Sharing my thoughs and opinions about anything and everything
Remembering My Dad

The Obituary of Daniel Harley, Sr.

My Father passed away on the morning of November 14th, 2014. This is his obituary.

[ click here ]

Getting Your Business Online From Scratch

On July 17, 2012, the subject for Technology Tuesday’s show was “Getting Your Business Online From Scratch.”

Dale Perryman and I discussed the steps in how to take any offline business and get it thriving online. Here’s the podcast:

Listen to internet radio with Caribbean Radio Show CrsRadio on Blog Talk Radio

I would love to hear your comments on this. ~Dan

Everything You Want to Know About Affiliate Marketing

On August 14, 2012, I had Doug Champigny as a special guest on Technology Tuesday. I know him as Captain Affiliate. Doug is among the best affiliate marketers in the industry, and he certainly demonstrated his abilities during the show.

Doug Champigny, a full-time Internet marketer, Affiliate Marketer, E-Zine Publisher, mentor and speaker, is often called a super-promoter because he’s an expert in creating wealth online and teaching others to do the same.

Joined by his wife Teri in 1996, their agency, The Cyber Surfer, won many accolades including having sites profiled in Entrepreneur, Inc and sought out by Yahoo! for promoting events at Broadcast.com.

Currently, Doug & Teri own and operate over 150 web sites, author over a dozen Internet marketing, affiliate marketing and niche marketing blogs, and constantly working to brand themselves worldwide and help other marketers achieve their online goals.

http://dougchampigny.com
http://captain-affiliate.com
http://affiliate-marketing-domination.com
http://simple-clickbank-profits.com/blog/

Here’s the podcast of the show:

Listen to internet radio with Caribbean Radio Show CrsRadio on Blog Talk Radio

Please leave your comments. ~Dan

How To Use Quickbooks

Straightforward Information For Zeeklers & ZeekRewards Members About ZeekRewards

I created a video to answer inquiries and questions I received concerning the demise of Rex Ventures, Inc. (a.k.a. Zeek Rewards). Following is that video:

Here’s a link to the SEC’s press release regarding Rex ventures, Inc. :
http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2012/2012-160.htm

Here’s the web site for information regarding the disbursement of refunds: http://www.zeekrewardsreceivership.com/

I welcome any comments, opinions and updated information concerning this issue. ~ Dan

Internet Marketing and Online Advertising Without a Web Site

By Dan Harley, Jr.

It is common knowledge to believe that a business needs to have a Web site in order to market and advertise on the Internet. After all, how are Google or Yahoo going to find your business if you don’t have a Web site. If the search engines can’t find your Web site, then how are people going to find your business in the search engines. You might be surprised to know that is not necessarily the case anymore. In fact, there are now several means to promote and advertise a business on the Internet without a Web site. I’m sure this is going to contradict with the opinions of my Web developer colleagues, which will result in a plethora of hate mail. However, facts are facts and I will lay them out in this article.

Back in the late 90’s and early 00’s, it was thought that all businesses would have a Web site by now. A Web site would be a common staple with any business along with business cards, stationery and a phone. Well, that didn’t happen. There are some estimates indicating less than 15% of small businesses in the United States have a Web site and fractions of that are effectively promoting their Web site or business on the Internet. Whatever the reason for the low number of small businesses having Web sites is irrelevant to consumer demand.

More and more adult consumers are using the Internet to find local businesses or services than ever before. The phone book is rapidly loosing ground to the search engines for adult consumer preference in finding local businesses or services. This trend continues to grow despite the small business community being way behind in keeping up. Instead of waiting, Google, Yahoo and the yellow page companies have taken alternative measures to accommodate the growing consumer demand for online information, which has opened opportunities for a business to promote itself on the Internet without the need of a Web site.

Most small business owners don’t realize that their business may already be promoted on the Internet for free. Most of the online business directories (Yahoo Local, Google Maps, etc. ) are populated from yellow page information. Such information are formatted into business profiles in Yahoo Local, Google Maps and other services, which are given preferential placement in local search results over organic and even sponsored listings.

