People will do stupid things for greed.

Andrew Trachtman
4 min readMar 12, 2021


Like ignore anti-virus malware warnings.

Have you ever been on a website with scantily clad men and/or women?

(What, just me?)

Maybe you’re into something else?

Well — that’s the oldest example of “I want the thing on the other side so badly, I’m willing to screw myself.”

It’s how people get hacked.

It’s how embarrassing pictures get taken (and leaked).

And it’s also how emails get opened.

Like this one (which has nothing to do with naked men or women):

You probably can’t read this. Don’t worry, I’ll write the Subject Line out for you.

Here’s the email in question:


Military Grade red dot optic at an Amazon price

Exclusive offer from <BRAND NAME>

Hey, thought you might be interested in this.

It’s a RED DOT sight that I’d put next to a $300 Trijicon or Vortex any day of the week.

In fact… it comes from the same factory that makes sights 10–20 times the price.

For less than $40, some people think we’re a little nutty for offering such a high-quality optic at such a bargain basement price… but hey a good deal is a good deal.

I’m positive these will run out soon.

We’re offering FREE Shipping for the next 48 hours!

CLICK HERE NOW to scoop one up before they’re all gone.

On Your 6,


PS I wish I’d never spent what I did on my EOTech back in the day. I’m kinda embarrassed I didn’t just grab ONE OF THESE BAD BOYS and save a TON.

=-=-=-=-= END EMAIL =-=-=-=-=

What things did that email do right in your opinion?

For me — it nailed a few things.

#1 — It got my greed glands flowing.

Red Dot sights aren’t cheap and they REMIND you of that at the start of the email. And they only mention EOTech at the end. Those can go for $500-$800. So to get one at an “Amazon Price” is a big deal.

#2 — It knows the market.

If you’re a gun nut, you probably want a tacticool red dot sight. You probably ALSO don’t want to spend a fortune on one. Unless you’re like me and just want the best of everything…

#3 — It has multiple CTAs

Not every email should do this, but in this case it makes sense. There are multiple links to click so the user never has to go far to check out the offer.

#4 — It price anchors

They mention $300 right up front. That’s the number in your head. And that’s the number you’ll likely compare future prices to.

#5 — “Military Grade”

They use a buzzword that most people in this market would look for. Military grade aircraft aluminum. Military grade suppressor. Military grade Night vision.

Now, Military Grade MEANS tough. At least to the average consumer. Remember, technical definitions don’t matter. What the reader believes matters. And the reader believes military grade = tough.

Military Grade is just a marketing term. Even “Mil-Spec” tends to actually mean “lowest bid contract for mass scale production and just tough enough to be serviceable.”

But I won’t get into that too much here. The point is, speak to your reader in their language.

Now — there is something this email did WRONG in my opinion.

The link it goes to is flagged as Malware by my antivirus.

I COULD disable it and take a peek…

But I’m not THAT interested for ONE reason.

I’m a “jaded customer.”

I’ve seen offers like this before. They call “laser sights” “red dots sights.”

And that’s all semantics. The reason I suspect this is a misleading offer is because:

  1. Even Airsoft red dot sights tend to cost more than $40. If they don’t they’re total crap.
  2. The email says “I’D PUT THIS NEXT TO A $300 TRIJICON.” For you non-gun lovers out there, if you have a rail system (where all the attachments go) you could have a red dot sight up top and then put a laser sight next to it.
  3. Cheap laser sights use red lasers. That laser produces a red dot. Red dot sight.
  4. It may very well come from a factory that makes sight 10–20 times the price, but that doesn’t really mean anything.
  5. In theory a laser sight COULD replace a red dot and the semantics are fuzzy.

So that’s me on the other side of the fence being a copywriter. These are some of the “claimless claims” you can make and comparisons you can use to insinuate things.

Is it a little grey/black hat? Yeah. Kinda.

Are MY claims unsubstantiated?

Yes — because I refuse to disable my anti-virus to check out a link that I suspect is misleading me.

But the thing is, I’ve seen this offer running for awhile.

And that USUALLY means it’s working. And I can totally see why. Most people aren’t looking for semantic tricks, especially when the copy is short and easy to read.


It depends on what your goal is and what the goals of the business are. Other factors include, list, goal of the campaign, timing, offer and a whole lot more.

But when it comes to writing emails — there’s actually a surprising amount of things to consider.



Andrew Trachtman

I currently write copy for multiple 7 and 8-figure business and freelance on the side when I have free time (which is... not that often).