Why Try To Beat A Spam Filter When It Makes Spam Obvious?

from the stupid-spammers dept

Spammers certainly aren’t known for thinking more than one step ahead. These are, after all, people who believe in the scorched earth policy of inundating people with bogus marketing – without realizing that doing so probably turns more people off than helps with sales. So, I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise to find them doing more stupid things, such as including “hash busters” to get around spam filters when doing so makes it obvious to the human eye that an email is spam. Spammers seem so focused on getting around spam filters these days, that they’ve forgotten that it doesn’t do them much good if people automatically delete the spam message as soon as it hits their in-box. The fact is, in the end, the human sitting at the computer is the final spam filter. While humans are not as efficient as automated spam filters, they’re pretty damn good at determining what’s spam: any email they don’t want. In making it easier for that “final spam filter” to weed out the spam, the spammers are (as usual) doing little good for themselves.

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Comments on “Why Try To Beat A Spam Filter When It Makes Spam Obvious?”

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Raymond Chen (user link) says:

Their goal is to get past the ISP's filters

The goal is to make it past the ISP’s spam filters and reach the people who do not delete spam unread.
Making up numbers, let’s say that 80% of ISPs use spam filters and say 0.01% of people actually reads spam. If the spammers don’t employ hash-busters, then their eyeball rate is 0.002%. But if they use the hash-busters, then it goes up to 0.01%, a fivefold improvement.
The fact that the number of people who actually read spam is nonzero is evidenced by the fact that the Nigerian scam is still roping in suckers.

Rich (user link) says:

Remember the customer, product

For a spammer, the customer is the business soliciting their services and the product is successful deliveries. They don’t care how much money their customer makes. Their job is to show that their email service puts email in mailboxes and they get paid per mailbox. Metrics for success include bounces, complaints, web bug bites, and only as a last resort clickthroughs.

BoilerBob says:

Re: Remember the customer, product

I would agree but for the fact that this is a short term strategy. The customer needs to sell their products to make money. If they get no clickthroughs there’s no sales. No sales means A)They stop selling. B)They decide spam is bad advertising and move ad $s to something else or C) contract with a different spammer.

BTW – I’ve never worked for a spammer but I’ve worked for legit e-commerce sites and they pushed hard to pay sites for sales then clicktroughs then impressions (ie mailboxes). It didn’t matter how many people saw the ad it was how many people came and bought.

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