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Results of the SpamCatcher Attitude Survey

SANTA CLARA, CA - April 30, 2003 - The SpamCatcher Attitude Survey was conducted by Mailshell in March of 2003 and includes data from more than 1,000 respondents. The survey solicited responses from 9,321 users of Mailshell's anti-spam service and yielded 1,118 responses, a 12% response rate. The survey was conducted online.

 • Summary of Findings
 • Raw Scores and Responses

 

Summary of Findings

  1. There is no clear definition of spam. Consumers' definitions of spam differ dramatically from marketers', service providers' and legislators' definitions of spam. It will be difficult for all constituencies to agree on a solution until the problem is more clearly defined.
  2. Percent Who Agree
    "Which of the following would you define as spam? Please check all that apply."
    97%
    "Random commercial email promoting pornography, unwanted business opportunities, etc."
    88%
    "Any email sent by any company with whom you have no prior relationship."
    59%
    "Chain letters, virus hoaxes, etc. sent to you by someone you know."
    53%
    "Any unwanted email sent by companies from whom you have purchased something before."
    44%
    "Mass distribution of any email you don't want (jokes, political views, fundraisers, etc.) sent by someone you know."
    33%
    "Any email that you don't want."
    5%
    "Other"

  3. People still purchase products promoted via spam, making spamming profitable. More than 8% of respondents admitted that they have actually purchased a product promoted to them via spam. Given the low cost of sending spam, and the surprisingly high purchase rate among these tech-savvy users, it's not surprising that spamming thrives.


  4. Consumers make themselves targets for spam. Although more than 50% of respondents believe that, "my own behavior online affects the volume of spam I'm currently receiving", a shocking 28% admit that they have replied to spam, thereby making themselves likely targets for future spamming.


  5. Many people blame their ISPs for spam. 48% agree, "My ISP is capable of doing more to reduce spam but is not willing to do so". Even worse, 57% of respondents don't trust their ISP; 20% 'agree' and 37% are 'not certain' that "my ISP sells my email address and is therefore responsible for some of the spam I get."


  6. Spam is more than a nuisance. 23% of respondents say that their computer has been infected with "a virus, worm, tracking device or other invasive code via spam."


  7. Many people do not believe that anti-spam legislation would help. Only 62% agree, "making spam illegal would really help reduce the problem."




SpamCatcher Attitude Survey - Raw Scores and Responses
Survey conducted online, during March 2003.
  • Total queries = 9,321
  • Total respondents = 1,118
  • Response rate = 11.99%
  • Numbers below in RED indicate percent responses and actual number of responses.

  1. Which of the following would you define as spam? Please check all that apply:
    97% (1,085) Random commercial email promoting pornography, unwanted business opportunities, etc.
    88% (986) Any email sent by any company with whom you have no prior relationship.
    53% (591) Any unwanted email sent by companies from whom you have purchased something before.
    59% (661) Chain letters, virus hoaxes, etc. sent to you by someone you know.
    44% (495) Mass distribution of any email you don't want (jokes, political views, etc.), sent by someone you know.
    33% (368) Any email that you don't want.
    5% (53) Other.


  2. Have you ever purchased a product promoted to you via spam?
    8% (92) Yes 92% (1026) No


  3. How often have you opened a spam message?
    7% (76)Frequently 6% (65) Often 22% (246) Sometimes 54% (605) Rarely 11% (130) Never


  4. Have you ever sent a reply to a spam message?
    28% (315) Yes 72% (802) No


  5. My computer has been infected with a virus, worm, tracking device or other invasive code via spam.
    23% (258) Yes 51% (572) No 26% (289) I'm not certain


  6. I believe that my own behavior online affects the volume of spam I'm currently receiving.
    50% (566) Agree 26% (286) Disagree 24% (265) Not certain


  7. I believe that my ISP is capable of doing more to reduce spam but is not been willing to do so.
    48% (533) Agree 16% (181) Disagree 36% (401) Not certain


  8. I believe that my ISP sells my email address and is therefore responsible for some of the spam I get.
    20% (229) Agree 43% (478) Disagree 37% (411) Not certain


  9. The press exaggerates the problem of spam.
    8% (86) Agree 79% (883) Disagree 13% (149) Not certain


  10. Making spam illegal would really help reduce the problem.
    62% (693) Agree 16% (179) Disagree 22% (246) Not certain

About Mailshell
Mailshell is the creator of the SpamCatcher Engine, the easiest solution to spam. The company's products include anti-spam software developers' tools and a suite of enterprise and personal anti-spam products. Mailshell recently earned an "Editor's Choice" award in PC Magazine's review of spam filters, and has been dubbed "priceless" by Forbes magazine, "excellent" by the Associated Press and "easy to use" by CNET.

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Contact:
Stefan Pollack, The Pollack PR Marketing Group, (310) 556-4443, spollack@ppmgcorp.com

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