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The SBC Small Business Newsletter

presented by the Peak Small Business Center

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March 28, 2002

Table of Contents

 

Welcome

Quote of the Week

Administrative Stuff

Staff Editorial - Big Brother II is Here!
Marketing Tip of the Week

Guest Article -  You Are Being Lied To . . . And It's Costing You a Fortune
Parting Comments

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Welcome

Thank you for subscribing to the Peak Small Business Newsletter! We take our obligation to provide you with useful information very seriously. As a result, we always welcome your input on articles or other information you would like to see presented here.

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Quote of the Week

Ideals are like the stars: we never reach them, but like the
mariners of the sea, we chart our course by them.

- Carl Schurz
 


Administrative Stuff

FREE EXPOSURE FOR YOUR BUSINESS!

We want to give you an opportunity to gain free exposure for
your business! We are asking each of you to send us an email
and tell us about yourself and your business. We have added a
section to this newsletter where we spotlight your websites or
businesses so our other subscribers can get to know you and
possibly do business with you.  We hope many more of you will
respond in the coming weeks. This is FREE EXPOSURE to THOUSANDS
of people! THIS IS VALUABLE so please act TODAY!

Just send your email to mailto:mybiz@peakconsultinginc.com with
"Info on my business" in the subject line.


Staff Editorial

Big Brother II is Here!

by: Cary Christian

There is a new threat stalking your business as you read this!  You may or may not have been victimized by this threat to this point because you can fall victim without even knowing it.  If you haven't been hit yet, chances are good that you will be in one form or another.

I'm not talking about a virus or hacker attack. In fact, the authors of this threat claim to have your best interests in mind. So just who or what am I talking about?

We all hate spam. The Internet would be a much nicer place to work if there were no spam. All it does is use up a tremendous amount of bandwidth and aggravate us to death. I'm for getting rid of it. You're for getting rid of it. The desire to rid the Net of spam is almost universal. But there are right ways and wrong ways to do it. I want to update you on one of the wrong ways.

Some ISPs have begun using software to filter your email as you send it and before you receive it. The software works by comparing emails to a database of words, groups of words and phrases, formats used in the email, and a variety of other triggers that, according to the authors of the software, signify the message is spam. The problem is in the definitions used and the manner in which the software is being implemented.

A week or so ago a very well respected Internet marketer who would never consider using spam was wondering why she had received only 4 emails the entire week. She normally received hundreds. She found out this new spam blocking software had been installed by her ISP. Included in the blocked email were a letter from her sister regarding family matters, communications from business associates, membership related materials and research materials she had ordered and paid for.

She was unsubscribed from programs because her email address bounced, lost business because people she was working with thought she had abandoned them, lost subscribers, lost bids on jobs because they never got through, and suffered embarrassment because budding business relationships were cut off when she seemingly disappeared. Even emails to her ISP to try to resolve the problem were blocked!

If you take a look at the types of things some of these spam blockers look for, you will understand why these problems occur.  Here are some examples of things the software looks for:

> Talks about a check or money order.
> Contains a line longer than or equal to 199 characters long.
> Contains the words "print out and fax."
> Contains the word "amazing."
> Contains the word "profits."
> Discusses money making.
> Contains a toll free number.
> Talks about opting in.
> Talks about social security numbers.
> Incorporates a tracking ID number.
> Tells you to click on a URL.
> Asks you for your signature on a form.
> Link to a URL containing "unsubscribe."
> Microsoft FrontPage used to create the message.
> Message text is over 500 lines long.

And much, much more. Many of the business emails between our clients and us would be blocked based just on the above. Email invoices and shipping confirmations would be blocked. Sending an income statement to a colleague would be blocked. Support emails to our clients, subscribers and others would be blocked.  Legitimate newsletters with double opt-in subscribers will be blocked. Emails from affiliate programs you belong to will be blocked. Payment notifications will be blocked. Safelists and newsgroups will be dead. Sending requested information to your customers will be impossible. You get the picture.

The real problem here is that people have decided spam can be defeated using a list of words. This is just plain STUPID!  Sure, some of the items in the lists are found in spam. But many of them are also found in everyday communications between people who have business or personal relationships and want to send email to each other.

The bottom line is that this type of software does not work.  The tasks it performs are no different than the filters your email client provides. I receive more than 10,000 emails a day but they do not create a problem for me because I use my own filters. Everyone should. But an ISP should not be implementing filters on the server side that give you no choice in what you receive and what you do not. Especially without
telling you about it!

