I’m Constantly Being Astonished …

Okay, so I used to be a salesman. And now I’m a writer, which means I’m still a salesman.

There are many rules about salesmanship. One is, that you spend a little time thinking about your potential client and make the best pitch you can based on his or her needs. You use all kinds of basic concepts to build up your specific benefits and convert them into real, creative advantages for the punter. It’s not rocket science. A salesman has to get inside the head of the buyer first and understand what makes that buyer tick: what does the buyer want for him/herself, what do they want for the business – everything. Only when you can understand the buyer can you understand how to best promote your own products and services.

It ain’t rocket science.

Which is why the two emails I just received are so bloody depressing.

First, I am a writer. Yes? I know it’s a surprise to some, but I am. Receiving a message like this doesn’t impress me or give me even a faint desire to speak the the company:

I see a lot of interesting content on your blog.
You have to spend a lot of time writing, i know how
to save you a lot of work, there is a tool that creates unique, SEO friendly articles in couple of seconds, just type in google – laranita’s free content source

So, in short, these people (presumably people get involved at some level) think that people who have voluntarily taken up blogging (put aside my own career, they clearly aren’t interested in me personally, it’s just aiming at bloggers full stop) would want automatic blogging software.

Just think about that. The very people who enjoy writing, who like the process of thinking up an idea and developing it, the people who enjoy stringing words together – these are the target that this firm has decided to attack with their software. Software which is not likely to impress, since it cannot pick up a lower case “i” and cannot tell the best place for a full stop instead of a comma. For me, to consider using software like this would take away the pleasure of writing, and reduce my blog to an automaton’s. At the same time, it would destroy my brand’s main advantage: my ability as a writer.

This is, of course, the main thing about any software that is intended for a wide market. Don’t bother to market it at specific clients: you are throwing stuff at the wall and hoping some will stick.

So, thinking of ordure, here’s another:

Your good friend John has invited you to join him to play with us at Ruby Palace casino, where he has already won over 350GBP/EUR playing Video Poker.

And he’s not the only one – with pay out ratios topping 97% we make winners every single day and who knows, you could be next!

If Video Poker isn’t your thing, don’t worry – we’ve got a huge collection of games featuring everything from classic Table Games such as Craps and Blackjack to state-of-the-art Slots such as Thunderstruck II and The Dark Knight.

Seeing as any friend of John’s is a friend of ours, we’ll give you a special 200% Match Bonus on your very first deposit to triple your funds and help you get settled in – you certainly won’t find an offer like that anywhere else!

What are you waiting for?

Join John on our Wall of Winners today.

All the best,
Casino Manager

John? John? Which John? I know several. Which is, of course, why they picked the name. However, I don’t know any “John” who regularly uses video poker, because if he did and was concealing the fact, I doubt he’d have told Ruby Palace to let me know that he was doing just that. And that he was a moron who routinely liked throwing money at a dubious bunch of thieves. With the profit margins of casinos, let’s assume a twenty percent payout. That’s pretty generous, I’d think, for an internet, and therefore not very well regulated, gambling business. If twenty percent, that means to win his £350, he would have “invested” £1,750. All of a sudden, this brilliant offer looks rather less attractive. You know, I reckon I can think of several things that would give me more pleasure for that amount of money. I could buy a Bernese Mountain Dog to replace my lovely old Dori who died year before last. I could buy a nice set of paints. I could even take a holiday. Yes, I have lots of things I could do if I had that sort of money to play with. But I’m an author, so I don’t.

They have pay out ratios topping ninety seven percent! Wow! But how do they define that? What is a “payout ratio”. I know it sounds rather good … except these are gambling people involved in persuading mugs to give them money.

And when you look at the (really quite well crafted) mailer, you can see that it’s been professionally written to appeal to the widest audience. You can play poker, or craps or blackjack or, or, or… and “John”, your friend, means you are a friend of the casino – whoops, I forgot. It’s a casino. They make lots of money by moving cash from your account into theirs as smoothly as possible.

It’s a good example of a mailshot note that’s been thrown at the wall. No doubt Ruby Palace (what a “Craps” name) will have brilliant reporting systems to tell them exactly what their hit rate is. And if it really, really pisses me off to get invitations for a business offering me the chance of getting into gambling big time, a pursuit I detest almost as much as football, do they give a … (insert the stuff they throw at the wall).

No. Because for every hacked off, grumpy old git like me, there are penny of mugs who’ll happily give away their hard-earned savings.

Poor saps.

And meantime they’ve cost me a half hour of ranting on my computer. Bastards!


6 Responses to “I’m Constantly Being Astonished …”
  1. Jack Eason says:

    The second one sounds like the text message I got on my phone this morning, informing me that the £4000 payout I am due, because of the accident I had, is still waiting. Both yours and mine are nothing but total cons. So far, touch wood, I haven’t recieved the first one you mentioned ;)


  2. Jack Eason says:

    Reblogged this on Have We Had Help? and commented:
    Beware of con artists!!!


  3. Robert Low says:

    Mike – see my blog re Grammlarly!


  4. Today I got a spam comment pushing this Laranita content generator, and I discovered that in fact it’s even worse than you already showed above.

    Blogger Jim Bennett (http://jim-bennett.ca/?p=1195) did take a look at the Laranita webpage and reported what they really do for lazy “bloggers” who don’t care about blogging at all.

    They let people use any existing article copied from elsewhere as their input. The software will then spew out a “rewritten” version using enough synonyms to make the text look different from the original, while still making sense. They claim the result will be different enough for Google to not recognize it as just a copy.

    So basically this allows crooks and spammers to steal blog posts written by other people and pass them off as their own, without Google recognizing their fake blog posts as copied text.

    Let’s hope that the output of this procedure will look garbled and unnatural enough for actual readers to recognize they are looking at dummy content!


    • It’s a dreadful piece of software, and I’m getting fed up with being asked to try it. Two more spam ‘comments’ about it this morning! Thanks for the comments, Henk.


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