For instance, you can review the local listing for my own company [ click here ]. If everything goes right, you will see the PrimeConcepts local listing on the “sweet spot” of Yahoo’s search results for “internet marketing apple valley ca”. This listing is in better position than the sponsored listing and the organic listings. What’s interesting is the local listing placement has little to do with my company’s Web site. All I did was update my Yahoo business profile, which cost me nothing. My profile has enough information for potential customers to contact me even if I remove my Web site link. One thing that I should mention is my local business profiles on Google, Yahoo and the other directories generate more new customer referrals in one month than my yellow page ads generate in a year.

The online business profiles are certainly not the only means to advertise on the Internet without a Web site. In fact, there are countless others ways with more being created all the time. Having a page on MySpace, Facebook and other Web 2.0 sites are becoming prudent for small business advertising and especially for the cost (free). I can’t conclude this article without mentioning Craigslist. Putting it simply, Craigslist is phenomenal. A modest ad campaign in Craigslist, which costs nothing but my time, generates a steady flow of new customers. Although most all of my ads are linked to my web site, some ads divert to a tracking phone number and don’t even have reference my company.

What all this means to small business owners, especially to those who don’t have Web sites, is they can focus on online marketing and advertising first before investing in a Web site. A Web site is still very important to any business and every business should have one. However, delaying such an investment in favor of generating new customers by utilizing Internet marketing could be the edge a new business needs to be successful.

About the author: Dan Harley, Jr. is the founder and owner of PrimeConcepts for Internet Solutions. Dan has over 25 years experience as a professional computer programmer, decades of experience with sales & marketing and over eleven years of experience in Internet marketing. For questions concerning his articles or for more information, contact Dan at danharley@primeconcepts.net or visit http://primeconcepts.net

Why The Internet Is Beating the Pants Off Of Yellow Page Advertising

By Dan Harley, Jr.

If you have a small business you probably have a yellow page ad. Be it a full-page ad or a simple phone listing, the yellow pages have reached out and touched all of us in our wallets and for good reason. The yellow pages had been the most practical and reliable means of attracting new customers for small businesses targeting a local market or community. The yellow pages had been among the best ways for any small business to advertise, and that includes my own business. However, I learned a very hard lesson that yellow page advertisement is no longer effective and has become of a waste of money.

Despite having an abundance of resources available my fingertips to advertise online, my Internet consulting and marketing business is not much different from any other business when trying to find new customers. I spend money on yellow page listings just like any other small business owner would. In fact, I had counted on the yellow pages to help boost my business a few years ago. I quadrupled my yellow page ad budget in 2006 over 2005, because I was pushing a new product line and I wanted deep penetration into my local market. The shocking part was discovering that I acquired two more clients in 2006 than the year before despite four times the effort. Ironic to myself and with my business, the problem with my yellow page advertising was because of the Internet.

There was a BusinessWeek survey back in 2005 that I overlooked, which indicated most adult consumers at that time were already using Internet search engines to find local businesses or services over any other form or advertisement. Such information could have told me not to pursue heavy marketing through the yellow pages, but I wasn’t listening. There was also just plain common sense in realizing the pattern and habits of my target market. Putting it simply, I stopped using the phone book and I started using the Internet to find things and so did my customers. You can prove this to yourself by asking a few simple questions:

  • Where is your phone book right now?
  • When was the last time you used the yellow pages?
  • What did you use last to find anything?

Your answers are very likely the same as mine:

  • I have no idea where my phone book is.
  • I haven’t used my phone book in months.
  • I used the Internet.

How do you think your customers will answer these questions?

The consumer driven trend towards using the Internet over the phone book is no secret. It is much easier to use a search engine than to lug out a heavy phone book and dig through hundreds of pages to find information on a local business. Ironically, most all of the search engines and online business directories at this time are filled predominantly from yellow page listings as the primary source. They had to do something to fill the rapidly increasing consumer demand to find things online instead of digging through a phone book. This is adding nails to the coffin for the physical phone book and certainly devaluing advertising in the yellow pages.

