Are Spammers Good Marketers?

At the risk of fanning a flame I may not want to be stoked, I have to wonder if spammers are as dumb as my recent spam box would indicate.  In the past few weeks, one of my personal email addresses has received the following spam messages:

  • New York State Department of Motor Vehicles regarding a Uniform Traffic Ticket.  I got a chuckle out of police being spelled “polce.” 
  • The BBC Lottery.  Apparently I’m a big winner if I’ll only provide personal details and/or click on their sure-to-be-infected attachment.
  • Mr. John Adam of the FBI wants to speak with me about something.  Uh-oh.  I didn’t do it.  I swear!
  • The United Nations Exhibition 2011 has a grant donation they’d like to make to me.
  • A message from a “Dear Friend” whom I’ve never heard of before.
  • A message from a princess.  Yes, a real, live princess!  She needs my urgent help and trust!

Like any email marketer, their goal is to get me to open their email and take an action (click on a link, open an attachment, reply with details, etc.).  With subject lines like the above, how do you think they did?  Did they have a high open rate?  Did they achieve a high click rate?  What was their open-to-click ratio?  What was their conversion rate?

As “marketers” of their own spam content, when it comes to my personal email account, they fail miserably at marketing.