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How to stop marketing spam dead in its tracks

Occasionally, I'll get e-mail marketing messages directed at my business from other businesses. Most of the time I'll just hit delete and I never hear from them again. However, I'll occasionally run into a REALLY persistent entity out there that drops their useless marketing in my in-box daily and also tries to get personal to the point that it is creepy. If their company has a U.S.-based address anywhere, then they are in violation of CAN-SPAM U.S. Federal law, which requires an existing business relationship to initiate contact. All other contact is subject to a maximum $40,654 USD fine per message as per the Federal Trade Commission's website. Here is what I send to the obnoxious, persistent entities:

"As per CAN-SPAM U.S. Federal regulations, remove all addresses from your contact list immediately and stop abusing my system resources. You do NOT have an established business relationship with me. Any further contact will be construed as soliciting my business services at a billable rate of $2,000 USD per hour, minimum one hour. An official complaint has also been filed with your hosting provider, the Attorney General Offices of YourStateGoesHere and TheirStateGoesHere, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission."

It's an extremely effective, albeit terse message. As a bonus, the message stops their business from even making a reply via e-mail that I've been removed from their contact lists. It is so effective, in fact, that I have even received Certified Mail, which alone costs around $3.50 USD to send, from law firms that those businesses retain saying that: I've been removed from the contact list, will not receive further contact, and that neither the business nor the law firm are interested in my business' services! Of course, lawyers don't come cheap, so the Certified Mail portion of such an exercise is probably the most affordable part of letting me know.

Oh, and if they do contact me again via e-mail, they are contractually and legally obligated to pay me $2,000 USD. I just invoice them and append the entry to accounts receivable and they either pay it OR if they don't pay it then I can either file a claim with a small claims court ($2,000 USD is under the legal limit in most jurisdictions) or I can sell the debt off to a collections agency who will give them a taste of their own medicine since debt collections agencies are well-known for their harassing tactics. Okay, that hasn't happened yet, but I'm patiently waiting for the day when someone's mailing list software automatically sends me a message letting me know that I've been removed from the list. Because that will be fun! Any way you look at it, it costs me nothing but a little time, they are gone, they will blacklist my entire domain for all time from their system (not just one e-mail address), someone at their business might get fired for purchasing a spam marketing list, and they will think twice before buying a spam marketing list from anyone ever again. I don't like spam and no one should have to put up with it. If I can make the world a better place with a few minutes of time and four simple sentences, then I view the effort as worthwhile.

Feel free to adopt the text above for your needs. It works! A quiet in-box is a happy in-box. If CAN-SPAM threatened the death penalty instead of an unenforced fine, our in-boxes would be completely devoid of marketing messages and this post wouldn't be necessary.

Fun fact: Most spam originates from within the U.S., which makes the U.S. the world leader in spam marketing. Hooray! We're really good at annoying everyone else.