Yahoo, Google and even the yellow page companies very well know about this trend and lots of technology is being developed or re-developed to accommodate it. Yahoo has had Yahoo Local for years. Google has integrated Google Maps into a means to promote local businesses. Don’t think for a minute that SuperPages, AT&T and the other phone book companies are twiddling their thumbs, because they know their business will be all but dead if they continue to sell nothing else but yellow page ads. All this activity brings new challenges for small businesses to use the Internet.

Believe it or not, you don’t have to have a Web site to be listed in the search engines and your business might already be listed. Your yellow page listing is all you may need to be listed in Google, Yahoo and dozens of local business directories on the Internet. If you don’t manage your online business listings, then you will be randomly placed in the search directories. Despite it all, you’re probably receiving more business from your online business listings than you realize and it’s relatively easy to generate more business.

Most online business listings aren’t managed because most business owners or managers don’t realize they are listed. This means even simple management of such listings could give your business favorable ranking, which will translate to more new customers. After several months of terrible yellow page ad results, I started to manage my online business listings in hopes of recovering lost ground. It cost me nothing but my time and I generated more business in a couple months than I did in the year’s worth of yellow page ads in 2006. Today, I purchase the bare minimum (about $150) to keep my yellow page listing active and carefully manage my online business listings. I already realize several times more new customer inquiries from my online listings than I have ever generated from my yellow page ads in the same timeframe. Several of my clients who are utilizing my strategies are realizing the same thing.

Has the Internet replaced the yellow pages as an effective small business marketing tool? It already has in my opinion. What’s your opinion? Leave a comment and let me know.

About the author: Dan Harley, Jr. is the founder and owner of PrimeConcepts for Internet Solutions. Dan has over 25 years experience as a professional computer programmer, decades of experience with sales & marketing and over eleven years of experience in Internet marketing. For questions concerning his articles or for more information, contact Dan at danharley@primeconcepts.net or visit http://primeconcepts.net

Rotary Club of Apple Valley, California’s Project Vietnam

Rotary Club of Apple Valley with the grateful assistance of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund funded $1,000 US for a humanitarian project to help five families affected by unexploded ordinance (UXO) accidents in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam in 2007.

Quang Tri Province has the unfortunate distinction of being the most bombed region in the world. More bombs were dropped in an area that can fit inside San Bernardino County than all of Europe during World War II. The U.S. Department of Defense estimates that about 10% of the ordinance used did not detonate as designed, which means that thousands of munitions still lay in Quang Tri waiting for the moment to be disturbed to unleash it’s devastation. UXOs are still harming and killing people over 30 years after the Vietnam War ended. It is estimated that nearly 7,000 innocent people are harmed or killed from UXO accidents since the Vietnam War ended over 30 years ago.

Quang Tri is also one of the poorest regions of Vietnam due to the devastation from the Vietnam War. The area is heavily dependent on agriculture and the intense bombing combined with use of defoliants, such as Agent Orange, left Quang Tri looking like a virtual moonscape after the War.

Rotary Club of Apple Valley has coordinated through Project RENEW to provide support for this issue (more on Project RENEW can be found on their Web site: http://www.landmines.org.vn). Our effort funds a micro-loan program supporting animal husbandry for families who had been affected by a UXO accident. These families had a loved one killed or incapacitated by a UXO, but the tragedy doesn’t stop at the accident.

Those involved in UXO accidents are usually the family’s breadwinners and the family as a whole is driven into extreme poverty by this loss. Our funds gave five Vietnamese families an opportunity to turn their life around from such tragedy and lift themselves out of poverty. I know first hand how resourceful the Vietnamese can be with just a little assistance. My Mother has been helping Vietnamese families in need in Thai Binh province for years. We have seen families take money to buy a couple pigs, turn it into several pigs, put their kids through school and their kids come back to buy their parents a new house. In Vietnam, the cost of a couple pigs or a cow can be enough to bring a whole family out of poverty for good.

Our money is not done working, but will continue to work indefinitely to help other families in the region. The funds were distributed through a micro-loan program, where the beneficiaries are expected to pay the money back when they can and then re-disbursed to other families in need.

