It’s Raining Spam (Again)!

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Have you noticed more spam than normal lately? If so, it’s not a figment of your imagination. According to this article in The Red Tape Chronicles, spammers have found a new way to annoy you: PDF attachments and “You’ve Got A Postcard” emails.

Some spammers are sending emails with PDF attachments, in hopes that the PDF attachment will get past spam filters (unlike executable files, which most spam filters will catch). Other spammers are pretending that you have an electronic greeting card from someone. This one is actually quite clever because we’ve been trained to open these sorts of messages from legitimate people sending us online greeting cards.

The good news is that we’re seeing less of “image spam,” those emails that contain just a graphic touting a product, site or stock. Images used to be able to get around the spam filters because the filters can not read the text in images. But spam filters got smart and said, “Hey, if an email only contains one image and no surrounding text, it’s probably spam.”

If it helps you to feel more in control, check out Symantec’s blog and their monthly “Spam Report“.

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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business
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What’s New in Internet Marketing – Part 3: Email Marketing

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Of course, email marketing isn’t new; we’ve been doing it for over 10 years now. But according to some of the latest research into email marketing, over 70 percent of email marketers say the impact of it is increasing, not decreasing.

Anyone who uses email marketing techniques can tell you, getting through spam filters is part of the battle. While text-only emails received the poorest return-on-investment numbers, some ISPs are now blocking HTML emails and only allowing text emails to get through (notably BellSouth).

It’s a quandary: produce newsletters that will get through filters, or produce newsletters that get results? I wish I could tell you otherwise, but truly, there are no easy answers to this question. However, here are some tips that might help you to think differently about your campaigns:

  • Instead of a full newsletter or a long email, consider the “postcard” format for an email; email postcards received 75% higher click rates.
  • Higher ROI tweaks include testing your email campaign with an A/B split, altering your subject line, having a specific landing page for your campaign (instead of merely sending them to your normal home page); and re-sending the same email message two weeks after sending the first one (especially if your email software can send it to only those people who did not open the first email)
  • Consider putting your call to action in your subject line (register for the class, sign up for the discount coupon, call for a free quote)
  • While 65 percent of emails now come with suppressed images, a large majority of users will manually turn those images on. This means that you should include images in your email campaigns.
  • According to MarketingSherpa.com survey results, once-a-month mailings actually have less impact than shorter, weekly mailings.
  • Consider segmenting your email mailing campaigns between customers and prospects, tailoring the message to them based on whether they’ve purchased from you before or not.

See Part 1 of this article series here:

http://www.passionforbusiness.com/articles/whats-new-seo.htm

See Part 2 of this article series here:

http://www.passionforbusiness.com/articles/whats-new-email-marketing.htm

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Category: Internet & Social Media Marketing
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93% of Cyber Attacks Are on Home Computers

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For the self-employed, keeping our own (and our customer’s) data secure is a necessary requirement to doing business.

Accoring to this article on MSNBC, “…during the last half of 2006, 93 percent of all targeted attacks were aimed at home machines. ID thieves know many of us store sensitive data, such as banking information, on our computers. They also know we often get careless when it comes to security.”

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you store bank or credit card information on your PC (either your own or your clients’)?
  2. Do you store login IDs and passwords on your PC?
  3. Do you have any software in place to help prevent identity theft?
  4. Are you aware of the common identity theft scams?
  5. If you store bank or credit card information, or login IDs and passwords, on paper, do you have this paper locked up? How do you dispose of this paper?

I suggest you read the above article, as well as listen to John Gontowicz’s teleclass on identity theft and the self employed:

http://www.passionforbusiness.com/teleclass/john-gontowicz.htm

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