Writing Effective Spam

Posted on February 24, 2011


Image representing TweetDeck as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

Normally, we’re all anti-spam around these parts, and recommend that you be as well. There’s little I hate in the world more than a TweetDeck full of auto-DMs, particularly from people who should know better. Social media “gurus” who autoDM should, in my opinion, have their Jesus Phones taken away and should only be allowed to use a keyboard under adult supervision, preferably in a room with no internet connection.

And don’t get me started on companies that sign you up for their email newsletter without asking you: in Canada, that’s not just spammy, it’s actually illegal.

Not to mention using either of these techniques makes you look stone-cold desperate. DESPERATE.

But occasionally I give out my email knowing full well that I’m gonna get pitched at, but I got myself into it. Such was the case recently when I saw Steve Martin tweeting about a free download of his classic tune King Tut. Now, I don’t know about your taste in music, but mine definitely runs to bluegrass banjo versions of King Tut performed by one of the funniest human beings alive. In order to get the free mp3, of course, you had to give him your email, and on his website it clearly said:

Don’t worry we won’t share your email address with anyone. That said, we might peek at it, make fun of it, and say things like “hey, look at this stupid email address!”

which nobody would EVER do with mine. ElfFromHell@hotmail.com is totally ridicule proof, don’t you think?

Anyway, today I got the email I was expecting from Steve Himself, or if not Himself, the World’s Best Steve Martin Impersonator (I wonder: has social media opened up new job opportunities for impressionists? Hmmm, sounds like a new blog topic to me…). It read as follows:

Steve Martin's Rare Bird Alert

Steve Martin's Rare Bird Alert

Hi Friends!

Aren’t you sorry you gave me your email address? Or at least your business email? Or at least the one you give to free download sites? Anyway, I just want to let you know that my new banjo/bluegrass CD with the great Steep Canyon Rangers, “Rare Bird Alert” is now available for pre-order. I’m extremely proud of this CD. All the songs are originals, and the CD includes “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs,” “Best Love,” sung by Paul McCartney, “You,” a moody tune sung by the Dixie Chicks, and even a bluegrass version of “King Tut.” And yes, this is actually me writing this.

And in case you’d like to see us live, here’s our most recent tour schedule:

March 14 New York City – Highline Ballroom SOLD OUT
March 15 New York City – Joe’s Pub
March 16 New York City – Joe’s Pub
March 17 New York City – Joe’s Pub
March 19 Brooklyn – Music Hall of Williamsburg
March 29th, 2011 – Worcester, MA – Hanover Theater for the Performing Arts (Q&A)
March 30th, 2011 – Albany, NY – Palace Theater (Q&A)
April 29th, 2011 – Las Vegas, NV – Mirage Hotel
April 30th, 2011 – Las Vegas, NV – Mirage Hotel
May 18th, 2011 – Portland, ME – Merrill Auditorium
May 19th, 2011 – Englewood, NJ – Bergen Performing Arts Center
May 20th, 2011 – Charleston, WV – Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences
May 21st, 2011 – Durham, NC – Durham Performing Arts Center
May 22nd, 2011 – Charlotte, NC – Oven Auditorium
May 24th, 2011 – Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Theatre
May 25th, 2011 – Providence, RI – Providence Performing Arts Center (Q&A)
May 26th, 2011 – Chattanooga, TN – Memorial Auditorium Chattanooga
May 28th, 2011 – Memphis, TN – Orpheum Theatre
May 29th, 2011 – Huntsville, AL – Von Braun Center
June 21st, 2011 – Lexington, KY – Lexington Opera House
June 22nd, 2011 – Effingham, IL – Effingham Performance Center
June 28th, 2011 – Morristown, NJ – Mayo Center for the Performing Arts
June 30th, 2011 – Torrington, CT – The Warner Theatre



And that combination of humour, authenticity, and useful information (yes, thanks for the reminder ONCE AGAIN that I wish I lived in New York City) is what makes this a great example of effective spam. And that, we don’t mind in the least.

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