This was not an easy project to put together and any level of success was uncertain. Most all Rotary International projects work through a Rotary Club in the region to assure Rotary funds are spent as designated. There are no Rotary clubs in Vietnam, so this project had to be managed from Apple Valley instead. Perhaps the most critical problem was Vietnam’s notoriously corrupt government, which could have caused our funds to disappear instead of reaching those who need our support. Thanks to Project RENEW and their staff, 100% of our funds reached Quang Tri province and disbursed to the beneficiaries in accordance to our instruction.

Rotary Club of Apple Valley will continue to support this project by direct funding, partnering with other Rotary Clubs and increase awareness by promoting this project through Rotary channels and media networks. It is hoped by this Rotarian that more Vietnam Veterans become involved with this project, because this project was created in their honor as well as their assistance through the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. It is also hoped that this and other Rotary projects in Vietnam will bring Rotary clubs back to Vietnam again.

Respectfully Submitted By,

Dan Harley, Jr.
danharley@applevalleyrotary.com
President-Elect, International Chairperson
Rotary Club of Apple Valley, CA
http://applevalleyrotary.com
District 5300
http://district5300.org

Launch of Redesigned 2SeeWhales.com

It is with great pleasure to announce the launch of the redesigned 2SeeWhales.com Web site, which happened on Friday, February 15th, 2008 @ 12:00 Noon.

Danny Salas, President of Harbor Breeze Cruises, is a long time client of PrimeConcepts as good friend of Dan Harley, Jr., Owner of PrimeConcepts. 2SeeWhales.com is the flagship Web site of a family of Web sites owned and operated by Harbor Breeze Cruises. 2SeeWhales.com is instrumental in generating a substantial amount of business for Harbor Breeze Cruises’s whale watching cruise operation, which is renowned for being one of the longest running whale watching operations and the best service in all of California.

2SeeWhales.com has been through two previous redesigns as an ongoing effort to keep the Web site up with modern designs and concepts. The objectives of this redesign project was:

  • Update aesthetics to the latest concepts
  • Enhance the Web visitor’s experience
  • Increase functionality to more easily manage the Web site
  • Add features to more easily enhance Web promotion efforts

All of these objectives were accomplished while still maintaining the original site during the peak of whale watching season.

The new theme and navigation will make it a lot easier for Web visitors to find the information they’re looking for regarding whale watching cruises and more easily access the online ticketing system.

There are already improvements on 2SeeWhales.com slated for the near future. Harbor Breeze Cruises is planning on taking photos during select whale watching cruises and post them into the photo gallery. This should be a smash hit with whale watchers as they can relive the experience again. Adding to all this is lots of information about Gray Whales and other marine life along the California Coastline, making 2SeeWhales.com an important online destination for aquatic life information.

Come visit 2SeeWhales.com and appreciate the hard work that was put into updating it.

HOW SPAMMERS SPAM

THE ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER ABOUT ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTERS
May 3, 2007

By Dan Harley, Jr. – danharley@primeconcepts.net

Hello to another week of stimulating information about e-mail marketing. My mailing list grows once again. Those of you reading my newsletter for the first time, I would like to direct your attention to the next article about why you’re receiving this newsletter and why I’m publishing it. I also continue to receive a steady flow of questions, which I’ll answer in the Q&A segment of this newsletter.

Many of you are already starting to develop your own e-mail marketing programs, and I’m humbled that my advice has inspired many of you to do so. However, some of you have made a few errors that could get you into a little trouble. How I learned what to do and what not to do is by making mistakes and learning from them. I’m hoping to help you avoid the same problems by teaching you what I already learned, so you won’t make the same mistakes. I’m also learning from you too.

This week’s article will cover what spammers do, so you can learn how to avoid spamming as well as learning how keep from getting spammed. My readers inspire the information I’m providing today, so please continue sending your questions and responses. If you don’t have a question, please consider sending me an “Atta Boy” response to let me know that my information is appreciated.

