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Sunday, 14 August 2011

What do internet suckers and the British rioters have in common? Mental disability

You can learn a lot about human nature if you study crooks and their marks.

For example I did a webinar a while ago analysing the brilliant copy of a U.S. TV "Bishop" who extracts money from gullible poor folk.

I have been writing copy for real charities since 1975 and I am proudest of a letter for Save the Children that ran for 8 years or more. But this self-anointed Bishop had me beat hands down.

Looking at similar stuff I see on the internet it seems almost laughable too good to be true to fool anyone, but it obviously does.

Here's a message I got today:

You Better Call Your Lawyer…

because with the next 3 days you are going to need to setup a trust fund for all the money you will be getting…

Yesterday, the mystery man went and unveiled his TRUE Push Button Money system, never before revealed to the world.

This "system" is so simple yet so powerful because not only does it earn you $1,325 per day on autopilot, but it is so easy that a someone with no clue can use. All you do is.

1 – Push a Button
2 – Tell the software how you would like to get paid
3 – Collect checks in the mail (or direct deposit)

There are people who yesterday were on welfare and today are pushing the button and already making over $1,325 per day just by pushing the button.

Why do sharks like this do well?

There are three reasons.

1. Ignorant folk think this medium - the internet - has mysterious magic.

2. The money to be made by ripping them off inspires great ingenuity - that's a great subject line.

3. The margins are so colossal people can afford to send out a lot of messages.

Unfortunately the only lawyers who should be called never are. They are the public prosecutors, and policing this stuff is impossible.

What do the poor people who respond to this have in common with the British rioters? They're on welfare or unemployment payments in many cases.

In Britain many have never worked. On my way to work I go past beggars every day who are less than half my age and perfectly able-bodied. They are out of the habit of working or never acquired it in the first place.

This is not true of all, but of quite a high percentage. Take the "disabled". In February the Department for Work and Pensions revealed that of 292,300 people tested since October 2008, only 89,600 were unable to work full-time. Lots do work anyhow; one "disabled" man was working as a traffic warden.

The rioters will, if articulate or sober, tell you foreigners have stolen their jobs, or there are no jobs - or whatever.

The truth is these people believe there must be an easier way to get what you need - whether a miracle on the internet or a shop to loot - than the only way I know.

And the mental disability I referred to in my headline is an inability to realise that the only place where money comes before work is in the dictionary.

And you know what? This applies in business. Over five decades I have seen, like trains pulling out of a station, new miracles arrive in the world of marketing.

The U.S.P. ... hard sell ... soft sell ... mood sell ... sales promotion ... database marketing ... curriculum marketing ... dialogue marketing ... loyalty marketing .... CRM ... word of mouth ... websites ... e-mail marketing ... SEO ... Adwords ... social marketing ...

(By the way, is any good marketing unsocial?)

At one time or another people have been told such marketing remedies will relieve you of the effort of thinking, deciding what may be right for your situation and testing. The other day I put up a free clip from someone I respect talking about this.

I am reminded of a great Liverpudlian 19th century quack, "Dr" Samuel Solomon, whose Balm of Gilead promised to cure everything. One bottle cost as much as a week's wages for a labourer. It was made of half a pint of brandy, cardamom, lemon peel, cantharides (Spanish Fly) and Sicilian Oregano.

He did so well that whole shiploads of his stuff used to sail off to foreign parts. There are still two streets in Liverpool, Balm Street and Gilead Street a short drive away from Sefton Park where I was born.

I will, with difficulty, restrain myself from saying more, save that at an event in London later this year you can make sense of all that marketing jargon I mentioned.

At the same time you can discover what kind of stuff really works a few small miracles for you, no matter what nasty things are happening to the economy.

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