Clients & Business Relationships

Ralph And Carol Lynn Try To Get To The Bottom Of A Marketing Scam

By February 14, 2018 February 23rd, 2018 No Comments
Ralph And Carol Lynn Try To Get To The Bottom Of A Marketing Scam

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today, [insert husband name] is very much in love with [insert wife name] even though there is much talk of second wives and same-sex lovers. That’s all I’ll say about that, so if you really want in on the joke you’ll have to listen.

Jessica Evans Makes An Introduction

Ralph loves being in the middle of the drama, so when he recently received an apparent spam email from someone named Jessica Evans, introducing him to someone named Donna, he decided to play along. Jessica assured Ralph that Donna provided excellent services and would be a great fit for him.

He knows neither of these people, but of course the email was phrased in a way that implied he knew Jessica, who was doing him the huge favor of introducing him to Donna.

He responded to Jessica and asked for an introductory call. When he received another email of the apparent auto-generated variety letting him know that she was on maternity leave, things took on a life of their own.

Suffice it to say, Jessica, Ralph and Donna exchanged a series of emails that ended in the question: is this a scam? And who is scamming who?

The Jessica Character

Ralph thinks it’s possible that Jessica is a real person. Well, clearly there is some person on the other end of the email but I think she’s a fraud. And we’ve got evidence. If you look up her photo online, it’s everywhere. But sometimes she’s Samantha. And sometimes she’s Julie. And one time, she was even Mohammed.

She has a company website that is so generic as to say nothing at all. And a LinkedIn profile tied to this company that lists it as having 11-50 employees – of which she is suspiciously the only one on LinkedIn.

The Donna Character

Here’s where it gets weird. Even though Jessica appears to be no more than a façade, Donna has all the hallmarks of being an actual person. She has a real-looking website. And a real-looking profile. She even has a YouTube channel where you can see her giving real-looking talks.

Based on everything we’ve seen, she seems like a legitimate person with a legitimate business. So… how did she get involved with… and who the heck is… “Jessica?” And why is Jessica acting like she knows Ralph and is just making a friendly introduction?

A Theory

We can’t leave this one alone, so we come up with a theory that Donna has hired one of those companies that promise to get you leads. And that’s exactly what “Jessica” is doing – getting Donna leads.

Maybe somewhere, someone set up this fake company with the intent of doing this kind of thing.

We can’t imagine why, except that it’s a deception to take money from people who want leads and then sort of spam a bunch of people into being leads.

At this point, Ralph is wondering if he’s the one perpetrating the fraud, because he’s pursuing the conversation with no intent to hire anyone. So if Donna is some unwitting player and has gotten involved with a bad company then maybe she is as much a victim of this deception.

We decide that instead of being a meanie, Ralph should approach Donna truthfully and find out if she’s part of the scam (if there is one) or offer some friendly advice about not hiring fraudulent companies.

Stay Tuned

We don’t know where this one ends yet. Maybe neither Jessica nor Donna will respond. We don’t know who they are or what they really want, so maybe they’ll disappear into the internet miasma from whence they came.

But if we do hear from or speak to either, we’ll let you know!

What do you think? Scam? Fraud? What do these people want?

Ten Easy Steps To Spam

We’re convinced that there’s a play book out there somewhere telling people how to “reach out” to other business owners with the intent of gaining some advantage – someone to read their book, try their product or let them post on your site.

We get the same emails all the time. First, it’s the introductory email where the person praises you and tells you how amazing you would be for [insert thing they want here].

A few days later you get the follow up. “Just want to be sure you received the below.”

A few days later you get the next follow up. “I know you’re busy but…”

And so it goes.

On principle, I won’t talk to anyone who says “the below” because GRAMMAR, people.

I also won’t talk to anyone who “knows” I’m busy but decides to keep soliciting me anyway.

Personally, I delete them all. Ralph has come up with a macro that he uses to generate a “no thanks” email that tends to stop the deluge of follow ups, so that’s a good thing and definitely worth a try.

It just kills me that people do this incessantly, and without a single bit of effort. They just copy, paste and spam. Maybe some of it sticks, who knows.

If you’re going to reach out to someone, the least you can do is use their name. My name is everywhere, so for someone to start an email with “hey there” or “dear site owner” it just means they aren’t trying. At ALL. And what should I expect from their book/product/blog post if they can’t even bother to solicit me properly?

If you don’t want your solicitation email in the trash, then at least make an effort to connect with the person you’re soliciting. Say something meaningful. Say something real. Don’t just cue the form letter.

Things & Stuff

Take a look at Jessica Evans’ company website and decide for yourself whether it’s real or fake

Thanks to Bensound for providing the royalty-free music the underscores the mellow moments.