Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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7/15/2009
09:04 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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Does Spam Work For IT Services?

A new study finds a shocking 12% of people have replied to spam because they're interested in the product or service. Seriously. Which makes me wonder--do some of you respond to those unsolicited offers for "Romanian PHP, Java, ASP, & .NET Software Outsourcing" I regularly get in my e-mail box?

A new study finds a shocking 12% of people have replied to spam because they're interested in the product or service. Seriously. Which makes me wonder--do some of you respond to those unsolicited offers for "Romanian PHP, Java, ASP, & .NET Software Outsourcing" I regularly get in my e-mail box?I save some of these e-mail messages, because in the back of my mind I've thought there might be a story in finding out if this works, if IT pros trust their IT services work to companies they meet through mass e-mail solicitations. Logically I know some number must buy to justify the practice, but I just haven't really believed it.

Then I see this study from the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group about the number of people in the general population who admit-not to anyone they know, I'm sure-that they've responded to spam. As Ars Technica's Jacqui Cheng deftly explains:

Slightly less than half (48 percent) said that they have never clicked on a spam e-mail. That's the good news, but that means the other half have clicked on or responded to spam. But why? The answers will undoubtedly horrify you. A full 12 percent said that they were interested in the product or service being offered--those erection drug and mail order bride ads do reach a certain market, it appears.
So it got me thinking again about those outsourcing e-mails. Here's a tiny sampling of the unsolicited (and off-target, since I don't buy IT services) e-mail I've gotten of late for IT services:
Hi: Please find the availability list of our consultants. All are available with a week notice and ready to relocate anywhere in USA. For any other queries, please contact the Recruiter that has listed for each individual.

Dear Madam or Sir: With our offshore development center, we are able to offer services at rates of $14/hour with 1-year warranty, $24/hour with 3-year warranty, $34/hour with 5-year warranty.

And for some, the subject line is all you need:

Subject: website design US$6/hr

So what do you think--is my skepticism unfounded, and are these kind of mass e-mails a reasonable source for leads on IT outsourcing? And do you think 12% of your peers have considered buying IT services based on unsolicited e-mails?

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