CAN-SPAM Five Months Later

    May 21, 2004

Got spam? Me, too. Five months after CAN-SPAM became the law of the land, here are some of the changes in the landscape.

First, the bad news:

Spam continues to rise.

According to Brightmail, spam comprised 62% of all email in February, up from 48% at this time last year and up 4% from December-before CAN-SPAM went into effect.

One survey also indicated that internet users are becoming more wary of shopping with online vendors, fearing they will receive more spam as a result.

Not a good sign for those of use who wish to do business online.

But there is some good news:

The majority of spam-almost 80%–is being effectively filtered out so the amount of spam ending up in our inboxes is actually decreasing.

Over 90% of spam is being produced by a small number of people (around 200), most of whom are quickly coming under the scrutiny of the US government (contrary to popular belief, 163 of them operate their businesses from the US.)

Last month the FTC filed extensive charges against four suspected spammers and many more are likely to come shortly.

But the real question for those of us who depend on email to conduct profitable business is this: How can I make my business more profitable in the current business environment?

Here are my suggestions:

1. Continue to use email as a primary marketing tool.

For the foreseeable future, email will continue to be one of the most cost-effective ways for you to produce sales and profits. Those who have abandoned email in favor of desktop applications are jumping the gun.

To make sure you are complying with the provisions of the CAN-SPAM act yourself, I have put together a free report here:

2. Expand your marketing options.

Email (or its variant) will continue to be a marketing option for legitimate marketers. But expect email to become more difficult, expensive and/or restrictive in the years to come.

Now is the time to begin expanding your marketing to offline methods: print media, alternate electronic media, direct mail. These more traditional marketing methods may “cost” a little more on the front end, but they will allow you to produce a much higher volume of sales than simply using email alone.

3. Don’t fall prey to fear.

With every change there are the “chicken littles” who will cry “this is the end of the world as we know it.” Pay attention to changes, but don’t fear them. Anyone who builds a business over time will see a myriad of changes. Those who give way to fear will make poor decisions that will damage their business.

Is CAN-SPAM a good or bad thing? Tough to say. But you can still run a highly profitable business in spite of the changes.

Kevin Bidwell is owner of

Kevin just finished a complete report on building a passive
income. Grab your copy here: