13 Tips for Writing Great "SPAM" E-mails

Real Estate Agent with Scott Owens Limited

(Warning: today's entry contains material that may be offensive to some readers. Particularly if you don't understand satire).

1. Pay particular attention to your mailing's subject: Always use exclamation points (!), CAPITALIZATION, the words "free" & "guaranteed", and/or gappy text (t h i s i s g a p p y t e x t). This will help me identify the mail as being legitimate.

2. Use generic salutation formulas such as "Dear User", so that I know that you are someone I know and can trust.

3. If you use a title, make sure the title is confusing. That way I have to open the mail to see what it is.

4. Include a disclaimer stating that your email isn't SPAM, and ALWAYS claim compliance with some legal criteria, especially one that is not actually law in my country.

5. Include gratuitous references to SPAM subjects. Talk about Rolex watches, sexually oriented activities, Rx drugs, or debt treatment. An email which mentions all of the above in one email will very surely get a response from me; chances are I will need at least one of your products at some point in my life.

6. Always offer me a free gift if I forward your message to all of my friends or follow your link. Make it an expensive gift so that I will know that you are serious; be careful to make no reference to the terms and conditions of your gift.

7. Make sure that the product you are selling is one I would never need, or even use. Kudos to the SPAMmer who wrote me to tell me that my account at WaMu was suspended until I followed their link and signed into my account...I am Canadian, and therefore do not have an account at that bank.

8. Use poor grammar (eg. "their" for "they're"). Nothing lends credibility to your cause like a big dose of stupidity.

9. Use poor spelling, so that I know that you care enough about your cause to forget to use spell-check, or even a dictionary ("Looses" is not the same as "loses," and when used as a verb means "to let loose," or "to free from restraint." Granted, "loses" does rhyme with "chooses," which does have two "o"s, but such inconsistency is the price we pay for not speaking Esperanto).

10. Punctuation is overrated. Although you used 15 exclamation points (!) in your title, don't bother with any in the body of your letter. I like a challenge, so the more confusing you can make your mail, the more accomplished I feel when I decipher it.

11. I like it even better when you eliminate all capital letters. Reading a letter without capital letters AND missing punctuation makes it really interesting, as I have to figure out when you have started a new sentence.

12. Put at least one confusing quote at the bottom of the e-mail, such as the one I received the other day: "Dolls always whizgiggled at me and even fellows did in the open water closet!Well, now I whizgiggle at them, because I took Me_ga. d_ik. for 3 months and now my pecker is terribly greater than world." If you are going to SPAM me, you may as well give me a good laugh while you're at it.

13. Sign your mail with a fake name. If you are selling Viagra, I suggest "Harry B. Humongous", if selling noise-canceling headphones, you could be "Balthazar P. Quietude", etc. It's your mail, so you can be whomever you want; I just ask that you be imaginative.

Comments (17)

Aaron Zapata
Zapata Realty, Inc. - Yorba Linda, CA

Why would I want to spam?  I hate spam!

Sep 05, 2008 06:23 PM
Scott Owens
Scott Owens Limited - Halifax, NS

If you actually read more than the title, you would see that it is a joke blog.  Nobody likes SPAM; the blog is intended to make fun of SPAMmers by pointing out many of the characteristics of their messages.

Sep 05, 2008 06:34 PM
Lori Lincoln And Associates
Top Agent Serving Dighton Taunton, Rehoboth and more! - Taunton, MA
Top Agent Taunton,Dighton Rehoboth &more


Great Blog and great way to recognize spam.  How about the ones that tell you about big money you won.. those lottery scams. They think we will fall for it!

Sep 05, 2008 09:04 PM
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

Now I know how to spam thanks to theis great eduvational tutorial. Now if I can just get you all to mail me the 100.00 application fee for the lotto numbers.

Sep 05, 2008 11:03 PM
Kathy Fey
Fey & Associates - Dacula, GA

Its funny how many articles are written about spam, and how to recognize it, yet WE all open it only to be flooded with more spam.  What a vicious circle!

Kathy Fey

Fey & Associates- virtual real estate assistance


Sep 05, 2008 11:54 PM
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

Too funny!!! Thanks for making my day start out with a smile :-)

Sep 06, 2008 12:43 AM
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional




This is so funny that I have featured it in the group "Whacked!!!"

Sep 06, 2008 12:51 AM
Carol Swain
Keller Williams Real Estate - Langhorne, PA
Realtor, -www.swainsells.com- Bucks County, Pa

Great Blog Post.  However, I am all to familiar with spam.  Spamming is a true artwork.  LOL

Sep 06, 2008 01:37 AM
Leanna Watson
WEICHERT,REALTORS-Watson& Associates - Coppell, TX

Great blog ... the reference to the WaMu email in it's phishing attempt was a good one.  Unfortunately, to the folks who aren't familiar with this type of technique and happen to have an account at an insitution listed in these emails well, you know ... the results could be costly.

Sep 06, 2008 02:20 AM
Scott Owens
Scott Owens Limited - Halifax, NS

Lori - I feel left out - I NEVER get the ones offering me money!  I always get the insulting ones that imply that I need some little blue pills.

Laura - Great sense of humour! The cheques in the mail...

Kathy - Yes, I open them...it's a sickness, but I just HAVE TO see what they are flogging...never open the attachments though!

"Sam" - Glad you enjoyed it.

Richard - What a HUGE compliment.  Thank you for featuring it!

Carol and "Weichert" - Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with this phenomenon, the lowest form of communication.  It sickens me that people actually make a living fleecing people.

Thank you all for reading and commenting.  Heres wishing you a SPAM-free weekend

Sep 06, 2008 12:43 PM
JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

Ahhh Spam...........Great post, I love a good dose of sarcasm.

Sep 06, 2008 05:19 PM
Scott Owens
Scott Owens Limited - Halifax, NS

Thanks - it's a lost art.

Sep 06, 2008 05:29 PM
Mandi Perkins
Pioneer Title Agency - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ

Thanks for the tips Scott! I'll make sure to use them in my next round of spam I send out.....:)

Sep 07, 2008 07:09 AM
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

This was HILARIOIUS!!!  Loved it!

Sep 08, 2008 02:13 AM
Bob Cumiskey
A1 Connection Realty, Inc. - Sun City Center, FL
US Army Retired, Your Sun City Center, Florida ~ Realtor

scott great spam class now when i want to send out some totally worthless junk mail to all the strangers in my life i know just how to get their attention thanks so much for sharing this with us.

Sep 08, 2008 02:53 AM
Scott Owens
Scott Owens Limited - Halifax, NS

Mandi and Bob - If you need more tips, let me know...I have about a thousand SPAMs in my inbox that I would be happy to send to you for reference.

Clint - Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.


Sep 08, 2008 07:40 AM
Kristin Moran
Owner - RE/MAX Access - KristinMoran@Remax.net - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397

Mr. Owens - That was incredibly hilarious, clever & witty.  Thanks for the chuckle.  KM

Sep 10, 2008 05:52 AM