SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has decoded the first message received from outer space, and it contained a big surprise -- something internet marketers here on earth can learn a thing or two from.

The message came from an area of the Andromeda Galaxy referred to as the "Dorsal Fin".

SETI director John Aubrey announced today that meaning of the message, first detected 32 days ago, at first eluded scientists because it was base-64 encoded. "Apparently the aliens were using an older interstellar router that can only handle 7-bit traffic. Either that or they were afraid we would still be using 7-bit equipment when the message arrived."

According to Aubrey, the contents of the message were:

If your lady wants a watch, choose a copy of Louis Vuitton one for her. For less than $239 D&G replica watch is yours.

Yes, our first communication from another world was spam.

Security expert Eduard de Dene is one of a small minority who believe the message to be of terrestrial origin, sent either using forged headers, or through a hacked router. Nevertheless, SETI has firewalled all IP addresses in the Andromeda Galaxy to prevent future spam from wasting more of their resources.

Due to the nature of the message, several marketing experts were asked to weigh in. Here are a few of their comments:

Usability Expert Jakob Nielsen:

The message was sent in plain text, which ensures maximum compatibility, but choosing base-64 encoding was a major blunder. Very few recipients will go through the trouble of decoding a message that they can't read within the first 3 seconds.

Viral Marketing Expert Seth Godin:

The only thing that stands out about this message is that it came from outside our galaxy. Other than that, there's very little to inspire anyone to share it: it's an ad for a knock-off product -- nothing unique about that. And it looks like any other run-of-the-mill piece of spam. I just don't see it catching on.

Reader Comment:
Jason Holloway said:
Cute. thx for posting. lol.
(join the conversation below)

Copywriter Michel Fortin:

On the plus side, the message is clear and concise, and speaks to the prospect's inner desires: to please their ladies without breaking the bank. That's a very timely appeal during a recession.

But it contains grammatical errors, which distract from the message. And it really doesn't contain enough information to overcome possible objections.

Worst of all, the call to action is weak. It suggests what to choose, but doesn't say where to get it and doesn't clearly define the next step.

Slashdot Anonymous Coward:

We should DDoS them.

Another Slashdot Anonymous Coward:

Aliens have every right to send us whatever sorts of messages they want. SETI deserves to be DDoS'ed for firewalling them.

Self Help Author and Success Coach Tony Robbins:

They must have been in one heck of a Peak State to transmit a message all the way from the Andromeda Galaxy.

Everybody stand up and get into a Peak State. I want you to yell "Hey ET!" and punch the Andromeda Galaxy!

Entrepreneurial Evangelist Guy Kawasaki:

If you want to change the world, learn from companies who've done it, like Apple. You've got enchant your customers -- get your products inside their hearts to change their actions from the inside out.

If you want to change the universe, learn from somebody who's done it. At this point in time, role models are pretty scarce. In fact, the only message we know has had any impact outside it's origin galaxy is one spam message. Perhaps once you reach the intergalactic scale, spam is the way to go.

I hope not.

Geoffrey Chaucer of Spam Assassin claims SETI's blocking of the Andromeda subnet is misguided and may prevent the reception of legitimate messages. According to Chaucer, "it's probably just an April Fools joke."