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MIT Technology Review

The Cost of Spam

U.S. workers spend 2.8 minutes a day deleting the average of 18.5 spam messages they receive a day, costing their respective businesses nearly $22 billion per year, according to this Washington Post article. That works out to just over 9…

February 3, 2005

U.S. workers spend 2.8 minutes a day deleting the average of 18.5 spam messages they receive a day, costing their respective businesses nearly $22 billion per year, according to this Washington Post article. That works out to just over 9 seconds per message, which I’m guessing is about twice what it takes me to read a spam message before deleting it. Still, that’s a pile of cash, but you have to be careful with these kinds of microcalculations. How much time do workers waste combing their hair?

The results come from a survey of 1000 adults, and clearly shows what the problem is: 14 percent of spam recipients actually read messages to see what they say, and 4 percent of the recipients have bought something advertised through spam within the past year. Four percent! No wonder ther”s so much unsolicited email being sent–it works.