just_hit_delete_0001 - 2004-09-17 Just Hit Delete?
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just_hit_delete_0001 - 2004-09-17 Just Hit Delete?

Over and over again we see the phrase "Just Hit Delete". Bulk email senders chant this at us when we complain about all their spewage. They say it's no big deal and we can always just delete the stuff we don't want to see. Sure, it might sound somewhat reasonable, at first. But, what is the cost of JHD? Let's look at a real world example.

One of our associates receives about 30 spams (excuse us, "unwanted emails") in his inbox daily. True, that's not a huge task to hit delete 30 times. It does take maybe 2 seconds each though because the subject and sender have to be examined to make sure it's unwanted. Sometimes the message body itself has to be opened to be sure. Then again there are the occasional cases in which the wrong email is deleted, so he must open the trash folder and drag it back to the inbox. Overall it probably averages 4 seconds for each one, or 2 minutes per day. Seems reasonable enough.

Multiply that 2 minutes by 7 days per week and it becomes 14 minutes per week, and 728 minutes per year. Yes, that's over 12 hours per year spent just hitting delete. At $17.50/hour this is $212.33 worth of his employer's money that is wasted on JHD. Multiply that by the 38 employees also doing JHD at the same company and it's $8068.67 per year of JHD. Now we're getting into some real money, and this is just a tiny company. What small business wouldn't want to save over $8000 wasted expenses each year?

Now, this is just the inbox. Each of these employees also has a spam (excuse me again, "unwanted email") folder to tend to as well. It does a fair job of trapping the unwanted email with about 70 per day ending up in there instead of the inbox, but it still must be checked at least a few times each day just in case a good email goes astray. Add in another 3 minutes per day per employee for this task and we're up to $20,171.67 per year. Well, wait a minute ... I can hear some of the bulk emailers in the back crying "that's not part of JHD!" True, it's not hitting delete. However, the reason we have the spam folders in the first place is because of the overwhelming bulk email. The bulk senders claim JHD is the answer to the problem and since the problem involves spam folders and checking them, spam folders do fall under the JHD solution. Fair enough?

Now, these spam folders didn't just appear out of nowhere. The company had to set up software on it's mail server to scan each email and send them to inboxes or spam folders. The system needs occasional maintenance. The users also make more demands on the company's IT department when problems arise. All this effort wastes another 3 hours per week or so and at $25/hour this is $75/week or $3900/year, bringing the total up to $24,071.67. The company also had to purchase a faster mail server and more hard drive space to handle the extra email load. It's hard to quantify how much this costs per year, but if this sort of upgrade must now be done every 2 years instead of 4, that could add another $500/year to the cost. We're up to $24,517.67 now.

Of course, not all the bulk email ends up in inboxes or spam folders. The volume of unwanted email is so high that the company had to start making use of blocking lists to keep the flow manageable. This causes the mail server to reject at least 2500 emails per day. Now, since JHD is supposed the solution these blocking lists shouldn't have to be used, right? For that matter the spam folders shouldn't have to be used either. So the company's users would then be facing some 165 or so unwanted emails in their inboxes every day. At 4 seconds each this would be 1.28 hours or $22.46 per week per employee, $853.42 per week or $44,377.67 per year for the whole company.

Imagine what this figure would be for a company with 10,000 employees instead of only 38. JHD is a *very* expensive solution to the unwanted bulk email problem!

Hey, bulk email senders ... we'll try JHD if that's what you want us to do, but only if you'll pay for it. Hey, it's your solution to the problem you caused. It only seems fair that you'll pick up the tab. TOASTEDspam.com toasted spam dot com