I recently made a career change and have set up a new e-mail account for all my important correspondence to be sent to - OST stuff etc. I've been running the e-mail account for four weeks and the account has been "clean" - no spam, no unsolicited advertising etc. I changed my e-mail account details with OST yesterday and this morning I've got to delete spam, and other marketing e-mails. I opt out of everything other than the key stuff wrt IPO's etc. The coincidence on the timing suggests that OST are a source of my details getting out. So a direct question: Are OST selling e-mail contact list details as a little side revenue stream. Anyone else experienced similar or am I just being paranoid?
A useful trick with Gmail is to use the plus sign to create new addresses that still point at your own one. E.g. if you're [email protected], give out [email protected] and [email protected] addresses to different providers. The address that spam goes to will give away the source.
nah .. people don't sell lists, they have very little value (sure spammers do, but for a business frankly your email address has a value of what, a cent maybe) .. spammers get your email via harvesting or guessing ..
Contact lists are definitely sold (or "rented" as the ones who do it like to call it). Also, the OTC client contact list would most definitely be worth a lot more to marketers than just 1c per contact. I am not doubting your word at all, Simon, but I think to say that "people don't sell lists" is wildly inaccurate as a general statement. Also, just as a thought that many business owners/managers tend to forget: staff who have access to contact lists may be selling them (or giving them away) without the owners' knowledge. The OTC client list is a collection of a very specific type of person, or at the very least, a group of people amongst whom there will be a large percentage of a very specific type of person. Don't underestimate the value of such information.
No reputable business in their right mind would try gain a bit extra doing something like this. Think about it- imagine the fallout e.tc. IT DOESNT MAKE BUSINESS SENSE. The real question is, is some low level person with access to this info selling it on the side?.
mark is right .. lets say we have 1million clients and we sell the list at 100c per client .. now the spammer pats R1m and spams he list and get san amazingly high response rate of 1% .. he has to make R100 per hit .. frot business .. flip side we just made R1m selling our list .. a million .. heck all we have to do is increase the monthly subs t R51 and we make r12m a year .. doesn't add up ..
now sure lists are sold, but between spammers and on multiple emails per cent ..
The companies that "rent out" their contact lists don't do it once only. They do it over and over and over, many times a year to many clients, and it is an important part of their revenues. Their clients are typically businesses that punt subscription services so that the initial investment of renting the list is worth it over a period of time, even if the response rate is as small as 2-3%. Once again, I don't doubt that this hasn't happened here, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen and that it isn't highly profitable.
There are spammers and then there are spammers. Your average "V14GRA" selling spammer with e-mails full of spelling errors, who grabs e-mail addresses off the web, yes, 0.01% is probably generous. But "rented" lists are another kettle of fish altogether. They are qualified and valuable and their response rates are 2-3% on average and can go as high as 6% - and that is not a guess.