You call it spam, they call it a living: "About 8 percent of spam recipients actually respond. [No attribution to this stat, unfortunately.] ..
It didn't take long for accountant Laura Betterly to do the math. About 2-1/2 years ago, the single mother from Florida was looking for a lucrative career that would allow her to work at home and spend more time with her two sons, then ages 10 and 11. Betterly, already a savvy businesswoman, and three friends started a bulk e-mailing business - as she prefers to call it - with $15,000. Six months later, she had earned nearly $200,000. Today, she employs 20 people, and she's mum about what she makes, but she does reveal that her company hit the $1 million mark last year. She has moved the business out of her home and into a downtown office in Clearwater, Fla. Her sons both attend private school. And she is home for dinner every night with the boys and her new husband. ..
She calls her product "spam lite" because she does "things differently from other e-mailers." In other words, she explains, she follows the specifics of the new law and refuses to promote any product that wouldn't be appropriate for her 13-year-old son. .. "Most people imagine a guy in a trailer park smoking a cigarette and beating his wife," she says, laughing. "They are often surprised to find that I can put a sentence together."
Betterly thinks that when done right, bulk e-mailing can be a terrific boon to the entrepreneur. She cites the example of a 70-year-old man who wrote a book about improving one's billiards game. He approached Betterly, she sent out millions of e-mails promoting his book, and now he supplements his Social Security income with the profits. .. Among Betterly's other clients are a distributor of alligator meat, an owner of Texas ranch land, and a debt negotiation company (not "consolidation" - a distinction she makes clear).
Betterly is paid in various ways. She charges one fee for every 1 million e-mails she sends. That fee can range from $600 to $1,000, depending on whether the promotion is targeted to a specific location or demographic. She then charges about half that amount for each additional million e-mails sent. .. On a typical day, Betterly's firm might send out 8 million pieces of spam for more than 10 different clients. If 100 people respond, she'll do just fine. .. Betterly no longer sends bulk e-mail to anyone with a Yahoo address. Yahoo and a few other ISPs filter too well, she says, so she doesn't get much response." 8:54:03 PM