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Who Says America Doesn’t Produce Anything Anymore?

According to this report today from security firm Sophos, the United States is the worst spam offender in the world, generating 42.5% of all the world’s junk e-mail. “The problem is that there is so much money to be made with spam, and it is very easy to set up a spam operation,” according to Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.

A couple of things here. I know it’s very cheap to set up a spam operation, but are there really still people out there that dumb to be buying anything from a spammer? I guess so. Who knew there was such a market for obviously counterfeit software, illegally recycled printer cartridges, spurious pharmaceuticals, and easy mortgages? Maybe these are the hidden growth businesses of our age. Or maybe P.T. Barnum was all too right.

Worse, consider that for many users, 70% of all e-mail is spam. How can any legitimate marketer compete in that environment? Are you totally scared off of e-mail marketing for your business? Does permission marketing make any difference in this pernicious environment? I suspect that 70% isn’t really all technically spam, but a lot of it is e-mail folks asked for and then when it’s no longer relevant but they’re still getting it, they consider it spam.

Is there any way to reclaim the in-box?

P.S. Guess who’s #2 in spam production? South Korea, with 15.4% of the total. But they’re growing fast. I’d hate to see yet another quintessentially American business get offshored.

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