I opted to author this first in medium because that’s where people like “Richard” hang out. And yes “dick” is a bad word, but is also a nickname for “Richard”

In which some annoyance over email spam likely descends into likely foul language ranting… and yes “dick” is a poor choice of language, but if you act like one…

My blog turns 13 years old in a few weeks. Since 2003, I have paid for web hosting, done my own development, and remain an independent, non-ad supported minor ranter on the web.

I can remember a time on the web where putting your email address on a page was a good idea. I still do, in a way, which thus means, the regular flow of unsolicited offers to put ads on my site or to do guest blog posts.

There are, however, no ads on my site, and each and all typo ridden 4618 blog posts have been authored by moi.

That does not stop email offers. So I have this (left image) clearly displayed on my front page.

The “treatment” is a blog post, tagged cockroach, where I mock their email.

If you decide it’s okay to crap in my inbox, than you have granted me a license to mock your message.

Okay, I know that they are not even reading my blog before sending the solicitations. It’s done en masse. But does that really justify… being a dick?

The strategy of email blasts is lifted right out of the late night 1970 Ronco TV ads I fondly remember (where is my Pocket Fisherman?):

The idea is if you convert something like a fraction of 1% of the viewers to actual sales, you come out ahead. And in TV, this probably worked. If you were the other 99%, well, you just waited til it was over. And what did you expect? You are watching TV at 3am. Your records might need a vacuum cleaner.

But reading my email, I am sitting here doing my work; it’s not 3am, your dick email is in my inbox, and I am not helpless.

And that is the flaw in your social media strategy. If you piss off 99% of the people you send email, 99% of the people are going to associate the name of your startup as “Dick, Inc.” Most are sane enough to delete and move on. But some will tweet it, share it, and heck, some foolish enough to waste time blogging about it.

This, we get to Richard. Who crapped in my inbox this morning.

Dickmail. URLs and company names blurred by me.

Dickmail. URLs and company names blurred by me.

Right away, “Richard” I have a problem with your message. It is written with your name in it, as if you are writing, but it comes from some one named Sebastian.

That’s a dick give away.

But really, it is this affectionate greeting

Hey Guys

Now maybe you are trying to be “cool” and yes “guys” might be seen as a colloquialism for all kinds of people. If you paid more to your social media strategists, they might have even done that mail merge trick where they insert my name in the greeting.

But “Hey Guys”? First of all, I am entity of 1 (not counting multiple personalities including 8 fake twitter accounts). What if I am woman? Have you another version that is “Hey Ladies”?

Before I have even gotten to your pitch, you have 2 strikes in your email, and you are out. But let’s continue.

Richard, CEO & cofounder of Studypool here. I am a college dropout who started studypool while attending Tatnall High School in Wilmington DE. I was reaching out to see if you guys would be interested in posting a guest blog post on our behalf?—?3 tip guide to successfully creating a startup in DE.

Again, “Richard” why is your email coming from someone named “Sebastian Almnes”? And you keep calling me “guys”? Who suggested this bro-proach would be effective? And why the poop would you ever think I would want a blog post on my site about startups in Delaware? Have you seen how many blog post tips I have written startups? Let me help you out.

Zero a.k.a none a.k.a. 0.

Studypool is an online marketplace that connects student with tutors on a per question basis. We’ve raised a few million $$ from top investors in silicon valley and have been growing quickly. In a year 1/2 since launching we’ve helped over 1 Million students and have 40K tutors.

I could do a lot of grammatical nitpicking on your inconsistent capitalization and poor writing style, but hey, you came from a rough background. And I am no grammar queen. But are these numbers supposed to impress me? How? If you are doing that well, why are you spamming bloggers? All this says is “We are burning through cash fast, and are resorting to spamming bloggers. Help! They are going to re-possess the espresso maker!”

If you guys are interested please feel free to reach out, I think it would be a great read for your readers as well as we’d be happy to share it with our users.

There you go again, the third time you call one person “guys”- that’s a triple dick move. Since you are pitching me content that has no freaking connection at all to what I publish, this tells me a lot about how you “think.” Impressive.

I know nothing about business and startups, but a better strategy would be to develop a really strong product that truly helps people, get it in their hands, and let them speak for you. Develop a reputation of genuine care, over time.

Resorting to the late night TV ad strategy just exposes your company as desperate.


a.k.a “Dick”.

Congratulations, “Richard”, you are now inducted to my mail spam hall of shame?—?because that’s what these “guys” here do at CogDogBlog.

If you send me your postal address, I will order you this mug.

UPDATE Mar 31, 2016 I don’t want to use the nug either; on reflection, I decided to blur out any reference to the company name in the screenshot of the email. It’s not important and seems ****-ish to identify the company.

Top / Featured Image: I do NOT recommend searching Google Images for the word dick (oddly enough, certain current presidential candidates show up frequently). But I did like the image of this mug from This is Why I’m Broke (a win for the URL). So I did some play with X-Ray Goggles to rewrite the page, and screenshotted it.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca

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