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JUNK MAIL: do people actually read
this stuff?

by Stephen R. Drage


Business metaphor of a computer monitor with e-mails coming out


Stephen is a freelance author, entrepreneur and award winning public speaker. He is the Author of the popular Mud Lane series. Stephen grew up in England but now lives in Atlanta, GA.


I got some junk mail today – I know we all did, but this one was different.

It was over 670 words! Which for a sales solicitation is about 600 words too long.

The first paragraph was about wishing me a happy new year which I doubt they really care about, because if they did they wouldn’t upset me with junk like this.

The next 84 words were dedicated to the sender's introduction and job description, which is something I don’t really care about.

Now, if this hasn’t wasted enough of my time, the next 119 words attempt to convince me to wast more of it attending a free web seminar. Wow free!

Next we have 5 bullet points delivering the same piece of content 5 different ways, followed by a link to a site that will give me “even more information.” By now I am sure that most recipients have hit the delete key. But not me.

Then we get the inevitable catch, which we all knew was coming when the sender made so much effort to wish me a happy new year in paragraph #1. Apparently this webinar is only free to members. Non members pay “ONLY $149.” OK they probably just lost the remaining 3% of recipients who were still reading – but not me. I have a strange fascination for this time wasting rubbish.

But we're not done yet. The next 89 words tell us how members get all kinds of instruction in – and I quote, “writing copy that sells.” Why do I feel that the writer of this junk probably hasn’t been given access to this indispensable instruction?

Then we have another hyperlink that takes us who knows where, another reminder about the benefits of membership, followed by one more hyperlink to the membership sign up page – which you have to visit to discover that it costs $499.

Then we are coming down the final stretch with the last half a page of closing comments, including;

1) an 800 number for any questions (which I might actually call just to get content for my next rant)

2) A cheerful “Have a great weekend,” that frankly made me want to vomit.

3) 2 more mysterious hyperlinks.

4) a P.S. reminding me to join them on Linked in, Twitter and Facebook along with hyperlinks in case I felt the urge to explore this enticing business opportunity further, and couldn’t figure out how to get to facebook.

5) Finally the longed for, “To unsubscribe from future email....” Although I feel they should have opened with this. 

What's really crazy about this, is that it's from a marketing company – one that presumably does not understand that we all live in internet time, We want the world in 140 characters or less, and if they cant capture my attention in the first two line – then the next two pages are a waste of their time and more importantly – mine. 


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