Now Here’s a Novel Idea: Affini Makes Senders Pay to Send Email

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Wow, talk about reinventing the square wheel! Startup Affini, Inc., of Saratoga, California, has launched a new email system with an integrated “pay to send to our users” feature.

According to an article on Extreme Tech, advertisers will be required to pay approximately 15 cents each to send an email advertisement to Affini users. For their part, Affini users will have the choice to opt-in to receive such advertisements, for which they will get either a cut of the cash, or points (it isn’t really clear which, although the ExtremeTech article quotes Affini CEO William Chang as saying that it will start as points, but quickly be exchangable for cash within a few weeks – Chang is nothing if not optimistic).


How novel.

Oh, wait, no it isn’t.

Cute logo aside, one is hard pressed to imagine how Affini expects this model to work. Especially if the users can opt-out of receiving the email. Email senders are not going to pay unless they are assured a captive, receptive audience, and who in their right mind is really going to sell their time for a measly fifteen cents for the first three minutes? Even if you can read a piece of spa..I mean email advertising a minute, that works out to only $9.00 per hour. You can make more than that at Starbucks, with benefits and unlimited caffeine fix thrown in.

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Cute logo, funny name, optimistic but doomed business model.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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6 thoughts on “Now Here’s a Novel Idea: Affini Makes Senders Pay to Send Email

  1. Paying people to receive ads is like paying them to give blood. Also, AllAdvantage tried this model a while back — one of the classic .bomb idiotic ideas. I think they burned through about $100MM before they finally just decided to shut the doors.

  2. In November 2003 I published in my newsletter the following.

    There is only one way to stop spam. Spam filters don’t work they just block some and also block legitimate email. Opting out won’t work they’ve already sold your address. A do not spam list won’t work there are to many ways to get around one. There is only one way to stop spam.

    Spam works because it is cheap. When an advertiser sends you a snail mail (through the postal system) it costs them money. Even at bulk postal rates it costs them postage, printing and handling. If they send you several offers and you don’t respond they stop sending it to you to lower their costs. Spam exists because it costs nothing but time and effort. The spammer will keep sending you spam because it doesn’t cost any more if you respond or not. Therefore it is obvious. The only way to stop spam is to make sending emails cost money.

    If it cost one cent, one penny, $0.01 to send an email this would stop spam. Think about it. I would be willing to pay one cent to send an email. I send out maybe 5 emails a day. If my ISP charged me one cent then it would cost me a $1.50 a month. I could easily afford that. Even better would be a minimum of say 10 free sends a day, over the minimum you pay. But a spammer who sends out a million emails a day would have to pay $10,000.00. If the spam didn’t return more income than it cost it would be a losing enterprise. The ISP that collects this email charge should be directed to use it to include additional email service ( asking for your authorization when more than 10 are sent ), virus and support services in their system. As a customer of the ISP you would have a set limit on the amount of emails you send a day. My limit would be 10. As long a I sent 10 or less emails a day my ISP would do nothing and charge me nothing. Lets say I have 110 addresses in my address book and all of a sudden my computer sent out an email to everyone in my address book. My ISP would queue all of the emails and send me a notification asking whether I want to send these emails and be charged for them or review them, delete them or have the ISP check my system for spambots/trojans/viruses. If I had sent them I would authorize them to be sent and a charge of $1 be added to my account. If I hadn’t sent any of those emails I would review them and then delete them as spam and use my ISP’s spambot/trojan/virus detection service to eliminate the problem.

    If I was a legitimate advertiser I would be willing to pay one cent to email my customers. I get several emails a week from Computer Surplus Outlet. This would cost them about $1 a year to send me those email. In the last 2 years I have spent $200 with them. Their emails would cost effective.

    “Free” newsletters wouldn’t be affected because most are advertiser supported and the ones that aren’t would just need an advertiser to defer the cost. My free “COOLSITES” newsletter would be affected. I started COOLSITES as a way to tell family and friends about interesting websites I found and to learn html. For me to continue as a free non profit newsletter I would need to get an advertiser or absorb the cost. Since it would only cost me the price of 2 stamps I don’t think any advertiser would be willing to get involved. I would just send it out piece meal to stay under the daily limit.

    So lets review:

    Charging for sent email would not impact the home user and may stop them from just forwarding email hoaxes and chain letters. I don’t know how many Jane Fonda is a traitor ( yes she did go to Nam but she didn’t do what that email says she did ), Ollie North warned about Osama Bin Laden ( he talked about another terrorist not Bin Laden ) or forward this for good luck emails I have received.

    The business user would just include the cost in the price of doing business which is tax deductible.

    The free non profit newsletters would need to be advertiser supported, which most are, absorb the cost or start charging the recipients.

    The spammer would have to pay through the nose.

    The ISP would receive more income which should be used to increase customer services.

    The only drawbacks are that all ISPs everywhere would have to do this. If even one doesn’t then the spammers would use them which isn’t so bad because if all the spammers used just one ISP it would be easy to block their address and the ISP would crash from the choking mass of spam. I think all ISPs would jump at this since it means more income and better public relations.

    THE ONLY WAY TO STOP SPAM IS TO CHARGE FOR SENT EMAIL.

    Please visit my website at:

  3. >They should be shot in the head.

    Crom Crauch, I’m detecting a theme here.

    Where were you when we had King of Spam Scott Richter live on the line?

  4. I’d get one of these accounts and sign up for the spam in a heartbeat! Just because you have a “junk mail box” doesn’t mean you actually have to READ the stuff! Trash the spam, take the money & run. If spammers are dumb enough to think people want their stuff, let them pay for their stupidity…literally.

  5. This Affni thing represents the epitome of stupidity. ISP’s might love it though because email would drop to nothing except for spammers. I sure a shell wouldn’t use it not do I think anyone in thier right mind would.

    Charging 15 ¢ to send an email by a third party is ludicrous to begin with to begin with and the minds behind Affni must have consumed just one too many illegal substances in their time to think that people will pay to send email.

    Methinks you’re right in your assumption that it’s a doomed business model.

    This appears to be as big a scam as are the get rich quick spam emails themselves.

    Sorry, BOO, HISS, BIG RASBERRY on the Affni idea.

  6. A silly and unworkable conception.
    They should be more aware of the driving forces behind the idea of Advertising,and the general reluctance of that Industry to spend unnecessary money.
    They should be shot in the head.

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