I’m really intrigued by spam.

It’s a spectrum of boredom to intrigue to eye-rolling to sheer offense, wanting to track people down and do… I dunno. Something.

Today I got a spam email offering me funeral insurance PLUS A BONUS GIFT.

A bonus gift? To go with my funeral? Clearly I’m not the target market for this particular offer. Or if I am, as a woman in my 40s, they must know something I don’t.

I probably don’t really get it

Spam cracks me up.

I admit I don’t completely understand what’s in it for the spammers – how the ROI works. I mean, how many My dearest in the Lords do you have to write to get someone to actually give you money?

I get the hey big boys spam.

I get the URGENT, we need your help to get our money and we’ll pay you for it spam.

I get the I’m a lawyer and some relative you couldn’t possibly have has died and left you millions spam.

I’ve even had the We’ve been recording you through your webcam and if you don’t pay us we’re releasing the footage spam. Yuck.

Or my most favourite recent trend – the spam emails that have Hello in the subject line, like some angsty Valley Girl looking down on me and all my life choices:

Do you not want your free car, Hello?

Did you not get my last email, Hello?

Who (from a non-English speaking country, I’m guessing) has decided that adding the word HELLO to the end of an email subject line was going to be helpful?

They’re not the worst though

But my most offensive spammers?

  • The ones who pretend they know me.
  • The ones who write their email campaigns to look like a person email, and hide any branding etc, and make me think there’s a possibility this is a person I’ve actually dealt with and should reply to.

They say things like:

I’m just running out the door but I’ve been thinking about that thing we talked about. Can you give me a quick call on 021 SPAMMER?

I was thinking about you after we met and I think we should talk more. Click here and make an appointment for a call?

As a trainer I meet and connect with (as in, on a first-name basis) about 1000 people each year. There’s no way I can remember them all.

There’s always a chance someone could email me exactly like that, so it always makes me hesitate. I think that’s what pisses me off the most.

I’m sooooo about authenticity, I feel personally offended by someone trying to take advantage of that and I feel resentful for the time and energy I put into filtering them out.

And then there’s these ones

Here’s maybe my least favourite spam email:

Have you got time for a new high paying client this month? I’ve got an enquiry that might be a good fit.

These are all from one particular woman, and I’m so tempted to name and shame her. I’ve “unsubscribed” from her list enough times to know she has no integrity, because the emails keep coming. I don’t know how I got on her list in the first place.

But then I think, ahh shit. 

Lately, I’ve had some technical difficulties with my email lists and a few people have tried to unsubscribe and it didn’t work and they’ve been pretty unhappy about it.


This running a business thing isn’t easy, you know.

But still.  I’m not lying to people.  Cos Donna, you DON’T have a high-paying client for me.  STOP LYING.

AND…I know I shouldn’t be so offended. I know I should build a bridge. I know it’s my choice to dwell on how irritating and distasteful this marketing approach is to me. In fact, it’s time for me to get over it.

Rant over.

PS: Donna Davenport from Customer.com, STOP FUCKING EMAILING ME.