Skepticism

The Worst Sales Email Ever

I’m on the mailing list for a day spa which I used once. Their emails, which I’ve noted here before, are almost always full of bull which annoys me, but today’s, whilst low on the quackery, made me laugh very hard indeed. It was headed “Unbeatable Value”, and if they’re talking about giggles then they certainly provided that, given the email cost me nothing.

Firstly, it was 996 words. Yep, a sales email that runs to nearly 1000 words. That’s a small essay in any universe except, perhaps, that of the quackery-loving detoxers who run the spa. I won’t print the whole thing because it’s tedious, but I have grabbed a few of my favourite bits for your amusement. All spelling, punctuation and stupidity is exactly as the original.

Imagine taking 30 minutes out each week, or, if you’re busy every other week, to relax and unwind?

It’s a question, because it has a question mark. But what’s the answer? Also, what’s the question? I did a double giggle at this one because the missing comma after ‘busy’ renders the second half of the sentence nonsense. If I was only busy every other week I’d have bigger problems than a back rub could cure.

Seriously imagine now how much better you would feel if you took 30 minutes out on a regular basis to enjoy a massage.

OK, I’m seriously imagining it. Ever so seriously. Now.

Would you feel happier? Would you feel better able to cope? Would you have more patience? Would you energy levels improve? Would you make better decisions because your mind was more focused? Would your body look and feel more toned?

No. No. Nope. No. Hell no. Definitely not.

You’re probably now thinking yes, that would be amazing but i don’t have the time or the money.

Oh. Sorry, I must have meant yes. Probably. But wait! Here comes the science bit!

Howver, if you’re working 40 hours each week then a 30 minute massage once a week would equate to 1.6% of your working week. Is that really too much to ask? If you come once a fortnight than that is ony 0.6% of your working week, and if the worse comes to the worse and you can only spare a visit once every 4 weeks then that equates to 0.3% of your working time.

1.6% of my working week sounds a hell of a lot. This is already the worst sales-pitch-backed-up-by-dubious-stats. But what about the cost?

With regard to the cost if your salary is £25k per annum then a monthly massage is going to cost you less than 1.5% of your earnings! not much now is it.

Oh the stupid. It HURTS. We’re in a recession, and apparently 1.5% of your earnings is not much (now-is it-no-question- mark). 1.5% of your earnings is not much for food, yes. Massage backed up by dubious claims of a better life, not so much.

Now is the time therefore thatwe want to make you an irristible offer on massage.

Mmm irristible. So irristible thatwe cn’t rsist.

As I said right at the top, this may not be for you, but if it does, act quickly because there are only 12 packages available and we are mailing out to over 6000 clients!

If it does what? What? I can’t stand the suspense! I am delighted to learn that another 5999 people are laughing at them, though. Delightfully, the email was signed off “Angel Blessings!”, a nod to the name of the spa and perhaps some sort of confirmation that the owners are into in more areas of BS than one.

I won’t print the rest, it’s babble. I had three choices today. I could have ignored the email. I could, as a professional marketing genius, have emailed with a very nice, constructive response and my business number. Or I could have laughed my head off at their chakra-realigning ignorance, sent the following reply, then blogged about it:

“I don’t think I’ve ever received such a badly-written, misspelled, poorly-constructed sales email as that. You are to be congratulated.”

I was fortunate enough to receive a reply, which simply said

Dear Tracy,

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback.

Much appreciated.

Angel blessings!

Touche, morons, touche.

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19 Comments

  1. @ trotter jelly
    and
    @ steeley42

    …that was the first thing I noticed in the paragraph, and I spent way too much time trying to figure it out (in a manner that would give the writers the benefit of the doubt).

    tried looking for ways that could be a rounding error, but I don’t think that would work, unless they were doing some crazy complicated math for something that just needs basic arithmetic…

    Also briefly considered if maybe they were figuring work-week as 5 days for the first calculation, but general calender weeks for the following, but I was too lazy to bother checking the numbers myself (and I think the difference would have been quite a bit larger, as well…)

    Just glad some other folk fixed on that issue there…

  2. @Ole:
    Isn’t 30 minutes of 40 hours 1.3% (actually 1.25 %, but rounding up…)? 0.5/40 = 0.0125 = 1.25% – or am I doing it wrong…?

    On the upside, half of 1.25 is indeed 0.6, and half of that is 0.3

    As for the further math, at a cost of 1.5% of your monthly income (of 25K /year), a massage is going to be about 4.25 times the amount of money you actually make working for half an hour. That’s not cheap at all. You have to work over two hours to pay for your half hour relaxation …

  3. I think the idea of taking some time out daily to just meditate on your life, path, etc. is fine. I just see no need to pay someone for the privilege of doing it.

    Massage is relaxing, too. It can come cheaper than that and working out at a gym works almost as well for many.

    (shrug)
    As a writer, this ad appalls me. But then, 90% of what I read in e-mail and online has that effect on me. (Sturgeon’s Law in action?)

  4. On another math note is does irristible to point out that they seem to confuse every four weeks with monthly.

    But, if only 0.2% of recipients sign up, they’ve sold all the massages they claim are available. This will also be 240 (or 260 for every four weeks) opportunities to sell over priced soap and whatever other nonsense they sell at the spa. At my salon they push these candy bars with essential oils (from lavender and other exotic sounding ingredients). “Ooh, essential oils, I must need those. I’ll just buy two to be safe.”

  5. Check out the track “Poetry of Pronography” on Patton Oswalt’s first CD “Feeling Kinda Patton.” He goes through and dissects the worst pron email he’s ever received. It is raunchy comedy at its absolute best.

  6. That was astoundingly painful. That many grammar and spelling errors in the excerpts makes me wonder if the rest was even worse, difficult as that is to imagine. Or should I say imigine? I always think it’s a shame that if you want bath soaps or massage oil or naturalistic jewelry or a whole host of other products you have to wade through this sort of nonsense to get it.

  7. Seriously imagine if the person who wrote that convinced a colleague to take half an hour, that’s just 1.3% percent of their work week, to proof-read an edit the spelling and grammar on this advertisement. Would that make you happier, more patient, and better able to cope? I mean, the author could just seek out one of those people who is only busy every other week and have them do it during a non-busy week. I probably wouldn’t even take half an hour to do it, either.

  8. Howver, if you’re working 40 hours each week then a 30 minute massage once a week would equate to 1.6% of your working week.
    With regard to the cost if your salary is £25k per annum then a monthly massage is going to cost you less than 1.5% of your earnings!

    Is this supposed to be an implied .1% gain somehow? I’m so confused.

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