According to an excellent article in last Sunday's Washington Post
, there's been a 600% increase in spam over the last year. In April 2001, vendor Brightmail counted 700,000 spam "attacks" (that's not individual pieces of spam, but spam campaigns which might include millions of names). In April 2002, they counted 4.3 million attacks. Wow.
This affects legitimate marketers tremendously because your recipients are inundated with email and less likely to pay attention to yours (see my blog below), and their ISPs and IT departments are using filters that might stop legitimate email along with spam.
Plus, it gives rise to yet more movements; such as state and Federal legislation as well as vigilante black-list/blackhole organizations; which can also catch legitimate marketers in their net. Kind of like dolphins getting caught along with tuna.
What can you do? Expect your results metrics to continue to decrease while this spam avalanche is going on; track legislation carefully; monitor your own broadcast email delivery reports constantly to make sure there's no sudden upsurge in bounces that might be an ISP rejecting your message outright; and make sure the email vendor you use to send out broadcast messages has a full-time privacy and spam officer who has strong personal relationships with major ISPs, including AOL. Also, (shameless self-promotion) be sure to read our new newsletter EmailSherpa
every week which covers this stuff in more detail.