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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

How the wrong tone (plus a dash of illiteracy and a little overpromise) can kill your copy. And why I like recessions

Well, I had an excellent evening yesterday with Sarah Shaw Tatoun who used to be the pub critic of a Prague publication. The job of my dreams

But before that I finished drafting a long interview piece for Australia's Direct mag, including this about how marketers are responding to the recession.

Many have switched more and more online (I have, for a start – 80% of my work and 95% of my own promotion is online).

Unfortunately very few have the faintest idea what they‘re doing and are easily seduced by promises that one magic bullet will solve all problems. Once it was the database; then it was CRM. Now it’s adwords or SEO.

It’s no use winning on search if what people end up on – your site or landing page - doesn’t harvest names. It’s no use harvesting names if you don’t sell to them.

I quite like recessions. They kill the foolish and encourage the canny; people are forced to try and get better results, which happens to be a speciality of mine.

But on the matter of tone mentioned in the heading, here is how not to get a reply - from me, anyhow.

It is a message from someone improbably called Sofia Rockims, who equally improbably claims to have a university education.

Hello Mate,

We have a SEO discount offer going for the following package: -

1: Want to increase your Google ranking?
2: Want to get huge twitter followers and facebook Fans?
3: Want effective text for your website? Also Increase the social media presences.
4: We are a professional SEO company and can get you top ten google results for top five keywords of your choice within three months, with complete solutions for all your problems.
5: We also build websites... if you are interested please let me know?

Our Best rates for this are: - USD $199 per month per project at beginning of every month. if you are interested please let me know?

Why would I let someone who can't write presentable English loose on the text of one of my websites? Do you think that an attractive woman (which Sofia allegedly and improbably is in Facebook) would call someone they never met "mate"?

In any case few things irritate me more than idiots I've never met calling me mate - it kills any faint interest even before I start reading.

I think "Sofia" is a male working from a dark room somewhere in Uttar Pradesh. The automatic response is, "How about you kiss my arse, for starters?"

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