No matter what it is someone is doing, there's another someone looking for a way to get them to pay for it. This time, though, it might be good. America Online, in a move similar to one Yahoo began implementing earlier this week, announced plans to begin charging for SPAM. That is, make the company advertising pay for it, on the range of $2-3 for every 1,000 e-mails. This isn't all good news – the money isn't for SPAM stopping research, merely another source of income for AOL, and doesn't take into account that the majority of SPAM comes from people doing it illegally anyways. In the future, perhaps, this will become more effective, and more people will be assured that advertisement reaching their inbox is at least safe, if not wanted.
"This will be painful for marketers in the beginning, but it is a positive step in forcing them to be more selective in who they e-mail," says Jupiter Research's David Daniels. "Many now just blast e-mail rather than target an audience."
This move comes in partnership with Goodmail, a company working to provide “certified” mail environments where an entire company has a record that indicates whether or not the e-mail will be delivered. As it stands, most e-mail today is still “just delivered”, regardless of course or content, and this is one step to changing that. It's unlikely this will have much of an impact at first, but there is a problem with SPAM and something has to be done, criticism aside.