Spam clickthrough rates

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According to Times, CipherTrust reports that clickthrough rates for pornography spam are 280X higher (5.6%) than for pharmaceutical spam (0.02%). Their explanation:
"Successful spam is about impulse purchases," said Francis deSouza, a vice president at Symantec, which makes antivirus software. "Things like home mortgages have a lower success rate than things you'd buy on impulse. Things like Viagra, porn."

Paul Q. Judge, chief technology officer of Ciphertrust, was philosophical. "If you look at some of the oldest and most successful forms of business on earth, they revolve around sex," he said.

I'm sure part of it is impulse control, but it's worth noting that your average porn web site gives you a bunch of free samples before requiring you to fork over money, so there's actually value in clicking through even if you have no intention of buying. By contrast, there's no reason to click through on pharmaceutical spam unless you're planning to buy.

UPDATE: Corrected 280% to 280X.

2 Comments

Unless that site derives most of its revenues from banner ads for OTHER porn sites.

The reason you still get a lot of mortgage and pharma spam though even with the considerably lower response rates is because of the considerably higher payoffs when people *do* reply to those.

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