On 30 Dec 2019, at 16:06, Keith Moore <moore(_at_)network-heretics(_dot_)com>
On 12/30/19 10:58 AM, Laura Atkins wrote:
On 30 Dec 2019, at 15:24, Keith Moore
On 12/30/19 8:31 AM, Laura Atkins wrote:
30% of email addresses on a marketing list go bad every year. It doesn’t
seem that changing email addresses is that problematic.
Of course it is problematic, because any email address that is changed for
that reason cannot be used as stable contact info for use between friends
and colleagues. And this degrades the utility of email.
This has been the case since 1999.
So addressing the issue is clearly long overdue.
Why are you assuming no one has attempted to address the issue in 20 years?
Of those 30%, I wonder how many of those addresses were addresses that
people intended to use as stable addresses in the first place. I wonder
how many people obtain "throwaway" addresses specifically for the purpose
of disclosing in contexts where they seem likely to be exploited by
marketers, while reserving other addresses for use for mail that they want
There has been published research on this. Which goes back to what Dave was
saying - you really need to understand what has been done before
you start proposing solutions. I have a copy of the ..pdf, but you can
search google to find it, too. The title is "ISPs and Spam: The Impact of
Spam on Customer Retention and Acquisition," Gartner Inc., Stamford, Conn.
June 14, 1999.
Thanks for this and other references. I certainly agree that I need to
survey the literature. But it's not necessary to survey the literature to
understand that spam is a huge problem and that existing solutions are
It is necessary to understand why the existing solutions are what they are.
You’ve made a host of assumptions that are, quite honestly, disrespectful of
the people who’ve been working on this for their entire careers.
(I assume this is your reference for the 30% figure also?)
This is, to the best of my research, the original iteration of the 30% figure.
There is more recent data as well.
But yes, I'm aware that one of the ways that people deal with spam is by
changing email addresses. If spam as experienced by ordinary people
were not so bad, causing them to change email addresses as a way of dealing
with it, email would be more useful.
In 1999, the volume of spam was a tiny fraction of what it is today. And,
yet, it was bad enough to cause 30% of people to abandon their email
And yet, a lot has changed since 1999, so the conditions that caused 30% of
the people to abandon email addresses then may not be the same conditions
that exist now, even if that 30% figure were about the same today as then.
(but do we even know that?)
This is the type of question you can answer yourself with research.
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