The idea of a per email charge isn’t anything new. Goodmail did it years ago – or tried to. Not surprisingly it was a dismal failure. Still, some experts insist it’s an effective way to deter spammers. After all they aren’t about to shell out money to send their messages. The problem with virtual postage is that legit users have to pay too, and that’s just not something most people are willing to do. They figure their monthly payment to their ISP is enough, and who can blame them?
Yahoo! isn’t giving up on the concept though. They’ve developed Centmail, which charges users a penny for each email they send. The money goes to the charity of their choice and is displayed in a “stamp” affixed to each message. The researchers behind the project are confident that making the per email fee a charitable donation will insure that Centmail is more successful than its predecessors.
How do you feel about Centmail? Is a pay-per-message service something you’d ever consider signing up for? Why or why not? Do you think such a service will ever be a successful spam deterrent?