What can you learn from a spammer?

What can you learn from a spammer?

Easy. You can learn what NOT to do.

Let’s take a look at a slimy email I received this morning.

Earlier today, a slimy email made it through my Outlook 2007 junk filter. It looks like this:

Send me your webpage address and I will see how it ranks on the search engines and send you a free report. It will detail what your average ranking is along with link count and advice on what your website needs in possible changes to meta tags and content. First try the free report. I was a Realtor for 12 years. No charge no obligation.

I work with Realtors to optimize their webpages so their rankings move towards the top of search engines. I give a lot of free advice on how to change your page so you get unsolicited business in this tough market. I was a realtor for over 10 years so I understand your needs. Realtors are dropping all print advertising and using the internet.

I charge for submitting to the search engines and changing meta tags.

I am by far the most inexpensive in the business. First just try the free report. You are under no obligation.

Dahner Laurence
612 se Norseman Dr
Port St Lucie, Fl 34984
dahnerlaurence@aol.com

Someone out there is bound to think that this guy is going to get “publicity” from reposting his entire email here. Anyone dense enough to use this guy after reading this post gets what they need:)

There are so many things wrong with this email that I thought it might be instructive to go over them. Yes, I know this guy could care less about these things and he’s just a slimy spammer but I’m not writing this for his benefit. You can learn from his mistakes.

So let’s take it a piece at a time.

Send me your webpage address and I will see how it ranks on the search engines and send you a free report. It will detail what your average ranking is along with link count and advice on what your website needs in possible changes to meta tags and content. First try the free report. I was a Realtor for 12 years. No charge no obligation.

#1 – Send me your webpage address?

If you are going to sell your services as a search engine expert, doesn’t it make sense to show a minute amount of savvy and initiative by taking the time to discover my webpage address? I think so. Oh, and just for fun, consider looking to the right of the @ in my email address. That’s where I hide it 🙂

#2 – “was” a Realtor for 12 years? Does that mean you were a really good one and are independently wealthy and send spam emails for fun and entertainment? Or does it mean that you were a lousy Realtor? Maybe you aren’t a Realtor anymore for some other reason. Mentioning this doesn’t provide credibility, and in fact, undermines it. On the other hand, if you said “I was a Realtor for 12 years, but I quit because I was making so much money as a result of learning how to get my sites to the top of the search engines.” then you might have a little more credibility.

Free report – good tool for lead generation, but you did a lousy job of selling it.

I work with Realtors to optimize their webpages so their rankings move towards the top of search engines. I give a lot of free advice on how to change your page so you get unsolicited business in this tough market. I was a realtor for over 10 years so I understand your needs.

Ok, so we’re getting a little bit better here. Sort of.

I’m not a Realtor, and even I know that Realtor is always spelled with a capital “R”. If I am a Realtor, I know that you NEVER spell it ‘realtor’. It’s a trademark in the industry. That capital R is kinda important to other Realtors. They know it and it is pounded into them for what should be obvious reasons. If you are to keep what little credibility you have, misusing industry terms and trademarks is an unwise choice.

No testimonials. If you work with them, some of them should have told you how wonderful and financially positive the experience has been for them.

Noting that he/she was a real estate agent for over 10 years “so I understand your needs.” – at last, a positive. Now we’re generating a little bit of credibility, though it is in the face of everything else – at least you tried. Having the experience and felt the pains and joys of the prospect’s business – critical.

Realtors are dropping all print advertising and using the internet.

Really? Tell that to the readers in the local newspapers when your firm is the only one without ads there. Perhaps the volume is dropping, but dropping one media completely for another one (yes, the internet is a media) is just plain crazy. If 35% of your current leads come from 1 media and 65% from another – do the math. How many sales do you close from that 35% pile of leads? Is it really worth dropping 7 figures worth of sales or listings to get back $250 a week? Only if you’re a bonehead, OR you are a master at tracking the value of your leads. That’s what should be used to make that decision – the sales and lead value numbers.

I charge for submitting to the search engines and changing meta tags.

FYI – submitting to the search engines is very rarely required anymore. They do a better job of finding you than you do of telling them about you. Changing meta tags is clerical work. Do you mean determining what meta tags to use? The tasks you say you charge for are both “mechanical” jobs, like digging a hole with a shovel. Heavy lifting, not intelligence about the search process that only you possess. But you didn’t say that.

I am by far the most inexpensive in the business. First just try the free report. You are under no obligation.

Sorry, but I can always find a less expensive alternative to your services. I don’t care if you live in a cardboard box. Someone else has a smaller one with lower overhead, is trying to get started in an industry and is willing to lose money to establish a reputation (that’s another issue entirely), or doesn’t even own a box and they will work for less than you will.

But are they smarter than you? Do they know something that you don’t? If they are 3 times smarter than you and $2/hour more expensive than you, who is the better deal? Price is no place to compete. Expertise is.  If you are as good as you profess and have all this real estate experience, why do you feel the need to be the “most inexpensive”? Odd.

2 things that aren’t copy related issues:

1) I am not a Realtor. Why send me an email?  Marketing 101 is market to the “starving crowd”. Don’t send AARP ads to college students. Don’t sell US Prime beef by mail order to addresses in India.

2) Last but not least, an AOL email address?

Get a real website with a domain name that makes sense for what you do and use the email there. That way your email address doesn’t have to change every time you move or when your ISP closes or gets bought by AT&T. something@realestatesmartguy.com says a lot more about you than clueless@aol.com does. It may not seem like much, but …. first impressions last.

Think about the message your copy sends. It tells a story. “I’m cheap and don’t know much” isn’t a story that most people will pay for.

One last thing – stop spamming.  It’s just plain dumb.

3 thoughts on “What can you learn from a spammer?”

  1. Hi, Mark …

    I have a wonderful client who was approached by Dahner Laurence to improve her website ranking and traffic by changing the meta tags.

    He charges $50 a month and here is what he wanted her to have me do:

    > These meta tags need to be pasted into your ” title, content description and keywords”. I want this identical set pasted into each respectively. The same set for each.

    charlotte real estate, charlotte nc real estate, charlotte real estate, charlotte nc real estate, charlotte north carolina real estate for sale, charlotte homes for sale, charlotte real estate, real, estate, charlotte residential real estate, charlotte homes, home, charlotte homes, houses, property, properties, charlotte homes for sale, charlotte realtor, realtors, charlotte real estate agent, real estate agents, charlotte real estate, charlotte homes for sale, for sale, charlotte new homes, new home communities, relocation, homes for sale, charlotte

  2. What an eye opener. You would think that an experienced agent like myself who is extremely detailed and over protective with her clients would not fall for such a scam. It is certainly a learning experience. I now know I will do research before I pay someone to do work for me. Thanks for your great work. I wish I had check this guy out first.

  3. Robin & Jean,

    The meta tags aren’t that bad for a start, but they leave a lot of things out, which I suppose is why he was only charging $50 a month. Of course, if he can get 100 people signed up for the monthly service, he’s got a nice easy monthly income since he can create these tags by just changing the city and state name in each set:)

    They shouldnt be pasted into the description or the title. Google is smarter than that.

    They shouldnt be on every page like that. Assuming you have landing pages for specific things on the site, the meta info should be specifically applicable to that topic.

    Other things to consider: he left out the suburb names and surrounding towns around Charlotte, plus there are a number of other things that should have been tossed around.

    On the upside, for $50, you kinda got your money’s worth – and you learned some important stuff.

    Mark

Comments are closed.