Spam -- how much will it cost your business?

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According to a recent study conducted by Ferris Research, a market and technology
research firm specializing in messaging and collaboration, Spam will cost U.S.
businesses over $10 billion in 2003.
Spam not only clogs our servers and in-boxes, but it also costs us hours and hours of
lost time in productivity.
Although the estimated cost of Spam focuses mainly on lost productivity, thispicture
may be much broader than you realize.
Some of the more popular email providers, such as AOL (America Online), Yahoo!
and Hotmail, are now utilizing filters to cut down on Spam. These filters are dumping
Spam and/or bulk mailings into a separate location. Although this may cut down on
Spam in your in-box, these filters are also dumping some legitimate email messages.
What'smore, some hosting services not only filter the email messages, but they're
also blocking entire hosting companies. For example, the blocking host may have
gotten some Spam complaints about a few marketers that host with ABC hosting
company. (Keep in mind, ABC hosting company may host thousands of sites.) Rather
than block the offending marketers, the blocking host decides to blacklist theentire
ABC host.
What this means is if you try to contact someone and their hosting company has
blacklisted your host, your email will not go through -- it will bounce right back to
If you suspect you may not be receiving all of your email, contact your host and ask
them if they're using Spam filters or have blocked entire hosting companies.
How Much Will Spam Cost Your Business?How much time do you spend sorting through the Spam in your email each day? Add
it up sometime -- I'll bet you'll find you spend a lot more time than you even realized
-- time that could have been spent on your business.
If you're publishing an ezine or sending out any form of opt-in mailings, how many
subscribers are actually receiving your mailings? Most-likely, not nearly as manysubscribers as you may think. How many lost sales has this cost you?
How many messages, such as information requests, customer support requests, etc.,
have you not received due to filtering?
How many messages have you replied to that your customers or potential customers
have never received due to filtering?
As customer service says a lot about your business practices, how many customerswill you lose?
The list goes on and on. But the point is this, Spam is costing you dearly.
Protecting Your Email Address
So how can you defend yourself? Well, it depends on which side you're on -- how to
protect yourself, and/or how to make sure your messages are getting through.
In order to protect yourself against Spam, you first need to understand how your
email address is obtained.There are many unethical businesses online that collect and sell email addresses.
They use robots that travel from link to link in search of email addresses. Their
customers are led to believe that these email addresses belong to individuals who
want to receive mailings. However, much of the time, this isn't the case.
Never purchase a list of email addresses from anyone other than areputable
company. The only company I can recommend is Post Master Direct.
To protect your email address from these robots, instead of displaying your address
on your site, use a feedback form. Not just any type of form, but a form that doesn't
display your email address within the hidden form fields. The only form I can
recommend is Master Feedback. Youcan pick up a free copy here:
Anytime you're filling out a form online and you're asked to provide your email
address, make sure you review the site's "Privacy Policy" to ensure that your email
address will not be sold or shared with a third party.
Protecting Your In-box
To protect your in-box, you can use a Spam filtering software...
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