If Spam Were Useful
Like many people, I get a lot of spam. Everything from deceased Nigerian princes whose fortunes I can have, international lotteries I won despite never entering, casinos asking me to gamble with them, and herbal supplements to increase anatomical measurements.
Most times, this spam just gets grabbed by my spam filter and tosses in the virtual trash. I do look through my spam folder, from time to time. Mostly it is to find any real e-mails that may have been dumped there. (I’ve lost giveaway wins because the “you won” e-mail went to my spam folder and I didn’t check it soon enough. Lesson learned.) Sometimes, though, I just look at the things I’m being sent and laugh.
A few days ago, SelfishMom tweeted: “I keep getting emails for cheap Canadian pills. Send me emails for cheap Canadian Twirl bars and we’ll talk. They’re $2.50 in my ‘hood.”
This got me thinking. What if could spammers were to send us offers that actually tempted us? What would those e-mails be?
In my case, the International Lottery “winnings” would vanish to be replaced by “You’ve been one million Unlimited DVC points. You may use these to stay at the Disney resort of your choice.” The dead Nigerian princes would disappear and, in their place would be a (very much alive) maid/child sitting service that would offer to watch our children and clean our house for free while my wife and I went out on a date night. Those herbal supplement e-mails would go away and, instead, I’d get offers for a wonder gadget that could cook a healthy dinner that my whole family would love – and clean up from it as well.
If spammers begin sending these message, I’ll find myself very tempted to click on them, even though I’ll still know I shouldn’t.
What topics would make spam nearly irresistible to you?
I’m into bacon, bikes, skiing and climbing, cameras and stuff. I get spam for all but bacon. That’s pure opportunity.
I think free stuff is a good teaser. Maybe if they give me something free that I can actually use I’d click their link and we all know just getting the consumer to click the link is half the battle. Give me a neat app, give me some freeware, give me a reason not to spank you with the spam stick and banish you to my junk folder forever. 🙂
I wish the spammers would do a little research before spamming me: what am I going to do with Viagra and electronic cigarettes when I don’t have a penis and I don’t smoke?
Advertising has gotten quite a bit more advanced these days, and spam filters have gotten better at hiding the unwanted mail.
The problem is that now companies like Amazon know so much about your shopping habits that they very well could send you an email on discount candy bars 🙂