Viagra and Christmas Greetings

Yesterday I received a following email:

 

Dear Lukas,

how are you doing?

I have an offer for you that you might find interesting. When my team was in Prague last month, we interviewed a representative number of your ex-girlfriends and we found out that while all of them said you were a nice person, many pointed out that your performance in the bedroom had shown significant room for improvement.

Don’t worry though! We’re offering Viagra at reasonable prices, and because you’re a Toastmaster, we grant you yet another 10% discount.

If you want to find out more, feel free to contact me at …

Yours sincerely,

Samantha Grant

 

Do you think I made this one up?

Perhaps I did. Personalized, relevant, friendly… Emails trying to sell you Viagra are just not like that, are they? They are sent by anonymous senders to anonymous recipients, in millions, bcc-ing everyone. The copy might be catchy – but it’s still one size fits all (my personal favorite: “Lukas, try it now and shock all your friends with your tool.”)

I guess this does not surprise you at all – this is just how spam emails are.

Now let’s take a look at an email I really received yesterday (the name of the friend may be changed to protect his identity):

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2015,

Michael

(attached photo of a Christmas tree)

 

It does not even use my name (1:0 for the spam bots who often manage at least that). All recipients in bcc. Maybe it was sent to 50 people, maybe 500, maybe 5000. Perhaps this was the right moment to use “Send to all contacts” functionality?

I get it, we’re all busy. But let’s stop to think for a moment – why do we send Christmas (or New Year’s, or any other) greetings to our family, friends and colleagues in the first place?

I think we do it because we want to let people that are close to us know that we took a moment to think about them and make them smile. Maybe to tell them that we’d like to spend more time with them in the next year than we did in the past one. Or possibly, that even though we’re afraid we won’t be able to see them in the next year – that they’re still important to us.

But then I guess that sending a “Merry Christmas” text or email to all really does not do the job.

It’s up to you of course – but I’ll take an example from Samantha, rather than from my friend Michael.

Even though Samantha is not real. And sells Viagra.

 

Featured image by notoriousxl, taken from Flickr, under Creative Commons licence. Brightness of the image adjusted.

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2 thoughts on “Viagra and Christmas Greetings

  1. How can we really believe that Viagra would use emailing to spam and tempting poorly to acquire new customers or doctors for their future prescriptions?
    Why one of the largest pharmaceutical lab with few billions dollars revenue would take this poor & lame risk?
    Some pretending competitors would do it because they don’t have such reputation or neither revenues like Viagra does.
    So it sounds a designed joke for you (or for may be few others) as your spam filter unbelievably failed.
    therefore, I understand a bit the Sort of hidden anagram:
    Here are the Christmas ( Xmas — alias “Xmax”) wishes:
    the “Grant” of Samantha ( SA-ma-NT-h-A— alias SANTA)

    Okay, I kindly agree your nice blog is funny, and the joke that has been done to you even more.
    Or you need some famous “key words” &/or “tags” to rank somehow in SEO.

    • Hi Oli,

      thanks for reading and for your comment, you’re posing some really interesting questions there!

      Also, nicely done with the Samantha > Santa anagram, I’m impressed (and I would never be able to find it there)!

      As for the SEO, I’ve never thought of that, since currently my target audience are my friends, Toastmasters and other fellow bloggers, not the “netizens” coming via search engines (especially not those ones searching for “Viagra”).

      I use this blog rather as a playground where I’m trying out different things, testing ideas and starting conversations.

      Like this one! 🙂

      Wish you a nice day,

      Lukas

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