For those of you reading this for the first time, you can get filled in on what you missed by going to my blog. It has all of my previous articles, and can be found on my blog at:

http://primeconcepts.blogspot.com/

Let’s get started!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
By Dan Harley, Jr. – danharley@primeconcepts.net

Q: My e-mail (account) won’t let me send to more than ___ number of recipients. How do I get around that?
A: Most of the popular e-mail services (AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) limit the number of recipients for a single e-mail. The limit can be as little as 10 or as high as 50 depending on the service. You should really use a mailing list service or server, which I will cover in a future article. A simple fix for now is to send your e-newsletter to a block of recipients at a time. i.e. if your limit is 10, then break down your mailing list to blocks of 10 each and send to each of the blocks separately.

I also want to emphasize that what I’ve covered so far is focused on sending individual e-mails and not bulk e-mailing yet. The more personal, you make your e-mails, the more likely it will be read and the less likely your e-mail will end up in the heap of spam mail. I strongly suggest you consider that before continuing with your e-newsletter.

Q: My e-newsletter didn’t come out right when I sent it. What did I do wrong?
A: A few of you had made the same mistake, and the fix is simple. Make your newsletter text only instead of trying to include pictures or background images in it. The less technology you use in your newsletter, the less likely your newsletter will crash on your recipient’s computer. Also, most of the popular e-mail services will flag your e-mail as spam or infected with a virus if there are unnecessary attachments. If the image is important for your readers to see, then upload the image to your Web site and use a link to get to it. This will prevent your e-newsletter from crashing and drive traffic to your Web site.

Q: I received delivery errors when I sent my e-newsletters out. What did I do wrong?
A: It’s the nature of the beast when you bulk e-mail. The bigger your mailing list, the more delivery errors you will receive. Most of the time, the errors will be an incorrect e-mail address. Sometimes a major e-mail service will limit the number of e-mail you can send to their service during a certain time period. AOL is notorious for this, and it’s likely the brunt of such errors is from AOL.

Q: How’s your Dad doing this week?
A: My Dad is currently in Loma Linda VA under Respid Care. This was a planned stay to have him evaluated by several doctors while there, and to provide a little break from taking care of him at home. The break didn’t really happen, because I’ve constantly been on the phone coordinating his appointments. However, my Dad is doing okay.

Keep sending those questions, and I’ll keep answering them!

HOW SPAMMERS SPAM
By Dan Harley, Jr.

I’m hoping this article will give you enough information to better understand spammers, so you can keep your e-mails out of the spam folder and to keep spammers from spamming you. Believe it or not, it is very difficult to be a spammer. It is a lot of hard work, and is not worth the effort.

Although it seems like there are millions of spammers out there, most spam comes from just a handful of spammers. The most popular spammer is what I call the “Pharmacy Guy.” Depending on whom you ask, Pharmacy Guy is responsible for 10% to 50% of today’s spam. Pharmacy Guy is linked to thousands of credit card fraud cases around the world. Pharmacy Guy is being hunted down by just about every law enforcement agency in the world, and the closest the law has gotten to him is they think he is either in Canada or Russia. Pharmacy Guy has been doing this for years, and he is very good at it.

Pharmacy Guy’s operation is immoral, unethical, illegal but also very ingenious. He sets up his online business Web sites with hosting services by using credit card information that he had previously stolen. The Web site’s objective is to collect credit card information by impersonating a legitimate online business. His most popular Web site is the online pharmacy, but he also has tobacco shops, bookstores, opportunity seminars and dozens of other imaginary businesses. The sites remain dormant until Pharmacy Guy is ready to use it.

When the time comes, Pharmacy Guy will send an e-mail blast to tens of millions of e-mail addresses to visit the imaginary online business. The sheer number of e-mails will find someone naïve enough to leave their credit card information on the Web site. Pharmacy Guy’s e-mail campaign ends within a couple hours due to getting flagged for spam, but the damage has already been done. Credit card information is downloaded immediately, the site is abandoned and Pharmacy Guy’s tracks are already well hidden in the complex maze of the Internet. The scary thing is Pharmacy Guy could have several of these Web sites operating at any one time.

How Pharmacy Guy acquires his e-mail addresses is through several means of e-mail farming, with the most effective means is chain e-mails. Pharmacy Guy sends out chain e-mails; which could be jokes, political statements, online polls, virus alerts, etc., that will eventually come back to him full of e-mail addresses from being forwarded around the Internet. Most all of the e-mail addresses farmed from the chain e-mail are live e-mail accounts, which are more valuable than randomly generated e-mail addresses. It doesn’t take too long to build an enormous database of e-mail addresses by doing this.

