The Origin Of Spam

In 1978, Digital Equipment Corporation – acquired by Compaq in 1998, which was then acquired by Hewlett-Packard four years later – was in its 18th year of existence as a vendor of software and tech that looked like refrigerators but turns out, no they weren’t refrigerators – they were computers. At its apex, Digital was a leading seller raking in 14 billion dollars annually and topping most-profitable lists around the country. The ‘90s saw its sad decline and demise, however, and the company sold its spot atop the hill.

But, we aren’t going to focus on that same old story: Tech company hits it big, passes out in gutter until someone picks it up. No, Digital has a unique honor that no doubt made its eventual demise into a karmic one. Digital is responsible for giving the world spam email. Specifically, Gary Thuerk placed that evil upon the earth.


Before today’s black hole of degradation called the Internet, before the screeches of AOL, even before the time Usenet, there was ARPANET. And 1978 proved that, even as ARPANET, there has never been a time when the Web wasn’t used to do something awful. Thuerk, working in sales for Digital, decided to break the ARPANET protocol of emailing individuals one-on-one and send a mass, unsolicited email to over 300 people regarding a new product his company was putting out. Thus, spam.

The long-term impact of this action has given email marketing an uphill battle – but, yo, we can help with that. We love email. We hate spam. And we hate when great email gets flagged as spam. It makes us sad. Our folks on the ground are great at making sure your awesome campaigns hit the mark, but we’ve also compiled over the years an impressive collection of tips and tricks to add to your marketing arsenal. You can check it out here …


… so that you’ll always be primed to send what counts.

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