Spam Archives - Steven's Homestead

Contact Page – Goodbye!

So I used to have a contact page on my website. I thought it would be a simple way for people to contact me instead of needing to rely on having my resume or social media channels (Twitter or LinkedIn) to reach out.  You may be asking yourself why I decided to remove the Contact Page from my site. I hope after reading this post, you will agree that it was something that needed to happen.

Why I got rid of my Contact Page

A few months ago, okay about a year ago really, I decided to update my website to run on this slick new theme. I wanted to showcase my photography and work experience. In addition, I wanted to have a place to blog when the need to write even more got under my skin. When I built this site, I decided to have a contact page so that people interested in one or the other could drop me a message. So, I installed a contact form and had it send those messages to my email. I was pretty happy with the way the site turned out and I still find myself tinkering with various pages when the bug hits.

What I got instead

After installing the Contact Page plugin and activating the page, I started getting about one message every few months. When I got the first message, I was excited that someone other than me was looking at my site. I opened the email to find it was spam  from a company offering to help with SEO on the site. What a let down and a waste or resources for that company, randomly finding personal websites and offering SEO fixes through the contact page. I totally understand this type of selling and why it may seem important but really? It is not like I am a trying to sell anything so was it really worth the effort? I mean, if someone happened to see my photography and wanted to buy it I would probably sell it provided I knew what it would be used for but that is not the intent of this site; after all, there is a shopping cart feature which I have turned off. Lately, these messages have been more frequent about one a day. Really? One a day, you must be getting desperate for business!

I do know about SEO, quite a bit really and I know all of the pages on my site are not optimized for SEO purposes. It gives me something to do when I just want to tinker with my site; update old pages and posts for SEO. When I add new pages and posts, they are all search engine optimized.

As you can see, I needed to remove my Contact Page because I hate to get spam email. Oh and by the way, this blog is SEO ready!

Random Email Program Thoughts

I have been trying to think of ways to freshen up our email program here in North America.  Over the last few weeks I have been reevaluating past webinars and workshops I have attended and wanted a place to post all of those little things I have gleaned from the information.  So, this is where I will keep those thoughts for now…I have arranged them by event so if you happen to want more information just let me know.

Online Marketing Summit 2012 – Email 3.0

  1. Look at all information from every department that touches the exhibitor and see what messages can be eliminated and what messages can be combined.
  2. Create a campaign calendar
    1. Involve all groups who touch the exhibitor
    2. At most only email 2 times per month
  3. When a purchase is made, send an add on email 30 minutes to 2 days later.
    1. Studies have shown that if sent within 30 min you have a 90% chance of add on purchase
      1. Sent within 60 minutes 80%
      2. Next day 44%
  4. When someone unsubscribes you should respond with a meaningful message
  5. Get creative in the preheader…don’t just put “If you can’ read this email click here.”  This may be the only thing the user sees.

Online Marketing Summit 2012 – Email Best Practices

  1. Insert reps image in the email – works well in the financial market
  2. Become the customer
    1. Opt-in and see what happens
    2. Make secret transactions
    3. Opt-out to see what happens
    4. Call up and argue/complain to see what happens
    5. Listen to customers when they comment about emails
  3. Let people manage their email preferences; do not assume they want to receive everything from your firm.
  4. When someone unsubscribes, find out why.
    1. Make the unsubscribe page clear so the person know what they are unsubscribing from
    2. Instead of an unsubscribe only area give them the option to edit preferences.

Online Marketing Institute – Advanced Email Marketing

  1. Over 70% of email marked as spam is based solely on the Sender’s name, company names or brand names are not as good as a personal name.
  2. Header should not be one large image, instead upper left should be an HTML headline and move the logo to the right hand side.
  3. B2B – you should not send more than 1 time per month, at most bi-weekly.  Once you go past this boundary you start to upset people.
  4. Design
    1. Pre-header
      1. Put meaningful copy here instead of the “to view” link.  This may be the only place the receiver sees in preview.  Further, the “to view” link does not need to be in the pre-header, it can be lower in the page.
    2. Header
      1. Images on the right
      2. HTML text with style on left
    3. Body
      1. Images should be as small as possible
      2. ALT tags are a must (missing alt tags drive your spam rating higher)
  5. Spammy Words – these words drive your spam rates higher. (Great list of things to remove http://spamassassin.apache.org/tests_3_3_x.html)

 

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  1. Code
    1. Use no DIV – they add to spam score
    2. No CSS in header – it is stripped out of most email clients
    3. Always define the background color
    4. 600 is now the optimum width for screen
    5. Text – first three or four lines should be no more than 30 characters as that is all that shows up to the preview pane then around 72 characters after that
    6. Text – do not use plus or minus as these will in some instances mess up the rendering of the email; instead use > or *
    7. Use proper pixels instead of percents
    8. Use Height and Width for images

2012 Online Marketing Summit