Happy Birthday, CAN-SPAM
Last week the 5th Anniversary of the CAN-SPAM Act passed by with little fanfare. To date, there been a handful of notorious spammers brought to court and successfully prosecuted under the act. This year there was an interesting service of justice when Sanford Wallace, the self-dubbed “Spam King” was fined along with a partner for $230 million to MySpace for using malware and promoting gambling and pornography to MySpace users.
Network-Centric Marketers who are naturally above these bottom feeders have generally known to respect the email boxes of consumers. No major brand or corporation has been successfully sued for violation of the act; for the most part, the corporate marketers know they can still send an initial unsolicited email to a prospect as long as there is a mechanism in the email for the prospect to opt-out. Campaign management has not been hindered by CAN-SPAM and neither has lead generation – SEO/SEM and other tools have allowed marketers to keep the potential deals flowing in.
But has CAN-SPAM really been effective? The Marketing Consigliere gets relatively little spam compared to other people he knows, but the topics are generally familiar to most of us – porn, pills, degrees, and somewhat peculiar to the mix are watches. The sidewalk hawkers of yesterday trying to dump knockoffs on pedestrians now seem to be sending daily reminders on getting Rolex and TAG/Heuer watches at a discount.
Do you think CAN-SPAM has worked or should the Feds come down even harder?