We are joining with other companies that do business on the Internet to attempt to limit the damage these types of programs can do to legitimate businesses. We hope you will join us, too.  If you become aware of this type of software being used by your ISP, please let us know. We plan to contact all such ISPs to explain to them the types of problems they can unknowingly create and to attempt to help them find a way to work around these issues.

Please don't take this situation lightly. In the end, accomplished spammers will find a way to beat this type of system anyway. Then, only legitimate businesses will be harmed.

Copyright (c) 2002


Marketing Tip of the Week

Always evaluate your marketing options based on the cost per clickthrough and cost per sale. Track your marketing efforts and know what you're getting when you spend your hard-earned dollars. Did you know, for example, that using the pay-per-click engines and placing ads in ezines are less expensive per click and per sale than hosting an FFA page, purchasing guaranteed visitors, and purchasing so-called hot leads from lead generation websites? Don't get too caught up in absolute cost. You'll be wasting money in the long run.

 


Guest Article

You are being lied to...and It's Costing You a Fortune

By Terry Dean
 

You are being lied to...and it's costing you a fortune.

Receiving all the traffic in the world isn't going to help you if you don't make sales when the traffic gets to your page.

A mistake that I see people make over and over again is to believe the hype that it is easy to make money online...sign up for several affiliate programs...put up a page...and then place free classified ads.

This strategy will not work. It does not work today. It will not work tomorrow.

You cannot just join affiliate programs and try to generate free traffic to them (not in the normal ways at least).

I have been interviewing some successful affiliates lately and have found out an interesting secret...Not a single one of them (not even one that I have found) just joins an affiliate program and puts up links or banners on their web page.

Every one of them does something a little unique. One is a search engine master and spends well over 40 hours a week learning all the intricacies of the search engines. Another is a master publisher who publishes a quality ezine every single day.

Still another model of success is becoming an expert at sending out articles to ezines. You could also create a community atmosphere where people keep coming back to visit through chats, forums, etc. Then, make referrals of affiliate programs.

These types of affiliate techniques work, but what people have been publishing as the easy affiliate opportunity just isn't true.

All of the top affiliates come up with some of their own ideas and lead generation methods...and none of them rely on just placing a few ads here and there. Nor do they just put up another banner on their web page that nobody visits anyway.

If you want to be successful, find someone who is already successful and model them.

HINT: Don't necessarily always do what they say. Find out what they are doing and do that!

What are the successful Internet entrepreneurs doing?

They are doing one of two things:

1. Some of the successful entrepreneurs are creating products or finding unique products to sell.

2. The rest of the successful entrepreneurs are building an audience.

Those are the only two ways to be successful on the net. Either sell a product you control (and don't try to sell something people can find at the local Wal-Mart store) or build an audience that you can contact over and over again.

If you want success, you will fit into one of those two classes.

If you created an information, you are one of the unique product sellers. If you publish a growing ezine, you have the audience.

If you got an exclusive on a new golf club, you are a unique product seller. If you run a discussion board that has hundreds of thousands of visits a month, you have an audience.

If you have a product, you just need to find people who have an audience and convince them to become affiliates with you or buy advertising from them.

If you have an audience, you just need to become an affiliate with someone and endorse their products to your audience.

These are the two hands of Internet success...

Please Note: Some people do quite well as both having ezines, forums, etc. and also having their own products. They fit in both classes.

Is this article going to make some people angry?

It sure is, but I want you to stop and think for a moment. Can you find successful people who don't fit in one of those classes?

You may say, "What about the search engine expert?" The answer is he has an audience. He can generate free leads for ANY product anytime he wants.

Which class are you in? Do you have a product, an audience, or both?

If you don't fit into one these groups of online businesses, then you don't have the right vehicle for online success.

It would be like trying to compete in a Nascar stock car race with a bicycle.

You might be the strongest and fastest bicyclist that has ever walked the planet, but no matter how hard you work you don't stand a chance in the Nascar race!

Many of the Internet marketers I meet are just like that bicyclist. They know they can do it if they just work hard enough, but they aren't using the right vehicle for the Internet race.

Are you using the right vehicle?

-------------------------

Terry Dean, a 5 year veteran of Internet marketing, will Take You By The Hand and Show You Exact Results of All the Internet Marketing Techniques he tests and Uses Every Single Month Click here to Find Out More:
http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/nbt.htm


Parting Comments

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