I recently received probably the worst marketing email ever.
It was creepy. It opens ominously, as if it were from a petulant stalker:
My records show me that you have not been opening my emails lately.
That is just that little bit scary. What is this woman recording about me? Does she know who I have been phoning? Does she know I didn’t tell the man in the Coop that he had given me too much change when I went to buy a pint of milk the other day?
Why does she do this? Did she see me give a presentation at the local chamber of commerce and has since been spellbound by the eloquence of my delivery, the nobility of my sentiments and the sheer bleedin’ humanity of it all?
On a scale of 1 to 10, if I wrote to you, saying that I (somebody you have no reason to imagine you know) was keeping records about you, precisely how happy would you be? Would you perhaps tell the police?
Worst of all, the terrible thought suddenly occurs: what sort of punishment has she got lined up for me, if I don’t start opening her emails straight away? Will it involve ropes and sharp objects? I suddenly have a vision of her bending over my pathetic body, trussed up like a turkey (that’s me trussed up, not her), saying “Well, my little pretty, what have you got to say to mummy, now?”
But immediately this nightmare vision is dispelled as, in her second line, she reveals her infinite mercy:
That’s ok though.
Life can get hectic. I understand that.
The relief is overwhelming. She understands me! She understands the myriad of things a businessman has to do. If I am lucky, she may even forgive me for not making reading her unsolicited emails The Most Important Thing To Do Today.
And it goes on. She seems to be willing to extend the hand of reconciliation, to recognise that there could be a reason for my neglect of her.
It may be that you’re viewing in Outlook Preview and therefore it appears you’re not opening them.
Outlook Preview! Of course, that must be the explanation!
But, hang on, I don’t use Outlook Preview. I had better not let that one get out of the bag! Currently, it represents the only chance of getting out of this alive. (Apart from the infinite mercy bit.)
However, if this is not the case…
Uh-oh. Things are looking bad again. What is my stalker going to do if I don’t comply with her wishes? What hideous punishment has she got lined up?
However, if this is not the case, then maybe my emails aren’t delivering enough value.
I initially don’t spot it. But, then I realise. She is playing mind games with me now. Her warped intellect is toying with me, as a cat does with a mouse. For, if I am not opening the emails, how would I know whether they are delivering enough value or not? Desperately, I wrestle with this conundrum. Supposing I were looking at them in Outlook Preview, does that mean they would deliver value? Is the level of value a function of the software used to read them? Surely no human mind could be that fiendish!
I don’t want to annoy you unnecessarily.
Oh my God. This is what it’s has come to. She is going to annoy me unnecessarily. But then I realise, she is already annoying me unnecessarily. What can thus mean? I wrestle with the implications. How would I know if she were to annoy me more unnecessarily than she already is? I struggle to link this sentence with the previous one to which it appears to have no relation. Eventually, I sink into a feverish half-sleep.
I awake, unrefreshed. She is rushing me now.
So very quickly…
In my daze I debate whether there should be a comma after the “So” but I cannot decide. She’s shouting now:
Do you want to keep receiving my emails and podcasts? Do you? DO YOU?
I can’t work it out. “If you do, just click here and let me know”. I panic. I understand the bit about clicking, but I’ve got to let her know as well! How do I do that? Then I realise it doesn’t matter as I don’t want to receive her emails and podcasts.
Otherwise, she continues, if I’ve overstayed my welcome in your inbox…
Overstayed her welcome??! I never asked her to stalk me in the first place! But she now delivers the final, ultimate, deadly, chilling threat,
click here and I’ll remove you from my list.
What unimaginably ghastly end does she have for me? Removing me from her list: the horror is unbearable—the alternative is to keep receiving her emails and podcasts. I cannot win! What devil from hell could come up with such a grotesquely evil plan?
Have a great Monday.
How could any day be great now?