Everyone who has created an email account if the past decade has probably gotten an email that looked something like this,
The Former Nigerian Prime Minister has died and his family needs helps getting $30 million out of the country in order to protect their assets from a military coup. If you provide us with your bank account we will deposit $1 million dollars and as a thank you for your help we are happy to leave $100,000 in your account when the money is transferred again.
Scams like this have been running amok for years and you’d assume just about everyone with an Internet connection has been warned about the dangerous of helping foreign emissaries move money around. But you know what—if you look at these scam emails from 10 years ago compared to the ones getting send out today, chances are they don’t look that much different? How can this be? Surely these scammers are smart enough to realize that their con has been exposed, right? Here’s the thing though, by keeping their messaging the same these con artists are able to weed out the 99% of people that A-wouldn’t fall for their scam and B-might make trouble if they did and figured out what was going on. But that still leaves that 1% of uneducated and gullible recipients that fall for it and hand over their bank accounts. Email spammers understand their target audience better than just about any Fortune 100 company could ever hope to, and they know exactly what to say to get that target “customer” to act.
We should aspire to know our audiences half as well. And strive to produce the kind of content that compels action.
I am not suggesting that you go out and set up your own Nigerian email scheme in order to succeed in the online world, but there are a few key takeaways that site owners and marketers can take away from these emails that might help their own SEO, content marketing and online marketing campaigns.
Know exactly who you are speaking to and create content just for them.
A gym’s primary target audience is people living in the surrounding neighborhoods that are looking to get in shape. It’s easy enough to write good content about exercise and eating right, but if that gym could hone in on exactly the kind of person that comes through their doors they could do a much better job of creating even more compelling content. Maybe they get a lot of new-Moms trying to lose the baby weight; or maybe their clientele includes serious athletes looking for serious workouts; or maybe they get a lot of families that are looking for group activities for the kids—what are your target audience’s real motivations? Once you know who they are, what they want and need, you can create custom content designed to speak to each segment of your overall audience.
SEO success is long term.
The Nigerian email scams have been running for about as long as there has been an Internet. You almost have to admire that kind of commitment. Too often site owners panic at the first SEO hiccup and scrap their entire campaign. This makes it extra hard to gain any traction with your SEO, since it’s a slow-moving process that builds upon itself over time. SEO success is a marathon, not a sprint!
Content marketing works.
Great content is the key to online marketing success. The right content in the right place at the right time with the right audience is going to work! The scam emails may sound and read like absolute insanity to those of us that know better, but we are not the intended reader. Not every piece of content you write is going to be absolutely perfect for each member of your target audience, but as long as it is right for someone than you’ll slowly build positive results.
About the Author – Nick Stamoulis
Nick Stamoulis is the President of the Brick Marketing, a SEO firm in Boston MA. With 13 years of Internet marketing experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his knowledge, along with the SEO specialists in the Brick Marketing SEO newsletter.