By James Carner, founder, Quickie Marketing
First of all, what is a spam advisory? There are many types. The first type is made up of a single person or group of people who created an email server in order to capture unsolicited spam (black hole). They use this data to study and interpret advertising language to build better spam filtering systems.
The majority of advisories, however, are created by universities. Once they have collected the data, they start blocking text, domains and IPs, as well as openly posting their findings online. The common goal of the advisories, whether large or small, is to create a 99.999 percent spam-free network. In order for their filtering system to work, they must receive spam on a daily basis. This is why many publishers hit spam traps and get reported. They end up finding themselves in an advisories’ black hole. (How this happens will be the subject of a future article.)
There are thousands of advisories, but only a handful (approximately 300) are public knowledge online. Of these, two-thirds are not being maintained, or are crippled or out of business. After months of research, I have found that the majority of those who have started an advisory gave up after just a year or two. They simply didn’t have the resources to capture and interpret all of the spam. Statistics tell us that 2.8 million emails are sent every second and 90 percent of it is junk. Capturing the spam wasn’t the hard part for the advisories; it was the studying and interpreting of each email that required resources and major bandwidth. In the end, the advisories failed because they could not keep up with the daily grind.
Many of those who created advisories had day jobs when they started their new ventures, but that didn’t last long. Just imagine the stress of being bombarded by millions of emails that are switched up by text, IPs and domains (not one is alike) on a daily basis. This kept them on their feet 24/7, not to mention the phone calls and emails from mailers who hit their blocks asking for their IPs to be removed. This proved to be more than just a full-time job — it became a team effort, to say the least. So what do you do when you have exhausted all of your resources? Quit your day job? Yes, and that is where they got into trouble.
Who wants to fund a worn-out IT person who created a few servers to capture spam? From what I understand, most didn’t have a good business plan and were hoping for funding of their effort to “remove spam for good.” In the end, they found out that spam filtering is not a charitable idea, nor can there be profits for many investors. Only a few, like Barracuda and SpamCop.net, have broken through the mold and monetized the process. The two-thirds that fell by the wayside yet decided to leave their black-hole servers up without maintaining them tells an interesting tale about major loss in this industry. Most are right back where they started.
For a full list of all active and non-active spam advisories, you can visit http://www.quickiemarketing.com/spam-advisory
Founder of Quickie Marketing in 2003, James Carner created The Viral Spiral, an Internet marketing newsletter that catered to affiliates and publishers. Quickie metamorphosed from a publisher into a professional email list hygiene company after mailing offers for a few years. James became a private investigator of spam advisory organizations worldwide studying and interpreting black-hole trap servers used to capture spam. Now this knowledge is fed into Quickie’s self-scrubbing, real-time API platform, which is used by its subscribers.
Quickie Marketing removes threats from all types of email marketing lists and caters to hundreds of list owners and publishers.