As you know, I’m always encouraging Planet Analog engineers to make a happy buck outside of their 6 to 6 sentence. With downsizing and outsourcing, this is a way to get your feet wet while having something to fall back on in case your career gets yanked away. This blog addresses one of the pitfalls to avoid as you move forward in your business dealings; spending something and receiving nothing.
What is it with the internet that enables so many intrusions for worthless services? As a business owner, I often under bid and over produce. Therefore, it drives me crazy that so many people offer services yet nothing results from it. I’ll address recent problems with this nuisance.
So you start up a business and then all of a sudden, it goes from making money to spending money. Parasites come out of the woodwork offering to help promote you. In my experience, 99% of them provide nothing in return. Even if you don’t follow up and spend money on them, they can take your most valuable asset, time.
This article all started with a simple sign up on a “free” website. Within a day of signing up, in came the upsell email offering services. So I wrote back asking what the guarantee was that I would receive monetary results from purchasing the service. The response was that purchasers “usually” see benefits. Several back and forth emails resulted in me saying that I don’t invest in “usually” while listing the experiences of negative gains. Once placed up against the wall, most of these fluff sellers can’t back up their claims. This guy was no exception.
I recently tried a crowdfunding effort for one of the products I’m developing. Low and behold, it generated more ways to spend money than it did investment in the effort. When these emails started getting annoying, I decided to call the senders on their bluff by responding that they would get a percentage of the income they generated. It wasn’t surprising that I received no responses. Far be it for anyone to earn their revenue and get paid after proving themselves instead of charging up front for no results. BTW, if you’re going start a crowdfunding campaign, insert a line stating that any services contacting you will be charged a fee. That could make life a lot easier.
Even though the crowdfunding effort ended, I keep getting emails. One such pest has the last name of Wenzel.
I finally had to respond to him with, “You're breaking the law, . Where is the ‘opt out’ on receiving your email? I'd suggest stopping them Weazel.” along with a link to the law on unsolicited email. This law is probably is ineffective as the National Do Not Call Registry. By knowing laws for each of these common intrusions it may assist you as you develop your own method for advertising your service. After all, the goal of this blog is for you to make some side jingle, not to be brought up on charges.
Most email services have an option to block these emails however the senders always find a way to sneak in. Somehow, they make the email look like it originated from your personal address. Hotmail doesn’t allow you to block your own email. Others are listed as ‘not a valid email address’ so they can’t be blocked either. Researching this topic leads to that classic American fact of daily life whereas it’s easy for others to make your life miserable and hard to defend yourself. Your options are to change your email address or put up with it. As a business with an established email address, I put up with it.
I’ve found that Gmail is better than Hotmail for avoiding spam. However, a Gmail address or any free email service can be seen as a business deterrent. Instead, some of the larger retailers are rumored to pay more attention if your email ends in .com. That’s just a suggestion for making an impact beyond the crowd and not legal advice. In my experience, the email engines associated with registering my website leave a lot to be desired. Further still, it’s just another address to monitor. Often times you have to sign in through the hosting portal which requires further effort. I am using a Gmail service set up by the patent agency that I write for however it is painstakingly slow. I don’t know if this is the fault of Gmail itself or the fact that this is one of the few websites where I use Internet Explorer rather than Google Chrome as my browser. Comments and feedback are welcome.
For those of you wanting to block emails, search the following:
“how to block unwanted emails ”
That worked for me on Gmail. Also, note that Gmail filters often hide valid emails. Therefore I’m always looking in the “All Mail” and “Spam” folders for important emails that didn’t make it to my “Inbox”.
We got a little off topic for analog technology however this digital world that so easily generates unwanted disturbances, I like to pass along tidbits that allow you to focus on your area of specialty. As a 30 plus year power supply engineer, increasing your efficiency as well as mine is always a goal.
In closing, I encourage feedback and discussion. I only start the conversations. By pooling knowledge and experiences together, we can improve. Please respond with your thoughts. Above all, stay analog my friends.