Bad Marketing, Unsolicited Advice

I hate “negging” as a sales tactic…

Are we still using that term? Negging?

What I mean is when sales & marketing people reach out to a company to “help” them by telling them there are very “obvious” flaws in their website.

Sometimes they don’t even do any research on the company they’re calling before they call. For instance:

Caller: Hi I work for Acme SEO Company and I recently discovered your company doesn’t appear on the first page of Google for the term “baby bottles”

Me: Well that’s good because we sell products for adults with disabilities.

But I digress. Today I want to talk about this message my client received today:

It looks like you’ve misspelled the word “recieved” on your website. I thought you would like to know :). Silly mistakes can ruin your site’s credibility. I’ve used a tool called SpellCheckerSiteHERE* in the past to keep mistakes off of my website.

Here’s how my brain reacts to these types of messages:

Thought 1. Thanks for catching that but WOW. THAT’S what ruins credibility for you? A common spelling error?

Thought 2. You didn’t tell us what PAGE it was misspelled on. Thanks so much.

Thought 3. Oh, you’re a webmaster who uses a service with a monthly fee to check for spelling errors. I wonder who you work for? (I had a suspicion who they worked for…)

Thought 4. OH LOOK your email address is on several blacklists for contact form SPAM for that company. COLOR ME SHOCKED.

I seem to have gotten some SPAM on me. YUCK.

The problem is, many people get messages like this (or worse) and get really worried. Some even sign up for the services being sold that way. If they’re lucky the service is real and actually works. If they’re not… it’s a PHISHing site. So what SHOULD you do?

1. Be wary of links to helpful apps sent through your contact forms or via comments on blog posts. Real customers will let you know when they find mistakes, but it’s rare that they will suggest a handy dandy service to help prevent future mistakes.

2. Verify that the problem exists before signing up for any services – especially paid services. There are TONS of free apps out there that may do the same thing or more as the one suggested to you.

And of course, if you still REALLY need help my rates are very reasonable.

* I have not included the name of the actual company above because I don’t want to give them any traffic.

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