If you have an email account, there’s a good chance you have received at least one of these scams. It’s called the Nigerian 419 scam, or advanced fee fraud, and basically involves a promise of riches in exchange for some help with moving a greater sum of money.
“help us get our £20 million into a band account in your country, and we’ll pay you 1%!”
There are variations on this scam but they operate the same way, promise of something great for help with something bigger, only costs you a small amount of money to help. Once you’re hooked, they start asking for more money to help deal with the delays.
Oh and as the emails are from a foreign country and they are littered with spelling and grammar mistakes.
… which is strange as the official language of Nigeria is English.
And that’s not just a word on a doc to show off, Nigeria was a colony of The British empire and the citizens of the country speak it fluently. So why are these emails littered with mistakes?
Well, these mistakes are where the Nigeria 419 scam can teach you about GREAT marketing.
The mistakes are there on purpose to select the right target
Many people won’t fall for this scam, they are skeptical of the promised prize, or know the scam already. Perhaps they understand international finance and know that the reasoning for the transfer doesn’t make sense.
These scammer aren’t after this type of person and want to have zero contact with them.
Every minute spent dealing with a skeptic is a wasted minute. Every minute spent with a potential victim is a profitable minute.
The grammar and spelling mistakes are a way to repel people who would be skeptical.
They see the mistakes and think it won’t be worth their time messaging them. It also helps them identify the scam.
These mistakes also attract potential marks. They help foster the impression of this being a foreign and difficult transaction and that their help is needed.
Nigerian scammers know their target market well
They aren’t trying to attract everyone, just the people that fit their target market. They don’t try and convert the unconvertible, they focus on reaching everyone in their demographic.
That kind of market positioning is rare for most companies and brands.
Most brands want to try and appeal to everyone, and so become so hilariously middle of road and bland.
By trying to appeal to everyone they appeal to no one.
If you want some customers to LOVE your brand, then some other customers will hate it.
Even the classic mass market brand examples like Coca-cola, Google, Apple, and so on have people who hate them and love an alternative.
Are you brave enough to repel the wrong customers?
It’s not easy to do something that you know will repels leads or prospects, but if you are truly focusing on your dream, one customer you will repel some bad fits.
Are you ready to find your “one customer”?
If you are ready to find a market who will love your brand (and upset some others), then sign up to get your one customer worksheet. It will help you identify the exact client to go after.