Don't Buy from Spammers
Raising the cost of email is hardly an option. So it is important to
- never buy from spammers.
Don't even visit their web sites or do anything else they want you to do. If there is no profit in spamming, all spammers that are in it for the money (and I bet all of them are) have an incentive to stop.
Since spam is to some degree in the eye of the beholder, chances are nobody ever buys something responding to spam anyway, though. For those who buy, the message was targeted.
The problem is actually not with those who reply to spam. The problem is that this targeting was achieved by simply mailing everybody.
This is why the guideline should probably read something like:
- Don't buy from somebody you don't know
- (unless it is clear and you can be sure that they did not spam),
- and from those you did not opt in for only if you can opt out easily.
This is not to mean that Coca-Cola can spam everybody, and it is also not to mean that every unsolicited email is spam. It is my currently best shot at making sure spam doesn't work while email does freely.
(Updated February 2012)