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Research Article Open Access

Consumers and Computer Software Advertisements in Spam E-mail

Abstract

Spam e-mail inundates inboxes. Little is known about consumer responses to spam e-mail advertising computer software products. We conducted a study among 200 college students to determine variables associated both with opening/reading spam e mail about computer software products and with purchasing these items. With regard to opening/reading, we found that increasing age (OR:1.22, 95% CI:1.02, 1.47; p=0.03), previously responding to fraudulent e-mail (OR:2.91, 95% CI:1.31, 6.46; p=0.01), and wanting to learn more information online about computer software (OR:1.72, 95% CI:1.12, 2.64; p=0.01) had significant associations. With regard to purchasing, we found that wanting to learn more information online about computer software had a significant association (OR:2.47, 95% CI:1.32, 4.60; p=0.01) and previously responding to fraudulent e-mail approached significance (OR:2.55, 95% CI:0.99, 6.58; p=0.052). Ethical e-mail advertisers would benefit when advertising computer software products to include in the e-mail relevant information about learning more information online about computer software. This can encourage the recipient to click-through and purchase the advertised computer software product.

Joshua Fogel, Gavriel Yarmis

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