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I Got Another Spam Email – You Won’t Believe What I Said When I Replied Back
Like you, I get loads of spam emails from people all over the world who insist on sending out emails in the blind hope that one day, just one person may just want their stuff. They ignore relationship building, trust, targeted promotions, and building connections. They basically jump to 4th base without a care in the world.
I get promised Page 1 of Google and graphic design beyond my wildest dreams. And you wouldn’t believe how many social media companies email me with their offers of social media help. Thanks, guys!
Like most, I usually delete their messages, report them for spam and generally give them the cold shoulder. But I got a random email the other week and I was having a funny day so I thought I’d try something new with this spammer from Bristol and offer a little Todd advice.
I thought, probably naively, that my reply might help them in the future. It might have done, but I’ll probably never know.
Anyway… here’s the email I received, without warning, from a company who shall only be known as Company X so as not to give them ANY publicity at all… They don’t deserve it!
Hope you are keeping well. Please could you pass this email to your decision maker, We are a Bristol, UK based printing company and we have a special deal that could save you up to 45% on the average print industry prices. The list of products is below with the quotes to compare. Not only that you also get 500 C5 envelopes as a compliment if you spend more than £200.
(Here they included most of their products and prices all of which were not needed. I’ve spared you the pain of reading the four paragraphs!)
Quote is inclusive of delivery within 5/6 working days. We can also deliver express for a little more.
No other costs other than Vat where applies.
Should you wish to Proceed then please reply to the email quoting the reference: RICH-JUNE-15.
Do you need a print sample pack?
Just email us your full postal address with a request and we will post it 1st class royal mail.
Sophia of Company X
Note: – P.S. Though this is not an automated email, we keep on sending out these emails to all those people whom we find eligible of using our services. To Un-Subscribe from future mails (i.e., to ensure that we do not contact you again for this matter), please send revert E-mail with “Un-Subscribe” as subject
Great isn’t it?! A really personal email. I haven’t changed the dodgy grammar and I haven’t removed any random uppercase lettering either as it all adds to the atrocity.
This is not bad compared to some of the emails we all get, I know, but here’s what’s wrong with this email, in case you wanted to pick up some tips for your own email marketing.
- It’s not personalised. It says “Hi!” and that’s it. No name. You should personalise your emails with the person’s name for any chance of it getting any attention.
- The email came from a Yahoo address. Yup… they didn’t even send it from a proper email. They probably did this to save their domain from being blacklisted from the spam reports… or maybe they’re really THAT unprofessional. Use domain addresses for your emails. Sales emails from a free email look bad… and Yahoo?! Even worse.
- They assume. Indeed I AM the decision maker in my company but they (for some reason) assume I’m not, and ask me to forward it on to the mystery decision making person.
- There’s no pain and relief. They could have said “Are you paying too much for your printed items? We can guarantee that we’re the cheapest and can save you money”. Instead, they just went straight for the “here’s our stuff” approach.
- They signed off with “Kind regards” which I always think sounds very “I didn’t know what to put here” but maybe that’s just me. Jo says it’s quite normal for businesses in the corporate world!
- And then the best bit… the final nail in the coffin for this awful sales letter… they say it’s not an automated email… despite the fact it’s not addressed to me and has no personalisation whatsoever. It IS automated and they’ve added me to a list I didn’t subscribe to, which is against the “Can the Spam Act”.
So, what did I send back? A ranty, snotty email?
Well no. Actually I tried to help this hapless spammer for one reason only: they said they were from Bristol in the UK and it made me feel some sort of something for them. I don’t know what this was but for some reason (as I was in a great mood) I replied with some helpful advice and tips… with a little sarcasm.
Here’s what I sent:
Thanks for your email.
It’s strange, you know. I don’t know you and you don’t know me but you felt the need to try and sell me something you don’t even know I need without doing the whole ‘relationship building’ thing.
I don’t need currently what you’re offering but you need some help so here’s some advice, for free, just to help you out.
1) Network. Go to meetings (I’m a 4N member) and meet people and get to know them. People buy from people after all. This takes time but trust me – it works. So many people need printers you’re bound to find some business.
2) Use social media. If you’d have been searching for terms like ‘rebranding’ a few months a go you could have followed me on Twitter and started getting to know me. We needed new business cards then. We don’t now. But maybe someone else does?
3) Don’t send stuff on email unless you would love to get it it yourself, from someone you’d never heard of. I like to pretend anything I send out there was sent to me and see how I felt.
To me, from your email, I felt annoyed that you wanted to spam me with untargeted information.
4) People’s names matter. Invest in some decent email software that allows you to email people with their name. Names matter; we’ve had them all our lives. Use them for a friendly approach.
5) Email marketing works… when you give, give, give, then ask. Don’t just sell to people. Share your blogs and tips. Offer free advice and help. Be someone people think of when they think about printing experts. Show that you know your printing. Don’t be someone they avoid or think of as spammy.
Anyway. There’s my top five. I have many more but I have a business to run and dinner to eat.
Good luck… at the moment you need it.
Email marketing works. Spamming? I never heard of any successes.
Spamming annoys me but not for the reasons that you might think.
It intrigues me.
I wonder why they bother.
I think “There’s so much of it – maybe it works?!”.
I wonder if it’s like the Virgin Media approach: They send so much that something’s gotta stick?
I just really want to meet a spammer and find out how they’re getting on. I secretly wanted Sophia (if that’s even her name) to reply. I wanted to find out. I wanted to know why she bothered. Does it work? I doubt it, but I’ve never met a spammer who admitted it, so I wouldn’t know.
If you’re embarking on some email marketing then bear in mind that you’re about to interrupt someone’s day – make damn sure you have the right to – and that you have the news or helpful information to make it worthwhile!
We send out an email to our list every week.
We share funny stories from the internet and we do it to amuse people (The Friday Digital Roundup). We like to make people laugh and we like them to think of us every Friday. We mention our workshops and our readers are probably aware that we offer social media management and social media training… but we only devote a small portion of the email to our own news.
There are a lot of emails out there and getting yours opened requires a lot more than just a funky subject line and a cool offer.
Sometimes email users even have to recognise your name or they won’t open it. We have a really good open rate for our emails because we bother to get to know people AND we offer great value in the emails too.
Think before you hit send: “Would I want this in my inbox?”
Now it’s your turn…
I’d love your thoughts on this, I really would. This isn’t the first time I’ve replied to spam like this – but I never get a response!
Hit me up in the comments with your spam stories or thoughts on why they do it. I’d love to work it out.
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