I believe that over 85% of all e-mail traffic consists of so-called ‘unsolicited spam’ (what ‘solicited spam’ would be… I have no idea). You would think that if an industry is as big as the spamming industry, where you reach so many consumers just waiting to spend their money on stuff they don’t need, that it would employ state of the art copy writers. Writers of spam e-mail can potentially reach an incredibly large audience. With just a little scientific research you could upgrade the response on your spamming from, I guess, o.0001% to 0.001%. This would make you a tremendous amounts of money! I know spam sucks and we really shouldn’t advocate it, but all the other advertising sucks too and that industry brought us beautiful artists and philosophers like Roy Lichtenstein, Matt Beaumont and Paul Arden. ‘Even evil will spawn good’ which sounds like an awful quote from a Star Wars film, but in fact; I just made that one up. I apologise.
For an art project I decided to jump into my spam filter and read the spam I received (over a weekend, this amounts to over 1500 messages), or actually… I just read the subject lines. I was very eager to be seduced into actually opening an e-mail that I thought would make interesting reading. “Come on, show me those creative, witty, intriguing subject lines that lure me into worlds of pleasure, self fulfillment, comfort and profitability!” Instead, I found creative, lingual carnage.
“‘Do you want a –insert designer name– replica at –insert number-% discount?” How is that going to seduce me? Personally, I am not triggered. Or how about ‘university small business loans’ (you can replace university with government, insurance, national, small business or whatever) as a subject line. That’s not really going to make anyone think that’s an e-mail worth reading, is it? Not even an attempt to target on a simple variable like gender. For example: ‘I wanted to get even with my cheating girlfriend‘ could appeal to me, being a man (even though I don’t have a cheating girlfriend, as far as I know) but instead I am sent: ‘I wanted to get even with my cheating partner’ which is infuriatingly impersonal, even more so than offensive. How about: ‘I wanted to find out if I could get that girl in bed’ which is turned into the hideous ‘I wanted to find out if I could get that person in bed’. Yep, that makes me curious… NOT!
Personally I think that is adding insult to injury. Those b#*tards are clogging up my e-mail server and they’re not even taking it seriously. Come on guys; if efficient communication was that easy, would Coca Cola spend all those millions of dollars on making their 3D commercials? Just put a little effort into it, you lazy slackers. Please send better spam and the world will be a happier place.