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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 07-May-08


Wednesday 07-May-08

Possibly persuasive emails

Like most people, I get many unsolicited email message every day. Most are very obvious spam but some are sneakily clever in their wording. Emails from genuine companies are equivalent to the bumph through your door and are very different to the mass of spam that seek only to deceive. If you are sending to somebody who

At the very lowest end, there is just a list of hyperlinks which you will hopefully click on. Nothing much persuasive there. At the next level is laughable text, such as this:

Particular proposal for you Dear Client!!!
At these five days only for our clients unthinkable offer!!!
On all pharma you need!!!

Fill your life with colors of gaiety!!!

The next level is relatively simple, but does use some methods. The following example leans heavily on emphasis, but is still a bit heavy on the exclamations!

 Are you tired of Internet Dating? Meet *REAL* people!

Are you tired of Looking at thousands of profiles and NOT finding anyone who meets your standards?

Let us solve your problem! We guarantee to find you a REAL PERFECT match.

Don't delay, your perfect match is only ONE click away!

Another method is chummy chat, as if they were one of your friends:

 Whew! 35 hours after the merge begun (with 5 hours of sleep in between), Blog Foo has been fully integrated into Blog Bar.

...(instructions on what to do)...

I would like to thank everyone for their patience - it was a rather complicated task, but I think we pulled it off well.

Ahmed and Jake

Sometimes, they get creative, which is what I love. I am almost tempted to respond when they do things like this, using an assumptive approach that is supposed to make be believe we're actually already in the middle of a conversation:


 Thank you so much for your positive response to my last email, sorry I have taken so long to reply...

Of course, all they want you to do is to keep reading, because the more you read, the more you psychologically invest in them and the more likely you are to follow the very kind and inevitable instructions to give them money.

Your comments

What I find particularly interesting is the way that the so-called "stock scam" e-mails are worded. In this case, the scammer is trying not to make you send them money, but to invest in a weak stock that they happen to have a large investment in already.

These e-mails often deliberately appear to be addressed to somebody else - the victim thinks that they've accidentally received somebody else's mail, and so they're tricked into thinking that they're somehow privy to some very secret information.

-- Scatman Dan

Dave replies:
Aye, Dan, it's a good scammer's ploy to make the person think they've stumbled onto a secret money-making machine. The person then becomes the motivator and the scammer merely a servant. It's amazing how greed leads people to give large amounts of their money to complete strangers.

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