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Good Spam or Bad Spam...What is the Difference?

By Sara Hardy
Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Are you Good Spam or Bad Spam?

This is the question I find echoing in my head sometimes when I am going through my email, as if it is part of some electronic Wizard of Oz. Have you ever given any thought to the fact that there really is a difference in spam? Not that I am defending anyone, but let me make my point and then you can decide for yourself.

Spam is such a hot issue and no one knows the "right" view of spam that fits everyone.
You either:
- will take all measures to prevent people from sending it to you
- don't mind it at all and happily delete, delete, delete every day
- OR hate it sometimes and ignore it other times.

I think I fall in the last category, which is what started me thinking about good and bad spam. My point of view has now developed into this:

BAD Spam-
It is bad spam when you reply to it to be removed and it is returned to you because the address is made up. It is bad spam when the removal link does not open a real url. It is bad spam when you paste the message source into Spam Cop and the info you get back before clicking the "Send spam report" shows tons of dead ends and made up domains, etc.

This means that this "Cowardly Lion" harvested your address, and went to great lengths to cover their tracks in order not to get caught sending spam.

GOOD Spam-
It is good spam when there is an actual person on the other end, apologizing for inconveniencing you. What made it good spam? Because here is spam that you most likely will not get again, because it is more legit then the bad spam. These people are not out to break any rules, upset anyone, or ruin your day. 9 times out of 10 they really don't know any better and will learn, very quickly I might add.

Also, keep in mind that the Scarecrow in us does not ALWAYS remember every email we sign up for. It is possible to have signed up for something and a week later be flipping out because you are getting email from some unknown. If we only had a brain sometimes (Speaking for myself, of course).

It is also highly possible that someone is having fun subscribing you to things. Never count that one out, it happens all of the time.

Personally, I would much rather get good spam. Bad spam demonstrates that the sender KNOWS what is not acceptable and went to all of this trouble and expense to hide behind this long trail of fake addresses. That they took the time to do that is malicious, in my way of thinking. Do they really think that what they are trying to sell in this manner is actually worth it? These are the people we should be upset with. These are the people that we need to be telling, "I'll get you my pretty, and your little server too!"

So, whether you agree or disagree, just try to keep in mind that
1. The whole world is not out to get you.
2. Not every piece of spam is sent with the same intent. And...
3. As the world around us continues to change, we will be seeing more and more companies resorting to sending their junk mail through email rather then the post office. (I think this is becoming a more desirable thing to us all, as it would be much safer.)

Now is the time to try to adjust our view and approach the issue with a level head. If we don't we will drive ourselves mad, and for what purpose? The changes in our world cause the internet to change. Soon you probably will find yourself saying, "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore".

About the Author
Written by Sara Hardy Owner of MarketingTrendz, and Publisher of The OnLine Exchange Ezine. To subscribe to her ezine goto: ( This will automatically make you a member of The Profit Zone, a FREE Members Only Club that gives you unlimited access to FREE marketing tools, ebooks, resources and more!


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