Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Yeah, but is it worth getting spammed for?

The other day I overheard a lady talking about her company website.

"That's why I don't list my 'real' email on the contact page," she said, "I don't want to deal with all that spam."

Here's why that comment irked me...

See, I get about 50-100 SPAM emails a day.

What happens is, spam comes in. Gmail nicely organizes them into my spam folder. And the end of the day, I empty it out.

No problem.

In fact, if you google my email, scott@hellomynameisscott.com, it comes up 297 times. Between my websites, articles, blogs, myspace, squidoo and the like, I'd say it's out there pretty good.

And I think it's worth getting spammed for.

See, a lot of people complain, "I don't want to get spam" and "I don't want my email to be 'out there' for the just anyone to see."

ARE YOU NUTS??!!

Are you saying that being difficult to contact, hard to reach and inaccessible is the price customers have to pay just so YOU don't receive spam?

Seems slightly selfish and very backward to me. (Similar to the comment, "But I don't want to wear a nametag because it clashes with my blouse. Or makes me look dumb. Or puts a hole in my shirt.")

The first four words of The Purpose Driven Life had it right: it's not about you.

Wouldn't businesspeople think, "I want to make doing business WITH me and getting in touch OF me as quick and easy as possible for my customers and prospects. Even if that means I get a few dozen extra pieces of spam."?

So, YES. The answer is yes. It is worth getting spammed for.

Right now, go to your website and remove any of the following things:

1. Catch-alls. Questionable, vague, annoying catch-all email addresses like help@yourwebsite.com, info@yourwebsite.com. They suck. People need to know they're getting YOU.

2. Images of your email instead of text. Don't make potential customers memorize, then re-type your email address because you don't want spam. That's just one extra step they don't have time for. Make it easy for them to cut, copy and paste your address into their email client. Image instead of text = perception of high maintenance.

3. Forms. Please fill out this form with your information and we promise to get back to you. Yeah, right, the customer thinks. Nobody buys that lie anymore. Forms may as well have a disclaimer that says, "We don't care enough about you to give you our personal email (aka, a HUMAN) to contact. So leave us your information, and maybe in a few weeks we'll respond.

In closing, I'd like to say this:

scott@hellomynameisscott.com scott@hellomynameisscott.com scott@hellomynameisscott.com scott@hellomynameisscott.com scott@hellomynameisscott.com scott@hellomynameisscott.com scott@hellomynameisscott.com scott@hellomynameisscott.com scott@hellomynameisscott.com scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Do your worst, spam. I'd rather get 100 emails about Viagra than piss off my customers.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How does inaccessible web contact make you, as a customer, feel?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Go to your contact page and give it an "accessible face lift." Send me the link when it's done. You have my email :)

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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