Archive for October, 2014

Free Email Account

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Why Using Free Email Services Are Bad for Business

A free email account says “we’re not willing to take the relatively small expense to make sure we have reliable email”. “ This business doesn’t care about their public image, they don’t care about using real email, and they don’t seriously care about using the internet to communicate with their customers.”

The company which is using a free e-mail account might be completely committed to their customers, but using a free email account doesn’t say that.

There are lot of reasons why not to use free email accounts for business with some explanations on how it impacts your online presence, especially as more than 87% of all company communications are via email, outstripping postal mail, telephone and face-to-face communications to become the most used mode of business communication today. We focus on the top 10  as follows:

1. Hackers Love Free Email Services:

Since the group of people who use free email accounts like gmail, yahoo, hotmail, ymail, mymail, aol and so now. Hackers spend a lot of time trying to hack into these accounts. When a hacker gains access to your email account they will use it to send SPAM and even possibly adult content to your list of contacts which could include your clients, vendors, business partners etc. Protect your business and save yourself that embarrassment by getting your own email address.

2. Risk Getting your email blocked:

If you are using free email services for business and storing your business contacts and your account is hacked, spammers can send out malicious messages from your account. Not only will this annoy your prospects and clients, resulting in them ignoring further messages from you but it could mean that your email address would most likely be tagged as an email address that sends SPAM and blocked by SPAM software all across the internet.

3. Looks Unprofessional:

Despite arguments that free email services are easier to use the fact is a free email account just isn’t professional looking. What do you think of someone you meet online who doesn’t have a professional email address with a business domain name? Aren’t you wary of handing over money to them? You should be. This not only means far fewer responses and closed transactions for the effort and resources you assign to marketing activities but also lowers the perceived value of your products and services.

4. Brand Awareness & Consistency:

Using a free webmail account does nothing to help build your brand. When we use our business email that has the same domain as our website, it’s a shoe-in for people to see what your website is and visit on their own, instead of having to ask. Can you imagine companies like McDonald’s or Apple using Gmail for business?

5. Image

You only get one chance to make a first impression. When you are building a business, you are building an image. The image is one of professionalism & consistency, no matter the industry. So, when you have an office/store location, and a custom domain name for your website, why use mybusinessname@hotmail.com to communicate with your clients

6. You Get Want You Paid For:

Because you’re paying nothing for the service, you’re getting exactly what you paid for: nothing.  The free e-mail service providers are under no obligation to do anything for you. They’re well within their rights to ignore you completely, and that’s what most of them do.

7. Separating Business from Personal:

It’s hard enough to keep track of all the emails we receive on a daily basis. With personal free email accounts, we deal with spam, forwards, social engagement invitations and details and much more. Having a separate business email account will ensure that all the emails that you send and receive will be business related only. For the same reasons you keep separate bank accounts for business and personal, it’s equally as important to keep your business communications separate. It would be a shame to miss an email from a prospective client because it was lost in a sea of social emails

8.    Advertising is more difficult

Most free email services have many users and it is unlikely that you will be able to register either your personal or business name with them without adding some other letters or numbers to it. If you have to use an email address like joedoereo@hotmail.com it will be very difficult for your customers to remember. Any time your customer has to recall your email address, or even just type it into an email there is the potential for error and it can be difficult to spot errors if there is no obvious sequence or meaning in the email address

9.    Email limits

Another major issue for businesses which operate a mailing list and send out regular mailings to their customers is the restrictions placed on accounts by many of the free email services.

Free email accounts are an obvious choice for companies and individuals who wish to send out 1000′s of spam emails. In an attempt to restrict this activity by spammers many email providers have introduced limits on the number of emails that you can send out at one time, or a limit on the number of emails you can send in a 24 hour period, or in some cases a limit on both. This creates a major issue if you are a legitimate business with a mailing list. You may not be engaging in sending out spam but you will have to deal with these restrictions. You could spend hours on your computer sending out emails from several free accounts but this is very time consuming, and you would probably be better employed actually running your business.

10. Email Analytics

To be able to improve your email marketing results you need to have a clear insight in your statistics. If you know how many people open your email, click your links and who these people are, you can detect weak points in your email marketing strategy. Statistics give you a great insight in what works and what doesn’t so you can keep improving your emails to maximize results! Free email hosts like Gmail or Hotmail do not provide these reports so you have no idea of your overall email results and possible tweaks in your strategy.


Fake Likes On Facebook

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Why Facebook Hates And Fights Fake Likes

Facebook is launching a campaign to rid its service of fake, or “low-quality”  likes. There are spammy businesses out there that prey on Facebook page admins with offers to get them thousands of likes to their pages.  In a blog post, Facebook site integrity engineer Matt Jones wrote that “The spammers behind fake likes have one goal — to make money off of Page owners without delivering any value in return.” He said that “They make their profit by promising and generating likes to Facebook Page administrators who typically don’t understand that fake likes won’t help them achieve their business goals.”

It’s not hard to locate these spammers. A Google search for “buy Facebook likes” yielded plenty of offers, including one company that posted an entire menu of options, including “10K Likes for $480.” For $1,200 you can buy like 50K likes.

Jones wrote that the company has a “strong incentive to aggressively go after the bad actors behind fake likes because businesses and people who use our platform want real connections and results, not fakes.” He said that businesses that buy these fake likes won’t achieve real results and “could end up doing less business on Facebook if the people they’re connected to aren’t real.” He added, “Since these fraudulent operations are financially motivated businesses, we focus our energy on making this abuse less profitable for the spammers.”

Likes are great, but only if they're real, says Facebook

Likes are great, but only if they’re real, says Facebook

Facebook has both automated and manual systems in place to try to catch these types of fake likes, “including blocking accounts and removing fake likes all at once.” The company has also sued spammers in the past and has obtained “nearly $2 billion in legal judgments,” so far. A judgment doesn’t necessarily mean that Facebook has been able to collect from the offending businesses that it’s gone after.

Others weigh-in

Having 10,000 fans in India is great, but they’re not going to buy anything or visit you if you’re a furniture store in Sydney, Australia.

Not just Facebook

Social media spam affects other services as well. It was just as easy for me find web pages selling “TwitterTWTR -8.84% retweets” such as 10,000 retweets for $45 or 50,000 for $150. There are also spammy services that sell YouTube views and Instagram followers as well as LinkedInLNKD -3.84% connections. In addition, there are companies that sell text-links to try to trick Google into upping the page rank of sites that are linked from other sites. A few years ago Google started punishing websites with these bogus links by reducing their own page rank, but — as a web site administrator — I still get plenty of offers from businesses wanting to pay me to place these links on my page.

Culture obsesses over popularity

We increasing live in a world where businesses, celebrities, journalists and just regular people, are judged by the number of followers, friends or likes they have accumulated. But sheer numbers of followers or likes don’t tell the real story. Even if they were obtained without paying for them, numbers don’t necessarily translate into genuine interactions whether that’s financial transactions, genuine retweets, clicks or just plain interest.

The reality is that there is a big difference between people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say, versus those you have simply “collected” by whatever means are at your disposal.