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WASHINGTON, D.C. – E-mail is in danger of losing some of its effectiveness as a marketing channel for credit unions, and everyone else, because of one simple reason: spam. “People just love e-mail and it really bothers them that spam is ruining such a good thing,” says Deborah Fallows, a senior research fellow at the Pew Internet & American Life Project and author of a new report titled “Spam: Hurting E-Mail and Degrading the Internet Environment.” Fallows says a national phone survey of 1,380 Internet users (yielding a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points) conducted in June shows that 25% of Americans are using e-mail less because of spam and that more than half feel that spam has made them less trustful of e-mail in general. Fallows noted that we’re also not helping ourselves, to a certain extent. Spam is incredibly cheap to send out, and the fact that 7% of the Pew survey respondents, representing about eight million people, have ordered a product or service offered in an unsolicited e-mail, indicates the spam-senders have little incentive to stop.

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