If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, what is outright theft without attribution?
Some time ago a client sent a message I’d written to subscribers of an industry newsletter.
Split into two parts, the message tested whether or not the reader was sufficiently interested to a) visit the company website, b) finish the story by downloading a PDF of the entire message, and c) watch a 44-second video; all without having to register by providing contact information.
That message surpassed by five times the previous company open rate.
It sent over 7,000 new visitors to the corporate website to download the full message.
It also intrigued over 1,000 new visitors to watch a 44-second video that demonstrated how a customer could use the product to easily prevent the situation discussed in the email.
The next day some guy swiped the entire message, removed all of the company information, removed the call to action, and removed all reference to the video. Then he posted it as his own on LinkedIn, naming himself the author.
Eventually someone from the company that had paid for the story meekly confronted him with his outright theft.
Only after he’d been caught stealing did he stick a single sentence on the bottom acknowledging the original publisher.
To this day his version has zero likes, shares, or comments.
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