Dear Chloe

I wanted to reply so you’d stop pestering me with emails, but I realize that might only confirm my email and lead to more spam.

Plus I’d like to talk back to the rest of the pretend-SEO (Search Engine Optimization) spammers, not only you who sneak through my email filters, but also the thousands caught in my site’s spam trap.

How do I know that you’re not the real thing, the guru who will make my dreams come true?

Of course I would like to rank higher on Google, “do well” on most social media sites (whatever you mean by that) and be friendlier with mobile devices. That’s like saying I want to earn more money, lose that belly fat or find my soul mate. These are universal truisms, Chloe.

The biggest giveaways of your true identity? You tell me you are not a spammer and state that you have studied my site. Almost all the spammers say that.

If you had read it at all, you would have made a specific comment, probably about other ways to say awesome, my all-time most popular post.

Or you would have alluded to the theme of my blog, which is business writing and communication, just so you know.

It was kind of you to offer a free audit, I respond politely, but I’ve fallen for this before, though only with a guy I had actually met so he had a sliver of credibility. He audited the wrong site,, which at that time was an almost-empty shell.

I let him pontificate for a few minutes before I told him. I tried to stifle my giggles while he chuckled nervously.

The fact that you put that offer in ALL CAPS made me wonder if you were angry because I had not responded to your previous, identical emails.

I hope that is as angry as you will get. Because, you see Chloe, I will not call you at the 315 phone number (which explains why your English is better than the Chinese spammers’), provide you with mine (which you would have already if you had really studied my site), let alone invite you over for a visit (can’t imagine why you’d offer to drive to Toronto from upstate New York to pitch my itty bitty company).

To end things on a positive note, Chloe, let me compliment your deft use of the English language. Most SEO spammers clearly don’t speak English as their first language or have failed to pass the most basic literacy tests. My colleagues and I sometimes post funny examples on Facebook.

Although the editor in me would cross out misleading terms such as “integrated marketing,” I found no typos or grammar errors and very little awkward construction. Well done.

Come to think of it, maybe you were one of those low-literacy spammers who actually studied my site, improved their business writing and moved up the food chain from spamming sites to email. Maybe you have read my book or taken my online course, Write Like You Talk Only Better. Or not.

Still, it was easy to tell you are spamming. So piss off, Chloe.

Yours (tongue in cheek) truly, Barb

Thanks for the cartoon.

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Open letter to a spammer
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One thought on “Open letter to a spammer

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