Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Lesson from the Marketing Scams

I really can't help it - I am absolutely fascinated by these letters I get from third world countries and people in dire need of getting my banking information in order to give me millions of dollars.

What I don't get is how on earth people fall for them? But they must because otherwise why bother doing it.

So I had to share this one because it's better and the reason why is immediacy. Not only does this person have all of this money that they want to transfer to my bank account but the person writing to me from Spain is dying so he must give me the money NOW.

One of the biggest mistakes people who don't really understand marketing make is they don't come up with a reason why you have to immediately respond to their offer. A good marketer comes up with reasons not just why you need what they are selling but why you need it immediately.

Good PR people do the same thing. I can tell a journalist or producer about a product I'm pitching but if it doesn't have a news peg or some immediacy you go into a file and never come out - if you get that far. The "WHY NOW" is the second half of your sales pitch.

This happened with an event ad I saw recently - the ad was focused on the event but not on why you should go to it. This happens sometimes when we're so involved with our brand we think everyone feels the same way about it we do. But of course they don't, it's your job to make them.

The writer of this scam email which is below has done a few things others don't do - he's linked the money to a real plane crash which I looked up and he even got the date right. What he got wrong is that David Learmount was a writer who covered the crash, not on the plane and so leaving me his fortune. Yes I can Google too.

So for what it's worth here's the latest of these emails I've gotten.

Dear X -

I am writing to introduce you to a prospective mutual venture regarding an unclaimed deceased client`s portfolio that i have been in charge of for over 18years. My client; Late Mr. David Learmount died on 14th of August 2005 on the ill-fated Cypriot Helios Airways Flight 522, that crashed over Greece. I have since searched for any of his known relatives to fill-in as his next of kin to claim inheritance, but all to no avail to this date as he did not name any in his file until his sudden death.

The said portfolio will be liquidated and returned as unclaimed if I don't name someone to inherit it before the end of this month(August 2010), hence why I have contacted you. I got to you through my massive web search for his relatives, now i need you to stand as someone who shall work with me to be named as the next of kin. I had earlier contracted this search/case to a junior colleague in the UK since i was diagnosed of esophageal cancer early this year.
My condition is no longer stable at my present age of 70years, to the point that i can hardly speak well now and i want this matter wrapped up before the deadline at the end of next month or anything happens to me.

Please send your response urgently with your Names Address, Telephone etc) for more information on the value of the said portfolio, procedure, etc via this email:[ ]

Note that time is of the essence and i implore your strong assurance and strict confidentiality on these matters.

Remain yours

De Faustino Ramon Elias (Esq.)
Madrid, Spain.

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