Guilty as charged
I’m Joshua Alexander. And I’m a spammer. (“Hi, Josh…”)
Well, I covered telemarketing, so it’s only fitting that now we talk about everyone’s favorite source of daily disgruntlement: the email spammer!
But first, let’s zoom out and really examine Spam. What is Spam anyway? When we crack open a can of spam, we find meat substitute soaked in evil. So essentially, what these strangers from afar – especially everyone’s favorite beloved Nigerian prince – are offering you, is a succulent entrée of Satanic beef replacement, which is about as delectable as a cup of warm spit.
I remember once eating Spam and experiencing that wonderfully distinct sensation of pre-vomit mixed with a pain I couldn't locate.
This is what the Can-Spam Act of 2003 was actually all about, because Spam actually comes in…you guessed it…a can. If anyone wanted us to actually read something they sent us, why in tarnation would they send us quasi-beef from the underworld? If they wanted us to actually read it, wouldn’t it be more prudent to instead send us gold-soaked leaflets framed in gold bars covered in more gold, with gold filling? I’m all for receiving free leaflets, and even more when they’re covered in lots of free gold.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m flattered that so many people in Nigeria want to offer me:
- Belly fat pills, and
- a large, no-strings-attached inheritance all at the same time.
Oh that I should be so esteemed as to be doted on by complete strangers form faraway lands who somehow know that:
- I have erectile dysfunction
- I am utterly gargantuan, and
- There is not a penny to my name
…well that just makes me giddy all over!! So thank you, NOREALLYIMEANTITTHANKYOU, Mr. "John Anderson" from Nigeria, who loved me enough to send me meat substitute soaked in evil. I appreciate it.
In the voiceover world, we have our own share of spammers. Take Gareth Cole, or whatever name he’s currently going by. Now this guy isn’t just a spammer, he’s also a scammer: a truly revolting combination. Here is a guy who routinely posts on Craigslist about an opportunity for his “new corporate client”, and the job pays $1150, or $1350 or $Ridiculous-Amount-Too-Good-To-Be-True-But-I-Think-You’re-A-Sucker-50, and you must record from his studio and pay a deposit. A fellow voice talent has a great exposé on this scammer. These guys hurl meat substitute soaked in evil that’s also designed to defraud you!
You know, because meat substitute soaked in evil isn't bad enough.
How to Un-Spam-ify
So here’s my confession. While I’m no Gareth Cole, I could certainly be accused of being a spammer. It’s not my aim to serve up revolting synthetic meat and induce vomiting. Were that the case, I would seat you at a table with a fork and a bib, before a nice plate of mangled animal carcass and a tall cool glass of Ipecac. But I do cherish the occasional opportunity to reach out to clients. How do I do that without spamming them, annoying them, or inciting my video-producer-slash-sorceress clients to hex my future grandchildren?
Easy. Make it about them. All marketing emails should really be All. About. Them.
Marc Scott is great at this – check out my recent interview with him on YouTube – he suggests making marketing emails promoting benefits to them rather than touting features of yours. So whereas I might go in all guns a’blazing with phrases like:
- “I have 27 years experience”, or
- “I’m awesome,” or
- “Take a good hard sniff of me – roses, right?”
Marc suggests going in and highlighting the “what’s in it for me?” benefits to them. After all, we’re all selfish narcissists who are only thinking of ourselves and haven’t a care about anyone who isn’t named “Me”: a beautiful name that makes us swoon over ourselves because we’re just so narcissistically swoonworthily swoonsome.
Without making all of my clients out to be Raging Self-Centered Egoists And Overly-Conceited Rabid Narcissists, there’s a kernel of truth here. Flip the tables for a moment. When you get an email from Gareth Cole, why or why don’t you open it? If you see Viagra in the subject line, do you instantly hit delete, or does it remind you – oh, snap! – that you need to order flowers for your wife and plan that hotel getaway? When you receive that email from that Nigerian prince with an inheritance, does it appeal to your better nature to help your fellow (scammer) man, or is its destiny the Recycle Bin with the other pseudo-beef from the nether regions?
Ultimately, we all need to be Ace Ventura: complimentary, fun to interact with, and most importantly, possessing awesome hair. Case in point, his “You smell ter-RIF-fic!” comment. Who wouldn’t love to hear that? And who wouldn’t think, “gee, what a nice guy, I think I’ll whitelist this spammer?” Which is precisely why I form every marketing email like this:
You smell ter-RIF-fic!
This email is about YOU. YOU are everything. This email is NOT about Satanic beef substitute.
Benefits, benefits, benefits, blah blah blah, You smell Ter-RIF-fic!!
Buy From Me
PS – I do voiceovers.
PPS – roses, right?
PPPS – permission to swoon granted.
You see? That’s how I get all my clients.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, O Worthy Spammer, is to make your spam messages so unrevoltingly winsome, that the whole world over will wantonly wish for your warm winsome welcome.
Spam I Am
I’m a marketer. I have to be if I want to get business. So daily, I land in the inboxes of hundreds of people who are utterly thrilled to say “OK, who the hell is this guy.” It’s true! And it’s exciting to sit here and anticipate the response on my end. I contact people the world over through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Quora, and even Craigslist, when I’m done posting my scary personal ads. I reach out and connect with hundreds of people on a daily basis in an effort to sell my services.
Replies usually come back along the following lines:
- Where did you get my email address? -or-
- I am a vegetarian. -or-
- Did I give the slightest hint that I desired meat substitute soaked in evil?
- Stop now. -or-
- I will cut you if you email me again. -or-
- Refrain from emailing me or I’m contacting The People In Charge Of Stopping Spam -or-
- Why? Just…why? -or-
- The Restraining Order obviously wasn’t enough. That does it. I’m calling Luigi to break your kneecaps. -or-
- Take me off of your, and ALL, lists, for the foreseeable future of all eternity. -or-
- You sound great! We’d love to have you on our roster! You’re amazing!
It is this last one that is my mostest favoritest, of course. This is the person that you’ll want to list in your will as your sole beneficiary, above any and all family members, because their niceness level and apparent genuine desire to always hear what you have to say has already reached a 100% batting average.
You see, for every 9 replies in the negative, I receive one whole favorable reply! It’s delicious. Almost as delicious as Spam itself! It truly is a Remarkable Thing to land unanticipatedly in someone’s inbox and shout, with an ear-splitting-grin whilst waving my hand wildly in utter joy, “Hi!” Thus, the replies I receive back usually run the gamut of emotions depending on whether that person has had lunch already and has a happy tummy, or if they’re purchasing explosives and finding out where I live from the various online databases that so readily provide them to explosives-purchasing homicidal spam-recipient maniacs.
The point in all this is that it’s OK to spam. Just do it sensibly, and know that for every 9 people that want to kill you, one lucky one might just bring you some business. Of course, the alternative exists that they’re just being nice and will soon delete all traces of your existence: either by hitting delete, or by the explosives mentioned earlier. For your sake, I hope they bring you business and you both receive a happy ending instead of being blown to smithereens.
I’m a spammer. Spam I Am. Each day is a reach day. Every day I connect and put myself out there, offering my services to the world. Do they all need my services? Most definitely: they just don’t know it yet. Do they wall want my emails? Most definitely not. Thus the explosives constantly delivered to me via Amazon Prime.
Welp. At least they’re not Satanic explosive replacements soaked in evil pseudo-beef juice.
HEY. WAIT JUST A S.E.C.!
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