February 16, 2005
These are the suckers that are born every minute

Via Ginger: About four percent of online adults, representing some five million people, have purchased a product or service via spam. I am at a loss for words.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 16, 2005 to Technology, science, and math | TrackBack

Given the current world birth rate times 4% there are approximately 7 suckers born every minute. I suspect P.T. Barnum was not being sarcastic but drew his conclusion from direct observation and a little math, and developed a business plan around it.

Posted by: Charles Hixon on February 16, 2005 12:39 PM

I wonder if they're counting unsolicited e-mail from places where we've shopped before as spam? I'll get notices from time to time that the Gap or Amazon or west elm is having a sale or a product that their data miner thinks I might like. I'll go sometimes ahead and buy whatever it is that they're selling.

Posted by: 'stina on February 16, 2005 1:12 PM

I tend to agree that they are counting data miner E-mail as spam, however, I found it interesting that 4% actually bought a product via such E-mail. My understanding is that about 20% of all spam is actually read, so 4% of that is still enough of a percentage (4*.2 = 0.8) for spammers to persue.

Personally, if I don't know you, I delete your E-mail.

Posted by: William Hughes on February 16, 2005 2:16 PM

I'd expect that birth rate to increase as the effects of the herbal viagra are seen. Fortunately housing should be plentiful and cheap with all those low interest mortgate rates available.

Posted by: Patrick on February 16, 2005 2:24 PM

I found it interesting that 4% actually bought a product via such E-mail. My understanding is that about 20% of all spam is actually read, so 4% of that is still enough of a percentage (4*.2 = 0.8) for spammers to persue.

No, it's not 4% of all spams that are read that result in a sale; it's 4% of all people who have email who recall having responded to spam at some time. You're trying to combine apples and oranges.

I suspect the response rate is way less than 0.8%. But as long as spam is so cheap to send, the response rate can be pretty dismal and spam is nevertheless profitable.

Posted by: Mathwiz on February 16, 2005 3:52 PM