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The SBC Small Business Newsletter

presented by the Peak Small Business Center



March 15, 2003

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Quote of the Week


Featured Resource - FX Audio Tools


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Quote of the Week

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence and determination.

-- Calvin Coolidge



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Featured Resource

FX Audio Tools

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Staff Article

by: Cary Christian

You know, I just don't understand how so many people can't see the forest for the trees.

A lot of people do not like the topic I'm going to discuss tonight, but it is something we all have to deal with every day and it's only going to get worse unless something is done soon.

The amount of sp^m I receive on a daily basis has grown dramatically in the last few months. I'm sure it's the same with most of you. And it's not only the amount that's a problem. The fight between sp^mmers and the anti-sp^m groups is getting nastier day by day. And you and I are caught in the middle!

Now don't go away just yet! This is not some article telling you about all the tools you can use to fight sp^m. Instead, I want to deal with the crux of the problem and talk about how we can nip it in the bud once and for all. It's an important topic. We either deal with it and find a solution or we will all suffer greatly. Let's just take a look at a few things that are being done and let me give you my take on why they don't and won't work.

1. Filters - I'm sorry, but what a crock! The person who ever dreamed filters would solve the problem just has no conception of how ingenious a determined sp^mmer can be. The filtering methodologies are even published for goodness sake. Someone can simply study how the filters work and defeat them all day long. If they're too lazy to study, there are a number of services a planned email campaign can be run through to "cleanse" it to make sure it makes it through. Filters will never work, period. The proof? We have more filters in place now than you can count and the amount of sp^m just keeps increasing. Geometrically! Legitimate business emails get filtered, sp^m gets through.

2. Habeus - Worse than filters, my friends! The people who gave us filters are now putting forth a scheme to charge us for allowing our email to get through them. And who is joining them? Large companies who want to take the Internet back from small business. Trust me: the large corporations are extremely happy with this Habeus deal. YOU should not be! You need to stand up against it now. And again, anyone who doesn't think the sp^mmers won't find a way to forge the Habeus headers is just dreaming. You and I will pay, the sp^mmers won't, and the problem will just keep getting worse.

3. Legislation - I've never really seen legislation solve this type of problem. I think it's inevitable, but I doubt we'll like it very much. The Internet as we know it today was born with freedom of expression as its cornerstone. As layer after layer of legislation is added, the Internet will become more like any other communication medium and will lose a great deal of its character. And the sp^mmers still won't be fazed. You think they won't sp^m just because it's illegal? You really think the government is going to put enough enforcement effort behind prosecuting a sp^mmer to make it work? Come on, folks. Government has bigger fish to fry. They're not going to take resources away from finding kidnapped children to prosecute a sp^mmer!

The whole sp^m issue has generated a lot of profits for people involved in the so-called fight against it. People who create the filters and the people who created Habeus have no real stake in stamping out sp^m. They stand to profit from it. Why should they eliminate it?

So what, then, do we do?

The answer is so amazingly simple.

When law enforcement works to solve a crime, often the motive of the criminal in committing the crime is an important element in solving the crime. Without a motive, the crime would likely not be committed. What is the motive behind the sp^mmer's crime?

They profit from it!

How do they profit from it?

They profit from it because even people who say they hate sp^m will occasionally see something they're interested in and they will actually buy something from a sp^m email. That's what keeps them going. That's the ONLY thing that keeps them going.

The sp^mmer is content to rely on a tiny response rate to make his or her profit. They buy a million addresses for under a hundred bucks and mail day and night knowing that if only a tiny, tiny fraction of the people they mail to actually buy something it will have been worthwhile. And people do buy.

Ask yourself what would happen if no one bought from a sp^m email. Do you think anyone in their right mind is going to spend hours every day sending out email if their return on their investment of time and money is zero? These are very bad or very misguided people, but they're not necessarily stupid. If it doesn't work, they will stop. Plain and simple.

So do you really want to stop sp^m? Then don't buy from sp^mmers. Tell everyone you know not to buy from them. If you run an ezine, tell your subscribers. Put the message on your site somewhere. You can use this article if you want. Make the phrase "Don't buy from sp^mmers!" a mantra that gets repeated throughout the Internet.

Sp^mmers can avoid filters, forge headers, hide their identities, they can even make it look like their sp^m came from YOUR website if they want. But they cannot and will not continue a pattern of behavior that is no longer profitable for them. So let's do our part to make it so.

That's all it takes.


Copyright (c) 2003, Cary Christian
Peak Small Business Center -
You have the right to reprint this article in its entirety as long as this resource box is included.

Guest Article


by Karon Thackston 2003

It's the gold medal of e-commerce. Getting that coveted sale is what every online business owner hopes and prays for daily. It's why we fight for good search engine positioning. It's why we battle with our copy, making it "just so." It's what pays the bills! But what if you could get even MORE sales from your order page? It's really not very hard to do.

What I'm about to tell you is not some big secret. It's a widely used practice that works. You've probably seen it before, but never paid it much attention. Well get ready to listen, because with just a few simple steps you could quickly be doing a lot more business.

Will this same tactic work for off-line businesses? You bet!

I have two ebook sites. One is for my copywriting course ( ) and the other is for my ezine guide ( ). Like you, I'd seen this sales practice put into place before. I'd even bought more of a product or service because of this tactic. But one day it dawned on me to actually USE this method to see if it would really work for me. I used the two products above to conduct a test.

Instead of just linking my "order" or "buy now" buttons to my credit card processor, I created a separate order page. And instead of just putting the copywriting course on the order page of the copywriting course site, I added a "deal." I offered a $10 discount if site visitors bought BOTH ebooks at the same time. I have a link to buy just the copywriting course, and a link to buy both ebooks at the discounted price. Literally, within minutes of implementing the change, I began ringing up sales for both books.

Have you seen this before? I'm sure you have., and many other huge online retailers use this method to boost sales every day. Why does it work? Simple.

Once people go through your site, read your copy, and check out your products or services, they make a decision to buy. By offering them more for less (more products/services for less money) you take advantage of their "buying mode." You strike while the iron is hot (so-to-speak). It's a win-win situation.  The buyer gets a discount, and you get more sales.

So how would you implement this strategy for off-line businesses? Just follow any fast food restaurant's lead.

Have you ever been to a McDonald's restaurant? What normally happens is a conversation like this:

'May I take your order?"

"Yes. I'd like a Big Mac combo with a Coke."

"Would you like to super size that, ma'am?"

"Sure, why not."

"And how about adding one of our hot pies or an ice cream sundae
for just $1.00?"


Without so much as a fuss, McDonald's just added two sales to your order. One was super sizing of your combo meal. the other was a sundae. You got a discount - you got more food for less money - and McDonald's got more profits.

Off-line retailers can simply instruct their salespeople to ask for more sales. Once the customer gets to the cash register, they are officially in "buy mode." While they're standing there, quickly (and I mean quickly. don't bombard them) ask if they need shoe polish to keep those news shoes looking new, or if they remembered to pick up labels for that box of CDs. It's really that simple. No hard sale, no pushing, no shoving. Just a simple question to which the answer is almost always "yes."

So there you have it. the quick and easy way to get more sales from your order page. Think it's too easy? Try it and see for yourself.


Most buying decisions are emotional. Your ad copy should be, too! Let Karon write targeted copy and ezine articles for you. Visit her site at , or learn to write your own copy at . Don't forget to subscribe to Karon's free ezine at .


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