We are all used to spam messages from Nigerian benefactors, long-lost relatives and those looking for love. But, now there’s a new kind of spam and it has infiltrated the business world big time. Guilt spam.
It must be working, because it is increasingly prevalent, if not incessant. Unlike the promises of riches by responding to an email with your credit card, these messages are just on the border of legitimacy.
I actually pride myself on returning emails and voicemails, and so maybe I’m the sucker they hope to phish.
A few examples:
Did I get a chance to review his email? No. It was spam and it went to my junk folder.
Sending it to the “Marketing” folder didn’t help. Oh, and don’t forget the subject line of “Thanks to Voice Mail” which a) doesn’t make sense; and b) refers to a voicemail that didn’t actually happen.
Here’s the best part. The unsubscribe in 6-point font with a barely legible gray font. Nothing has the personal touch of a professional salesperson like an unsubscribe link. Oh, and there was also a return-receipt prompt with this one. Hitting that seems like a sure-fire way to alert the techs in the spam village to scream, “We got a live one here!” and add me to other lists.
And then there’s Chaz. He is circling back on a message that didn’t happen in the first place, referred to himself as a “Workstylist” and even has some open jobs to join him. How did I resist this one?
Yes, Mark, I was hoping someone would give me something to do today.
It turns out Nathan is available next Thursday or Friday. At least he gave me options and some lead time to drop everything.
Kelly is creative. In judo you use your opponent’s momentum against them. Kelly used her guilt as a force against my guilt. It worked. I responded. It’s a shame I didn’t investigate the Picasso reference in hind sight. That was a creative twist.
I actually feel guilty about this one. I should at least respond to the Chief Scientist. How Al went from scientist to spam marketer is probably a good story.
One of my personal favorite voicemail messages was from Trisha. It was so casual, and so friendly yet lacking any information about the company or product. I did fall for this one thinking it was someone I knew. It was just convincing enough. I walked into the spider web on this one as I got the pitch. That call ended as quickly as it started.
I look forward to the next trend in spam marketing, and might just feel guilty enough to return the message.