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Website Smarts Re: Email Addresses

We are all trying to do so much these days to advance our businesses to the next level ourselves. Thus, sometimes we just don’t have the time it takes to learn everything about everything!

So I will be posting tips that I have personally learned along the way mainly from my “set-up your own business” trials and tribulations.

The first one is in regards to setting up your websites. This applies whether you use a pre-made templated website service or create your own site from scratch.

Website Smart: Never put your actual email address(es) within the text of  your website — anywhere.

Why? Because this is where and how the bulk of spammers get your email address. They can spider websites with automated, email sucking systems — a.k.a. bots — to get your email address or they will just copy them from your website manually. The internet world is full of enough spam as it is, therefore you need to protect your email address in as many ways as you possibly can from the crooks, while still making it easy for your customers and potential customers to find it so they can contact you.

How then can your website visitors contact you if you hide your email address? Here are a couple of quick-to-do website changes that makes it basically the same to contact you, if not easier:

1.) Simply put a link to your email address from text that says “contact me” or “email us” or something to that effect.

2.) You can place a clickable graphic that has a link to your email address. A picture of an envelope or a mailbox or whatever you like and, the graphic itself can say “email us here” with the text created in your graphics program — not — text overlaying the graphic in your html editor.

These are not 100% foolproof methods to completely stop others from obtaining your email addresses from websites, blogs and networking pages, but it will stop a huge amount of email thieves. As surely as there is night and day, internet criminals will continue to waste their time on ways and means to steal your information, abuse the system and make life miserable for many honest business owners.

I had a “contact@…” email address that I removed from a site quite a long time ago once I discovered this fact, and over a year later I was STILL getting spammed from that mistake.

Be sure to note: email addresses need to be changeable simply because of all the spammers who like to waste your time, my time and apparently theirs too! Revise them when your spam gets overwhelming or even sooner. Email addresses are easy to come by, and even easier to get rid of old ones and create new ones. But remember where on your sites you have linked or listed your email address, and when you revise the addy, be sure to update your sites too.

EMAIL TIPS: Keep one email address as private as you can and for the use of your current paying clients only. Do not use this one in any on your public sites, blogs, networking sites, etc.

This will help you sift through the garbage that comes to your email inbox every day and you can pick out the important emails quickly.

Also, by using email filters that sort according to your various email addresses, you can have the additional confidence that you are getting to the important emails quickly.

I hope this will help many of you avoid making this webmaster mistake to begin with. My email box gets full enough every day with important emails, I don’t need all the garbage that comes in too — and I am sure neither do you!

Have an email tip for our readers? We would love to know about it! Please post it below in the Comments section for this article. Thank you. :)

 

Your Website Spokesperson

 

Keeping In Touch With Your Clients for Little or No Cost

Here’s a little money-saving branding / public relations tip:

Keeping in touch with your current customers occasionally and letting them know you are thinking about them is a great way for them to remember who you are.

Sending an anniversary, birthday or some other occasion card that might even relate to what your business offers is always a great idea.

Also, sending thank you cards immediately after they have received your service or purchased your product(s) is a wise gesture for the savvy business person.

The best way to do this is to mail them a note card with of course, all of your contact information in it just in case they lost or tossed out your business card or ad. Be sure to include a new business card or two or three so they can pass some along to their friends and family; and a coupon or discount of some type to encourage them to use your products or services again, preferably with a “use by” date to create a call to action with urgency. Do give them a fair amount of time, such as 30-60 days to use the discount by, otherwise you will have wasted your time and theirs.

~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~

You CAN Contact Your Customers For FREE Too

Nowadays, we have the wonderful option of eCards. You CAN save a bit of time, money and trees using eCards for this important part of your marketing plan. They are fast, many are free, and sometimes even better than a tangible card because they can come animated with sound effects and music.

The only drawback is that you cannot include your business card in them, so you may wish to physically send a note card via Postal Mail once in a while to get your business cards redistributed.

But you can still include a discount or special offer or coupon code, just type it in the message area after your full name, business name and full website address. It will need to be short and sweet because eCards don’t usually allow much room for a lot of text. Your website should have all of your other contact information on it so no need to clutter your card’s message area with any additional contact details.

Also, be sure to preview the card after you compose your text and before you send it in case some of your text was cut off for being too wordy.

Plus some eCard sites save your email addresses to an address book to make it easy to send to the same people over and over, some send you an email confirmation when the card has been previewed and some even allow you to pick a date ahead of time to send the cards so you can stage them, or send them while the idea is fresh on your mind.

Here are a few links to several places to send free eCards to get you started. There are of course many more companies that offer eCard services, a quick Google search will present you with scores of options to choose from. They have styles and occasions for everything:

The Nature Conservancy = share your love of God’s great gift to us

CrossCards.com = Christian themed cards

Animal Rescue Site = increase awareness for homeless and abused pets

Jacqie Lawson eCards = beautiful, animated and set incredible tones and moods

Dover Books eCards = show the art enthusiast in you by sending one of these

Evite = cards, invitations and planning ideas

Have a favorite eCard company that you use regularly? Tell us about it right here in the Comments section for this post, I would love to share your business suggestions with our readers.

Wishing you affordable and effective followups! :)

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