Mining Your Email for Gold

During the ClickZ Email Strategies conference in August, I was taken aback when, during a session regarding spam, a few individuals challenged Julian Haight, owner and operator of SpamCop. Specifically, the individuals felt SpamCop infringed on their rights to send email to anyone who made it into their marketing database, regardless of the method by which the email address was collected. The individuals went further, saying recipient response to the emails demonstrates the value of the emails and those recipients not wanting to respond to the emails can simply use the delete function of the email software client.

I’ve always been a staunch opponent of spam but realized I might have been a little too tough on practitioners. After all, I’ve never really investigated any of the opportunities that flow into my inbox every day. Who knows, to paraphrase Yosemite Sam, there might be gold in them there emails. I just needed to start digging. Sometimes it’s tough to see the forest for the trees, but now my vision’s 20/20.

Just this morning I received an email offering me the Financial Freedom Course. Financial freedom is certainly a desirable destination. The best part is I get a free Visa cash card that I can use to earn $100,000 a year just by telling others. How a Visa card can earn me money I don’t quite understand. But then again, who cares? I just told you about it, so when do I get my check? There’s $100,000 down; financial freedom here I come!

Great news! I received another amazing opportunity via email this morning. Then again, this email might have reached me by mistake. The recipient field says “Weldon” and the email opens with the name “Kiaora,” but there isn’t a privacy disclaimer attached so I’ll take it as fate that this email reached me at this timely juncture. Did you know you can create a paycheck with your computer? I didn’t. But the email says you can earn as much as $7,000 a month by working just 10-12 hours per week. That’s about 10-12 hours more per week than I want to work, but I learned a long time ago to never look a gift horse in the mouth. Now I’m $84,000 a year closer to financial freedom. In the words of Don Lapre, this is so easy.

With all the money I’m making I better have some way to protect my business and family. Good thing I received an email about prepaid legal services just last week. And what a deal! I get unlimited legal consultations, contract and document review, IRS audit protection, even a will for registering. All for just $1 per day. Heck, I’m printing money here. I can afford $365 per year. Sign me up!

More good luck. As I was writing this column, a friend of mine in Los Angeles passed along a chain email. Seems that Microsoft, Intel, and AOL have teamed up for a marketing beta of some such and are offering people who forward the email to friends cold hard cash. The best part is not only do I earn $245 for every person to whom I send the email, but I also earn $243 for every person to whom they send the email and $241 for every person to whom they send the email, and so forth and so on. Break out the HP calculator. If I send the email to all of my 1,300 Outlook contacts, and each of them send the email to 1,000 contacts, and each of them send the email to 1,000 contacts, wow, that’s over $500 million. Now we’re cooking with gas! Financial freedom is so close I can smell it.

Here’s an email I almost deleted without reading; what was I thinking? A fine gentleman who runs a bank in Nigeria has selected me as his partner. It seems he had an American customer that deposited $25 million in an account approximately five years ago, then promptly passed away in an automobile accident. The customer failed to declare a next of kin on the bank documents and left no will. According to Nigerian law, if no one claims the money after five years the money reverts to the ownership of the Nigerian government. The bank manager wants to transfer the money into my bank account to keep it out of the hands of “some corrupt officials.” It isn’t as easy as it sounds. I don’t get to keep all the money, just 40 percent, or $10 million. The bank manager is going to take the other 60 percent. Maybe I should negotiate. I wonder if he would take 40 percent. After all, he needs my bank account to make the transfer. And if I get just 40 percent, the IRS is going to take a big chunk. I need to get $10 million after taxes. I better put the bank manager in touch with my newfound legal representatives. That’s why I pay them the big bucks, right?

It’s been a long morning. Let’s see, how much have I made already? More than $500 million — not bad for a few hours of digging. I really did misjudge spam. Thank goodness I came to my senses. Financial freedom’s right around the corner. Time to walk the dog and grab a nap. Tomorrow’s going to be another busy day.

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