blogarticle

SPAM emails (SEO)

Going to have a rant about emails we receive on a regular basis about our website …

These emails often come from outsourced businesses based in India and use GMail addresses, so we don’t take them seriously, although our fear is some business owner / managers might do, so please read on …

We received one of these this morning and following a conversation with a business colleague, I thought I would write a short article about this, rather than a micro blog on Google+ or Twitter, so here goes. As I said we receive dozens of these each week and on first glance a business owner / manager might take these email seriously, which they shouldn’t. They use fear based sales techniques, which I don’t like and don’t think have a place in B2B marketing, but that’s another article.

This particular email headlined with the following:

  1. Your website attracts limited traffic, which affects potential sales.
  2. Your keywords don’t feature in Google first page, which affects visibility.
  3. Your back links are not good enough, which affects link popularity.
  4. Your website is not properly promoted, which affects the overall score.

So let’s look at these claims one by one:

Your website attracts limited traffic, which affects potential sales

Assumption:

This is a classic pains based sales opener; your website isn’t attracting enough leads and you are struggling. This is obviously a massive assumption, but one that will strike a cord with many business owners and will potentially grab your attention, which is why it’s the opening statement!

Fact:

Our website attracts good quality visitors and our business is thriving.

Your keywords don’t feature in Google first page, which affects visibility

Assumption:

Once again, I doubt any research into our keywords has been undertaken or indeed checked, but once again they don’t need to, if the recipient of the email believes this statement to be true.

Fact:

We are on the first page of Google for most keywords and first place for many of them; the result is a regular pipeline of prequalified leads.

Your back links are not good enough, which affects link popularity

Assumption:

First of all, this is too technical  for many recipients (no offense), but if they believed the first two, this is designed to make you feel even more fearful!

Fact:

We constantly monitor our back links " links from third party websites that potentially drive traffic back to our website " and there are plenty of specialists that supply this kind of service; search for “monitor backlinks” and Google will give you dozens of options, or speak to your online marketing department / partner / etc.

Your website is not properly promoted, which affects the overall score.

Assumption:

Once again, they are using a technical approach to strike fear into the heart of the recipient! By this stage the recipient is terrified and will believe anything!

Fact:

You can use lots of free online resources to check this. As a business we have always enjoyed a good Page Rank (PR) that is used by Google to determine the quality of a website. The average small business website will be 3/10 where as our website is 5/10 and above average. The PR rank is based on dozens of elements, of which many are only known to Google. there are other resources that can be used to assess your popularity and you should contact a specialist for further information.

Conclusion

This approach is widely used for both legitimate reasons and some less legitimate businesses and it isn’t restricted to email. The FCO of Fortelus Capital Management recently fell for a social hack, divulging sufficient information for the perpetrators to extract £750k from the businesses bank account at Coutts (part of the RBS group).

The principle is to scare the recipient into responding, by striking a cord with them and playing on their fears. Whilst writing this article, we received 3 similar emails!

I used to question why these emails are sent at all, until I found out the percentage of people that respond to these emails and the volumes sent out. Consider this: it is accepted that you will get somewhere around 3% response from a  targeted email as these people send out millions, so 3% is a healthy pipeline of sales leads / victims.

Date: 13/07/2015

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