I’m used to spam.
For example, I win at least three million dollars from non-English speakers seeking minor processing fees nearly every week. I have excellent access to cheap growth enhancing products for several areas of my family’s bodies. I am well versed in the use of 24 point font littered with unruly exclamation marks.
Typically, though, I see spammy emails coming from equally spammy email addresses.
Not this week, apparently.
Today, I got the following message sent from email@example.com.
We’re writing about your past Kindle purchase of TheOneYearBibleNLT by TyndaleHousePublishersInc. The version you received had Formatting that have been corrected.
An updated version of TheOneYearBibleNLT (ASIN:B001AS6H1C) is now available. It’s important to note that when we send you the updated version, you will no longer be able to view any highlights, bookmarks, and notes made in your current version and your furthest reading location will be lost.
If you wish to receive the updated version, please reply to this email with the word “Yes” in the first line of your response. Within 2 hours of receiving the e-mail any device that has the title currently downloaded will be updated automatically if the wireless is on.
You can find more information about Kindle related topics here:
We apologize for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your business with Amazon.
Customer Service Department
Given that punctuation problems, spacing messes, and general incompetence and incoherence abound, I naturally thought it was spam.
Closer inspection, however, made me think again. I did, in fact, buy a copy of The One Year Bible New Living Translation in 2010. I do, in fact, read said Kindle book nightly (never mind that I’m currently on May 1 in my daily readings when in real life I’m turning off the light on June 4). I have also noted, I might add, that the formatting on it is poor and likely does need updating.
Amazingly, I realized, the email I held in my digital hands was not spam at all (!), but rather terrible email copy.
Let’s review the bizarre directions again:
If you wish to receive the updated version, please reply to this email with the word “Yes” in the first line of your response.
Are we unsubscribing to Tiger Beat online in 1999? Reply to the email with the word “yes”? Heh? And why wouldn’t I wish to receive the updated version? Why not simply send it automatically? Couldn’t any buyer benefit from the new electronic version?
Within 2 hours of receiving the e-mail any device that has the title currently downloaded will be updated automatically if the wireless is on.
Two hours? Why two hours? What semi-automatic thing will happen in two hours that will not happen immediately? Is there a guy somewhere collecting “yes” answers that will then flip the big switch to send me my newly formatted bible?
Needless to say, my curiosity got the better of me. I replied “yes”. In two hours, if I do not receive a newly formatted version of The One Year Bible New Living Translation, I think we all know that I’ll be taking up this matter with. Yes, I’m talking about you, Mr. Amazon Kindle Man (aka firstname.lastname@example.org).
But let’s get back to the real lesson here, a lesson which I hope Mr. Amazon Kindle Man will take to heart. Ready for it?
Spammy emails are bad business.
Spammy emails — or spammy looking emails — send bad signals to consumers. In my case, they immediately make me think less of the Kindle device I rely on daily to fuel my reading habit. After all, how is it possible that the marketing and communications teams in charge of selling the device that now surpasses all print book sales at the world’s largest bookseller are not able to create professional looking copy with non-idiotic instructions? Is there really no semi literate person that could be hired to take on the monumental task of not sending out such absurd drivel?
Come on Amazon, let’s step up the quality of email communications to the Kindle purchasers gilding your pockets.
By the way, the only reason I replied yes, Mr. Amazon Kindle man, is because I am desperate for a better formatted version of my One Year Bible, another topic I’ll be sure to take up with you on the handy email address you’ve provided me with.
I hope it doesn’t bounce.