Thursday, January 31, 2019

Would you buy a used car from this company? What about a website?

I get a lot of these emails, but this one is particularly bad.

To start with; it is illegal to send unsolicited emails. This one is unsolicited, ergo; illegal. Strike 1.

The subject line is not grammatically correct. I’ll go further, it doesn’t make sense – I originally thought it was from someone for whom English wasn’t their first language. Strike 2.

The sender uses a gmail address. For a business email. From a business that has its own domain name? Strike 3, and I haven’t even read the message [in baseball, you’re out after 3 strikes]

In marketing terms the message  is not personalised e.g. the sender has obviously not read the content of the website. Strike 4.

Let’s take a look at the key points raised by the sender:

Are you looking to redesign your website with new modern and as per the latest industry standard look and feel?  There is no ‘latest industry standard look and feel’. Strike 5.

5 important reasons to redesign your website:-

1. Your content management system or website technology is out of date. So is my car – it’s 33 years old but last summer it took me 4000 miles around Italy. Old does not necessarily mean not fit for purpose. Strike 6.

2. Your website design looks old and outdated. That would be a matter of opinion – see (1) above. Strike 7.

3. Your website is not mobile – friendly. Google says it is. Strike 8.

4. You are not getting the results you want. And what results would they be? Strike 9.

5. Your business focus changes. Well … it’s not a commercial website, so it has no business focus. Strike 10.

Note that the name of the seller is not included in the message. Reminder: the subject line included reference to brand. Strike 11.

At the bottom was this legally required message [part of the mailchimp package]

Well, I thought, although I’m very careful maybe I have signed up for something [e.g. a digital marketing newsletter] where the small print said that my email address might be passed to organizations who sell services in that industry … so I clicked on the ‘why did I get this’ link – which should tell me who has passed on my email address. I got this …

Yep ... after the 'you were subscribed because:' message, it should [legally, I think] tell me why I was subscribed. Strike 12.

So I had a look at the website of the anonymous seller – I got the URL from the message above.

I simply cannot be bothered to comment on the whole website – and I’m running out of strikes to give out. 
However, that it timed out while I was surfing [a WordPress issue?] deserves strike number 13.

And no, I checked, nothing to do with my Internet connection. 

However, I did take a look for the marketing manager who sent me the email, and got this …

So, as they provide an address in a public forum, I thought I’d take a look at the location of

… and it is a private house. In itself this is not necessarily a problem. A lot of ‘mom and pop’ type setups operate successfully from a home. But I’m afraid for a web services company, it’s strike 14.

Talking of operating from home – it is perfectly valid for, say, a vintage wedding car hire company. Which is exactly what the 'Quaint and Quirky Motor Company' shown on the map is. And full marks to the owners of that business for making sure it’s on Google’s small business lifting and so appears on any Google map. Note however, that the company offering digital marketing services [for a fee] isn’t. Strike 15.

I gave up at this point.

Footnote: one of the services listed on the Akriga site is social media monitoring.

So when you read this Ade, Ian or Jenifer: Hello … and your copyright notice still says ‘2018’.