• Methods Of Cyber Criminals In Email Marketing Mar 28, 2019
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    I have always suggested looking to specialities outside of email marketing to see how they operate. Many use methods that we can usefully learn from. Let’s take what might seem a bold step further and see how criminals use emails in their activities.

    I’m not, of course, suggesting we indulge in any unlawful activity. However, we have common ground with cyber criminals in that we use email to persuade a person to do something, the only difference being that their intent is to harm the recipient, ours is to offer them with something they might not have realised they wanted. Some of the criminals are very clever at what they do.

    Recent research, https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2018/how-a-personality-trait-puts-you-at-risk-for-cybercrime/ published by Michigan State University, concludes that there’s a strong correlation between low self-control and victimisation. A co-author states, “people with [low self-control] put themselves in situations where they are near others who are motivated to break the law.”

    The research concentrated on discovering indicators in participants’ computer behaviour that would identify behaviour likely to give a high risk of malware and infection. The unsurprising conclusion was that those who were impulsive and who had low self-control were more susceptible. We use returns from our email marketing campaigns to discover the capricious ones.

    Such personality traits are not necessarily predominant all the time. They come and go it seems. You will know by now that everyone on your email marketing lists will probably have contradictory behaviours. Someone might be very constrained for most of the year, but come December, and after pouring over holiday brochures, they might well pick unusual and exciting destinations.

    There are various reasons given for such variations, some more esoteric than others, but generally accepted as a possible cause is the rather vague term, mood. It’s not very helpful, but let’s go with an example that you might not have considered.

    Dating sites, not a market that gives itself readily to email marketing, also have something to teach us. To sign up for one suggests a certain willingness to take a risk, but one in hope. Research indicates that mere anticipation alters the brain’s chemical makeup, and this encourages anticipation and makes the person more open to new experiences.

    How about following along the same path in your next email marketing campaign. From the start, build anticipation. Get the recipients into the frame of mind where they might want to try something new.

    Experiment with your email marketing templates. Try for something that excites and reveals possibilities. Build confidence in that person that they have the ability to change. ‘This could be you,’ or perhaps, ‘Haven’t you always wanted to . . .’ They probably haven’t, but your suggestion might make them wonder what they are missing. Tell them.

    The cyber criminals exploit human tendencies for illegal ends. We, on the other hand will offer something positive. There’s nothing wrong in opening minds and pointing out new experiences. Encourage them to try something new, something that will benefit them in some way, even if only because we want them to return for more.

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