DMA encouraged by e-mail marketing progress

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on January 2, 2006

DMA encouraged by e-mail marketing progress

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) says it is encouraged by the US Federal Trade Commission's report to Congress on the effectiveness of the CAN-SPAM Act, in which it confirmed that much has been done to mandate best practices for legitimate e-mail and provide tools that help law enforcement authorities stem the tide nuisance e-mails.

The DMA also said it openly congratulates legitimate senders of e-mail, law enforcement agencies, and ISPs on their successful efforts, and anticipates an electronic marketplace that's safe for consumers and businesses to use. As the FTC report noted, filtering and other technologies are already helping consumers see some declines in spam levels.

General compliance Legitimate organisations are generally complying with CAN-SPAM requirements and have taken significant steps to ensure that legitimate marketing messages include honest subject lines, accurate header information, a physical location address, and a prominent and easy-to-use opt-out function.

"While legitimate marketers are taking steps to combat spam, the vast majority of what remains is coming from people who have no intention of following the law," said Jerry Cerasale, the DMA's senior vice president for government affairs.

Lou Mastria, DMA's vice president for interactive & emerging media, said: "Most of the spam that consumers continue to see in their inboxes is being sent from hijacked addresses and through so-called 'zombie' servers." (The term "zombie server" refers to an unsecured computer - such as a home computer, office workstation, or even a commercial server - that has been hacked illegally and used by spammers or other internet criminals.)

Secure that computer Mastria warned: "The single most important thing that both individuals and companies can do now is to make their computers and servers secure (apply security patches, keep anti-virus software up to date, and use a firewall). When spammers aren't able to conceal their identities, law enforcement will be better able to find and prosecute them."

The DMA estimates that legitimate commercial e-mail resulted in approximately US$39 billion in sales in 2004, including some US$9 billion in small business sales. Mastria concluded: "We believe that e-mail can deliver great value for consumers and more revenue for the US and global economies if spam and fraud can be reduced or eliminated."

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