box to make sure nothing legit got caught up in the spam filters. Here's a list, and this is only four hours' worth of spam:



    From Subject Date Size
    Natalie Mccabe What time is okay for you 9:35 am 2.3 k

    Samuel Harden Reliable software only! 8:51 am 1.7 k

    hamlen carrie Journalists shot in Georgia 7:00 am 9.3 k

    hermon jesus Never be limp again, make your cock rock solid! 6:30 am 1.8 k

    hansel kathleen debt agreement 6:26 am 1.2 k

    Wendi Rushing Best way to cure yourself 7:47 am 3.4 k

    Sunny gomez Britney Spears' actions too Far Out for Newspaper 7:38 am 1.8 k

    leonerd butch Journalists shot in Georgia 5:43 am 9.3 k

    Viagra Inc RE: Sale 79% OFF !!! Dec 31, 1969 0.6 k

    Andre Henry Instead of our old formula, the new one is more ... 6:23 am 6.6 k

    DOUG Petridis Now Tom Cruise wants Britney Spears to marry him... Jan 3, 2002 1.8 k

    dorie binod Journalists shot in Georgia 3:26 am 9.3 k

    Ingrid Tapia What time is okay for you 5:09 am 3.1 k

    Lauri Pickens Replica Rolex Swiss Watches 5:33 am 0.9 k

    Cheri Cartwright Best way to cure yourself 4:00 am 6.7 k

    Phinizy Miettunen Kim Kardashian wants a lesbian tango with Britne... 3:41 am 1.8 k

    Coy Mason {CasinoSubject} 2:55 am 1.1 k

    Alison Blackman Best way to cure yourself 2:50 am 5.1 k

    Rebecca Hanley What does the Bible say about rape? 2:41 am 2 k

    Rodrigo Dutton What time is okay for you 2:10 am 2.3 k

    Gaspar Sorenson California Storm is Britney Spears Fault 1:22 am 1.8 k

    bridgette Jonsson Britney Spears Denies Having Seminal Moments wit... 12:47 am 1.8 k

    Garth Woodard No test, No class, buy yourself Bacheelor/Mastee... 12:45 am 2.5 k

    Maribel Timmons Reliable software only! 12:34 am 1.7 k

    Chad Whitehead P0pular software at low low price$$$. 12:24 am 3.1 k

    Mia Roper Big Tits Wed, 11:43 pm 2.4 k

    Dorothy Kenny Reliable software only! Wed, 11:37 pm 1.7 k

    Carole Saenz Won't forget last night Wed, 11:07 pm 4.2 k

    Hartly Neuendorf Rolex, Rado, Patek Philipppe,, Omega, Gucci Wed, 10:01 pm 2.5 k

    Anne Newsome Most reliable replica from Patek Philippe ... 2:29 am 0.9 k

    Johanna Washburn Won't forget last night Wed, 9:18 pm 6.6 k

    Tomiko Stamm Britney Spears Recording New Album - Forgotten H... Wed, 8:52 pm 1.8 k

    Quinten sahami Britney Spears is dating a girl Wed, 8:15 pm 1.8 k

    Napoleon Stanton Today get 30-70% off all watches. 3:52 am 1.2 k

    Murray Cherry Satisfy your lover like never before! Wed, 7:13 pm 1.5 k

    alep vincenza Britney Spears To Donate Eggs For Darfur Wed, 6:49 pm 1.8 k

    Clair Monogue Britney Spears Applies For Barack Obama Masseuse Job Wed, 5:58 pm 1.8 k

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Franssu, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:07pm

    Re:

    And you're lucky not to have all the spams that were poorly translated by computers. I live in Quebec, and more and more spams I receive have subject lines that are so meaningless they're almost poetic. But also an insult to my intelligence, as all spam is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Jake, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 12:31pm

    Seeing as the price of sending each spam email is effectively zero, the spammers only need one in a million recipients to buy their crap in order to turn a profit.
    Oh, well. Nobody ever claimed an infinite-goods economy wasn't going to have a few drawbacks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Easily Cheatable, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 1:41pm

    Want some free money??

    UPS COURIER COMPANY
    12 Air Port Road,G.R.A.
    West Africa, Nigeria.

    Good Day.

    I am Mrs.Elina Salo Of the UPS Courier Company,I have a Confirmable BankDraft
    of £800,000.00 GBP (Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds), that i
    deposited the Draft with UPS COURIER SERVICE,West Africa,I travelled out of the
    country for my hollidays and I will not return back untill the end of September.

    I want you to try all your best and contact the UPS COURIER SERVICE as soon as
    possible to know when you will get this package because of the expiring
    date.For your information,I have paid for the Security Keeping Fee, Insurance
    premium and Clearance Certificate Fee of the Cheque showing that it is not a
    Drug Money or meant to sponsor Terrorist attacking your Country.

    The only money you will send to the UPS COURIER SERVICE to deliver your Draft
    direct to your postal Address in your country is £200.00 GBP only being
    Delivering Charge Fee of the Courier Company so far.Again,don't be deceived by
    any person to pay any other money except £200.00 GBP being the Delivering
    Charge .I would have paid that but they said no because they don't know when
    you will contact them and in case of damage. You have to contact the UPS
    COURIER SERVICE now for the delivery of your Draft with this below information.

    ============================================
    Contact Person: Mr. Phoenix Mcferrin
    Email Address: upscourierservice_101@hotmail.com
    Telephone: +234-703-712-1986
    +234-805-516-3250
    =============================================
    Lastly, You are advice to send the below information to the Courier Company:
    Your Full Name:
    Postal address:
    Direct telephone number:

    Opening hours
    monday to friday 9.30 - 19.00
    saturday 10.00 - 13.00

    Do send it to them again to avoid any mistake on the Delivery and ask them to
    give you the tracking number to enable you track your package over there and
    know when it will get to your address.

    Yours Faithfully,
    Mrs. Elina Salo.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    For the old men, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 4:15pm

    I'll bet they get a ton of responses to their Viagra and large penis spams from old men. That would not surprise me one bit. I'll bet it's even more than 30% and all the perverted old men make up most of that higher percentage

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Craig, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 7:39pm

    My dad is guilty

    I've been working on getting my Dad to stop responding to spam for about a decade, now...nothing seems to convince him that it's a bad idea. Not the ceaseless viruses and trojans that infect his systems, not the fact that 99.5% of all mail he gets now is spam, not even the realization that he has actually spent money on nonexistent products and services.

    Just two months ago, he forwards me a "run your car on water" email to see if I thought it was a legitimate thing.

    The guy has two college degrees and has run his own businesses for 25+ years, yet somehow, it rarely crosses his mind that someone sending him an email might not be legitimate.

    [shakes head] I don't know...maybe I should just take away his computer altogether.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    CF, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 7:46pm

    Re: Re: I suggest that . . .

    "Danger to the rest of us resides in people like you. The people you support would just allow terrorism and attacks on the US to continue unabated."

    Oh, my, you're so right! All the Democrats actually want terrorists to completely destroy America. And they want all babies to be aborted, thus leading to the end of humanity. And they want everyone to stop using all energy...so they freeze to death, die from heatstroke, or starve. Yep, the Democrats want to kill everyone.

    Seriously...you're just stupid if you actually believe what you wrote. Since I prefer to believe people aren't complete morons, I'll just assume you were joking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Larry A, Aug 21st, 2008 @ 11:31pm

    IRCd Networks

    I guess as long as you have a good provider it doesn't matter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Non Buyer/Spam Sucks!!!, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 12:47am

    Don't buy from spammers!!!

    People who buy junk from spammers are stupid! The product may or may not be delivered, the quality will be bad, and the spammer now has your credit card number to abuse and steal from you as well as a live email address to sell so you get more spam!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    HugeManhood, Aug 22nd, 2008 @ 8:56am

    I love my emailes

    I don't know about you, but my woman has never been happier with the size of my johnson. I suggest you people give it a try!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Chuck, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 6:25am

    Penis

    Big penis

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Chuck, Feb 20th, 2009 @ 6:25am

    Penis

    Big penis

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Alison Blackman, Jul 10th, 2009 @ 7:46am

    No spam from me

    I was searching for my name in a routine search and came across your article. I am hoping that I am NOT the Alison Blackman named in it as a spammer. I was shocked to see my name (I admit, there is more than one out in the universe, including a plant named "Alison Blackman" ) and I want to assure you that THIS alison blackman of the advice sisters didn't send you any such email. I only send emails to people I know, and certainly not with a provocative title like that one. Perhaps my computer was hacked, but I seriously doubt it. Perhaps another Alison Blackman sent you a spam notice. But since you didn't put the domains on your link, you might want to be a little more careful before you put someone's name up in a public forum Please remove mine!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Henk Angenent, Feb 7th, 2010 @ 5:04pm

    Re: No spam from me

    You're stupid!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Links of London jewellery, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 8:19pm

    ff

    thank you very much

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Links of London jewellery, Mar 12th, 2010 @ 8:20pm

    ff

    thank you very much

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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