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Laura Betterly, also known as Laura Betterly-Blom, was born in Long Island, New York and lived there until 1995. She is now a resident of Clearwater, Florida who, as the head of Data Resource Consulting, became notorious for sending large quantities of commercial e-mail in the early 21st century when she cracked as a joke, "call me the Spam Queen" to a Wall Street Journal reporter. She has been married to Steven Blom, an officer in her corporation, since 2002. She has two children from her first marriage, Chris and Craig.
Before starting Data Resource Consulting, she was president and co-founder of Visiosonic, later known as PCDJ.COM, an mp3 music company. She worked with celebrities such as Ice T, Nile Rodgers, Jam Master Jay and Chaka Kahn. She has been a featured speaker at the Consumer Electronics Show and the Winter Music Conference.
Bulk mail or spam
At Data Resource Consulting, on a typical day, her firm would send out 8-10 million emails daily, charging clients $600–$1,000 per million emails and about half that amount for a sending a second time. She also charged clients for lead responses to emails. Unlike other mailers, Betterly said she did not forge headers, route messages through outside servers without permission, or use any of the other tricks that have drawn criticism of the spamming community. She also refused to send messages advertising adult products or services, or anything she believed to be illegal. She said that she only possessed the addresses of people who had expressed a desire to know more when signing up to other online services, and that she would honor any requests from recipients to unsubscribe from further mail.
Estimates indicate she may have earned at least US$200,000 per year. She said that she was "just trying to make a living like everyone else." Betterly publicly attacked those who were critical of her practices, “I have a beef against what I consider hate groups that are trying to shut down commercial e-mail” and referred to what she did as "a win-win situation". To those who objected to what she did for a living she said, "I don't really care. As long as I'm not breaking any laws, you don't have to love me or like what I do for a living."
Data Resource Consulting lost a legal case in Kansas small claims court on 9 September 2003 for failing to follow the spam laws in that state.
Change of business model
In September 2005, Betterly and the chairman of her corporation, Bob Cefail, "fired" their radio station in Clearwater, Florida where her program,"The Profit Doctors" aired, because the station management discontinued the toll-free call-in number for their listeners. The following year, the pair "rehired" the same radio station to air a new program called Scooopradio.
Betterly took her company (In Touch Media Group) public and announced her retirement from the bulk commercial e-mail business on 10 October 2005, referring to spam as "a four-letter word" and stating that bulk emailing had deteriorated into "a bunch of unprofessional, ineffective scams" due to its negative image. She also attempted to distance herself from pro-spam statements that she made in earlier media interviews,"I have never advocated spam or sending spam."
Since 2007 Betterly has been running Yada Yada Marketing a boutique marketing firm that is Google certified for pay per click, and continues to speak at industry events.
- Betterly is interviewed by John Ydstie of National Public Radio
- Betterly's blog
- Yahoo Finance listing of In Touch Media Group Inc.
- Mangalindan, Mylene (13 November 2002). "For Bulk E-Mailer, Pestering Millions Offers Path to Profit". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Quick, Bonnie L. (January 2006). "Intelligent Online Marketing". Savvy Executive. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- Digital.Hollywood Archived 20 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- DigitalHollywood Archived 5 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- Winter Music Conference - WMC Home Archived 3 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- You call it spam, they call it a living |csmonitor.com
- In the trenches of the ‘spam wars’ - The Spam Wars - MSNBC.com
- Podcasters Fire Radio Station
- Aunty-spam.com - antispam software 2008 Resources and Information. This website is for sale! Archived 4 January 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- Laura Betterly Official Blog-Rants of a Marketing Executive: It's 2006-E-mail is Dead
- Invalid Ticker Symbol - Yahoo! Finance