Archive | January, 2011

Are You Business Card Email List SPAMMING? Big Trouble.

“May I have your card?” Nate stalls….waits….thinks…holds his breath…and replies, “Um, sure” while he slowly hands it over. Why am I holding my breath? There is a growing trend of small business owners collecting business cards and adding those people to their email lists. This is not how to build a mailing list. That’s SPAM. And after you get a couple SPAM complaints from people who didn’t join your list, your email company will close your account, you’ll lose all you lists, and possibly your website.

When someone gives you a business card they are not authorizing you to add them to your email list. Sure, you can add them to your contacts database but not to your mailing list. For someone to join your mailing list, they have to personally enter their name and email address ┬áin a form, either online or on paper, and confirm that they would like to be added to your list. And to be extra sure about it, most email management systems then send a second email to the subscribed person requesting that they confirm again that they want to be on the list (called a double-optin). Getting someone’s business card then forcing that person onto your list is…SPAM, and it can get you in trouble.

How much trouble? First of all, you’re shooting yourself in the foot by sending unsolicited information to someone you hope will be a client of yours. Bridge of trust…. BURNED. I mean, really, what are the chances that you are going to do business with someone who yesterday you gave them your business card and today they are sending you mass emails. It tells me I’m just a number to them. Just another business card to put on the list.

Next, like I said, you could lose all your lists from SPAM complaints and get your email account shut down without warning. And, finally, you could get your website hosting account shut down without warning, which means bye-bye to your website, and you’re out of business.

What CAN you do with a business card to build your list? If you ask me, a one-time personal email to the person on the card inviting them to join your email list with a link to where they can subscribe if they want to is okay. It’s a one-time invitation, the same way you would invite someone if you were talking to them in person. And if they don’t subscribe to your list, don’t take it personally. Either your subscribe (opt-in) page needs to be improved or they are just not interested right now. Hey, you and I both know that we can’t be on everyone’s email list. Furthermore, most email management services charge you based on the number of people on your list. You wouldn’t want to pay to send an email to someone that doesn’t have time or interest to read it anyway would you?

However, when you build your email lists the right way, you’ll have a list of people that want you to contact them, and want to you to send them information about what you do. What’s the right way? That’s a whole other topic.

So, protect your business and build your email lists without SPAMMING.

What email management system do I personally use and recommend?
Email Marketing $19/Month!

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Don’t be fooled, “SEO comes with it.”

Have you been fooled by SEO marketing? I am going to spill the beans on deceptive advertising by some web designers and do-it-yourself website companies. What beans am I spilling? Search engine optimization beans.

I was meeting with a prospective marketing client a few weeks ago who wanted to discuss search engine optimizing their existing website to work their way up to the top of Google.

We met for an hour or so to discuss strategy for achieving a higher placement in Google. Well, to make a long story short, I received an email about a week later thanking me for my time and telling me that they are going to rebuild their site with a do-it-yourself service and that “SEO comes with it.” SCREEEEECH….CRASH!

SEO comes with it? What does that mean?

Out of curiosity, I checked it out. “SEO comes with it,” in this case meant that you can edit the title of the website, the text of the website, and the tags and description for the website if you want.

The illusion is that if you build a website that comes with SEO, that the website will be optimized for you. Wrong! That’s like selling someone a car with no oil, no gas, no brake fluid, no transmission fluid, no coolant, and no battery, then advertising that it “comes with an engine.” There are some mechanical parts under the hood, but that car is going nowhere.

So, the new car owner spends the next 6-12 months beating their head against the steering wheel trying to figure out why this car that “comes with an engine” isn’t going anywhere.

Search engine optimization is a series of strategies used to help boost a website’s placement in the search engines, and it’s only as good as the marketer implementing those strategies. All search engine optimization is definitely not created equal. In fact, if done wrong, Google will penalize your website and kick you down even further.

To my prospective client’s credit, they did say that their SEO “will need a tune up after we are done.” So, they’re on the right track. However, I went ahead and looked at the code of several websites built using the do-it-yourself system. What did I find? About 9 out of ten had ZERO search engine optimization done and 1 had a weak attempt at search engine optimizing the site.

So when you read something like this on a DIY website builder sales page, “Optimized for the best SEO and results ranking,” which I just quoted from the Features section of a popular website builder, don’t believe the hype.

Want a pair of second eyes to look at you website SEO, visit my company site at www.integrityonlinemarketing.com and mention this post when calling or contacting us.

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Automate Your Email Marketing

Have you ever wondered how to automate your email marketing? You and I both know that to effectively market online, you need to communicate with your future customers through email. Well, have no fear AWeber is here. This is the service I personally use to automate my email marketing. In fact, if you’re reading this in your email, it was automatically created and emailed to you using content from my blog with the help of AWeber. This service will automatically take content from your blog, convert it to an email, and send it out to your email list, and you don’t have to do anything. Here’s a quick video that shows what this service can do for you:

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