Date.com used to rely on direct email marketing for the bulk of their new users.

Now, it turns out that spam filters are wrecking their marketing efforts:

“A year ago, I would have said e-mail was critical to our business,” said Brad Shapiro, vice president of sales and marketing at the Toronto-based company. “We were sending over 100 million prospecting e-mails a week. But a lot of those e-mails weren’t getting through or the response rates were too low. Now we’re sending out 60% less.”

Let’s face it, nobody is sending out 100,000,000 legitimately-sourced emails a week. These guys are stinking up the Net with spam.

When will the direct marketing industry finally get the message that defending spammers is not in their best interest, and cut sleazeballs like Date.com loose? Using Congress to put the entire nation on opt-out status with every company in the world isn’t going to do them any good if their messages can’t make it through the filters.