Internet Performance Delivered right to your inbox

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Spam Mail

Part of being a reputable email delivery provider is to be 100% committed to the elimination of spam. We don’t work with those who use purchase or rent lists and we spend every day helping some of the best organizations around the world improve their deliverability scores and email impact — all the right way.

But spam mail exists and there are some interesting facts I dug up recently on the villain of email delivery.

1) The first recorded instance of spam was a mass unsolicited commercial telegram in May 1864 using Western Union. The first electronic spam mail was sent in 1978 as an advertising email to 393 recipients on ARPANET, composed by Gary Thuerk.

2) The Top 10 spam producing countries and their estimated spam output (in TRILLIONS!) are:

  • Brazil    13.76
  • India    10.98
  • South Korea    6.32
  • Vietnam    5.71
  • United States     5.46
  • Russia    2.85
  • Romania    2.53
  • Columbia    2.37
  • UK    2.34
  • Poland    2.31

3) Spam (in the electronic sense) became a recognized English word in 1998 when The New Oxford Dictionary of English defined it as “irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of newsgroups or users.” Previously, the book had only referenced the delicious canned meat product.

4) The name SPAM comes from a Monty Python sketch mocking the amount of spam in post-WW2 England.

5) Of the 107 trillion pieces of mail sent in 2010, 89.1% was spam. This number is actually down from nearly 95% in 2009.

6)  The estimate for the cost of spam mail in terms of lost productivity, energy costs and increased equipment cost is $130 billion worldwide every year.

7) Spam exists on almost all electronic mediums including phone, email, texting, blogs, forums, social media and search engines.

8 ) A recent test to identify the click-through rate of spam found that after 26 days and almost 350 million email messages, there were only 28 sales. This translates to an effectiveness of 1-in-12 million.

9) 80% of spam involves a medical topic.

10) The most common celebrity to be mentioned in SPAM for 2009 was U.S. President Barack Obama.

If you want to help avoid your email get flagged as spam, let’s start a conversation and get you on the right track to email success. You certainly don’t want anything like this happening to you, do you?

Matt Torrisi is a Quality Control Technician at Dyn, an IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) company that features a full suite of DNS and email delivery solutions for enterprise, personal and SMB use. Follow us at Twitter: @DynInc.


Share Now

Whois: Matt Torrisi

Matt Torrisi is Solution Architect at Dyn, the world leader in Internet Performance Solutions that delivers traffic management, message management, and performance assurance. Follow on Twitter: @DrFuzz42 and @Dyn.