Mark Dirks

Web Marketing Pollution (1 of 5)

Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

Over the last few months, I’ve been collecting email from companies and individuals who are peddling web marketing services.  I get bombarded with these types of email messages daily as I’m sure you do.  Our Barracuda spam filter is very good, but some still sneak through – so I can only imagine how many are actually being sent out by these web marketing wannabes with their snake oil that’s guaranteed to work wonders.  To make matters worse, if you are peddling web marketing services, why are they landing in my email box?  We are a competitor!  This is what we do, which tells me they are just spamming businesses!

So I figure it’s fair game for me to push back – in my own “subtle” way – on some of these annoying, time-wasting attempts to take money from unsuspecting business owners.

They use scare tactics.  They overwhelm you with jargon and sales talk.  They make it seem like you are really LOSING because your website cannot be found.  They make it seem so easy and make it sound like they have a magic wand.  The truth of the matter is this.  Yes, there are small things (low-cost) and big things (high cost) that you can do to improve the visibility of your website on the internet, but to get the most for your money, it requires knowledge across all the major marketing channels, analytical skills to put your money where it will get you the best results for YOUR SPECIFIC business and technical expertise to deliver your brand/message and products effectively.  Of course, web marketing isn’t about “Let’s throw this out there and hope it works”.  It’s about creating & executing a strategy that targets your prospective customers effectively, testing on a small scale (maybe in a specific geographic area), measuring results, tuning the strategy, then expanding the efforts and repeating the process.  Always, ALWAYS demand a report to show at the very minimum:  traffic, conversions and return on investment.

I met with the CFO of a company just this morning that said, “I’m paying $75 per month for SEO and I have no idea whether it’s doing anything.  I don’t receive any reports or communications from my vendor.”  A billion things ran through my mind, but I took a deep breath before I spoke and simply made two points:  “First, you can’t manage what you can’t measure – so demand regular reporting from your vendor.  Secondly, if you are only paying $75 per month for SEO, you are wasting your money.”

I know everyone gets email solicitations regularly for web marketing services.  Our customers share them with us and as I said above, we get them directly.  I thought it would be fun to look at several of these – and of course, comment on them.   I have 4 more “chapters” to this blog that I plan to post over the next week.  I’m starting out with a couple of really lame solicitations, but be sure to check out future chapters to this multi-post as they get much more interesting and tricky.

“Promote Your Online Store” (See Below).  Get Serious!  This was sent to the email address of our website maintenance group from “”.  But at the end, it says to contact an email address for “bizarre designs”.  Sounds like a real legit web marketing business, huh?  Secondly, after reading THEIR poor marketing pitch, why would anyone WANT them to market their business in any way whatsoever?  Then at the very end it says, “Note: Though this is not an automated email, we are sending these emails [What??? Are there more?]  to all those people [What???]  whom we find eligible of using our services[Lucky me!]. To unsubscribe from future mails (i.e., to ensure that we do not contact you again for this matter), please send a blank email with NO as Subject.”   Wow.  I guess there are some businesses out there that bite on stuff like this; otherwise there wouldn’t be email like this floating around out there.


How bad is this one?  Enough said.