My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

Will consult on your spam email for $$$

I don’t get a great deal of spam, and Gmail does protect me from the most obvious—from a machine’s point of view. Gmail has dropped the ball, however, on detecting spam that is clearly spam to a human but cleverly disguised as legitimate. Here’s a message I received on Wednesday:

Dear owner of Tachyondecay.net, I’m sure you have been contacted in this matter many times before but our value proposition is much different. We show the client results before we ask for any further commitment. As a business owner you might be interested to gain profit by placing your website among top in search engines. Your website needs immediate improvement for some major issues with your website. -Low online presence for many competitive keyword phrases -Unorganized social media accounts -Not compatible with all mobile devices -Many bad back links to your website I have selected your website Tachyondecay.net and prepared a FREE website audit report. This is for you, completely free at no charge. If my proposal sound's interesting for your business goal, feel free to email me, or can provide me with your phone number and the best time to call you. I am also available for an online meeting to present you this website audit report. I look forward to hearing from you - thanks! Best Regards, Jerry Jakson Marketing Consultant PS: I am not spamming. I have studied your website, prepared an audit report and believe I can help with your business promotion. If you still want us to not contact you, you can ignore this email or ask to remove and I will not contact again.

A free audit report? Of this website? To help me “gain profit”? Where do I sign up??

I doubt Jerry is a real person. I suspect this is message was generated by a bot that spiders the Web, probably looking for sites like mine that have harvestable email addresses on their home pages. If Jerry were a real person, in any sense of the word, he would have noticed that this site does no business, that I make no profit from anything I do here, and that his “free” audit report wouldn’t interest me in the slightest.

But it was Wednesday morning. I was bored. And curious. So I fired off a reply—but not any reply. See, having read Jerry’s email, I was concerned that his writing style wasn’t conducive to attracting customers:

Dear marketing consultant, I'm sure you don't receive many replies to your unsolicited proposals that are not spam. Your humble offer to help business owners gain profit by placing their websites top in search engines is attractive. But hear my value proposition first. As a marketing consultant you might be interested to gain tips on grammatical fluency in your proposals. Your email needs immediate improvement for some major issues with your email. - Redundant usage of keyword and buzzword phrases - Improper deployment of English vocabulary, including words that do not exist - Not compatible with most fluent English speakers - Many bad sentence structures I have selected your email and prepared a FREE email audit report. This is for you, completely free at no charge. If my counter-proposal sounds interesting for your marketing consultant goal, feel free to email me. I am also available for an online meeting to present you this email audit report. I look forward to hearing from you - thanks! Best Regards, Ben Babcock English Grammar & Composition Consultant PS: I am not spamming. I have studied your email, prepared an audit report and believe I can help with your marketing consultant promotion. If you want me not to contact you, you can ignore this email, or, better yet, stop sending me spam and claiming it's not spam. At least have the decency to use proper grammar if you want to pass yourself off as legitimate.

As of writing this post, I have yet to receive a response. I wasn’t expecting one. I don’t know how these types of spamming operations work—something, human or bot, must monitor the email address for replies, right? Otherwise, what’s the point in sending out these messages in the first place?

On the off chance I do get a reply, however, I will totally help Jerry out with his spam business—for a fee. An underemployed English/math teacher has to make a living somehow, right?

Hear that, Jerry? Email me!

And if you are a spammer, or even just looking to break into the lucrative world of spamming, then please consider me when looking for people to proofread your emails. I’m cheap, reliable, and will help you gain profit today.

Really glad I don’t have comments enabled on this post.