Other major spamming operations use more or less the same tactics, and they use it because it works. It is a very complex system that requires an extreme level of knowledge and expertise as well as commitment to break laws without getting caught. All this in mind, it is very tough to be a professional spammer. On the other hand, it is very easy to end up on a spam list because of what the professional spammers do.

To avoid being tagged as a spammer is as simple as sticking to good morals and managing your mailing list carefully. A well-managed mailing list used for good intentions will receive a thousand times better response rate than a professional spammer’s mailing lists. The mailing list that is used for this e-newsletter conservatively receives a 20% response rate, and I’ve had only one unsubscribe request since starting this publication. A professional spammer’s mailing list is considered good with just a couple dozen responses out of millions of recipients.

I hope this article clearly defines what a professional spammer really does, and gives you some ideas in how not to look like one of them. The next couple articles will focus on spammers and spamming, so that those of you who are jumping ahead can avoid problems of your own.

I’ll talk to you next week, and keep those e-mails coming!

DON’T do this

THE ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER ABOUT ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTERS
April 24, 2007

By Dan Harley, Jr. – danharley@primeconcepts.net

Hello to another week of stimulating information about e-mail marketing. My mailing list grows once again. Those of you reading my newsletter for the first time, I would like to direct your attention to the next article about why you’re receiving this newsletter and why I’m publishing it. I also continue to receive a steady flow of questions, which I’ll answer in the Q&A segment of this newsletter.

I was a speaker at Rotary District Assembly last Saturday, and I rocked as usual. I’m one of the weird people who actually love public speaking, and can’t wait to be in front of an audience. Although Rotary is a target rich environment for business referrals, I NEVER take advantage of such situations without first considering my ethics, morality and commitment to Rotary. That doesn’t mean that I don’t apply my e-mail marketing techniques in my Rotary affairs though. I just started a Yahoo Group so Rotarians within my district can communicate more easily with each other. Let me know if you want to know more about Rotary.

Some of you are taking my advice, and are already starting to apply it. However, there are a few steps in my advice that you’re still missing, which you get into trouble if you don’t have it right away. This week’s article is going to cover what not to do with e-mail marketing. If you read any article that I write, you need to read this one.

For those of you reading this for the first time, you can get filled in on what you missed by going to my blog. It has all of my previous articles, and can be found on my blog at:

http://primeconcepts.blogspot.com/

Let’s get started!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
By Dan Harley, Jr. – danharley@primeconcepts.net

Q: What is the best joke site?
A: Ironically, this is a question that I’m not sure if I can answer. As funny as I am, I don’t look at joke sites all that much. I’m an America’s Funniest Videos cult fanatic, and I go to You Tube and Google Videos to quench my insatiable apatite for funny videos.

Q: What do you think about the communist government in Vietnam?
A: Before my first visit to Vietnam in recent times, I had thought much like everyone else had thought about communism and probably had good reason to never visit Vietnam, but my opinion has completely changed. Things may have been different in the past, but communism in Vietnam is not the big ugly monster that I was lead to believe through my life. Their government is very corrupt, and punishment can be very severe for things that are completely legal here. On the other hand, Vietnam experiences more freedom in some situations than we do as Americans. Chuck Searcy, who is Vietnam Veteran living in Hanoi right now, summed it up nicely. Communism is simply another form of government bureaucracy.

Q: How many e-newsletters do you have?
A: At my peak, I published six e-newsletters at one time. It was fun, but was a lot of work, because I usually created my own content for all of the publications. I whittled down to two publications before I started this newsletter, which would currently make three publications that I’m managing at this time.

Q: Have you tried using paid mailing lists?
A: Yes. I had been a reseller of Postmaster Direct (http://postmasterdirect.com) a few years ago, who sells opt-in mailing lists. Postmaster Direct has a strict policy of accepting only double opt-in subscription lists, which pays off in very high response rates. Response rates are usually 5%-10% with their mailing lists. Let me know if you want more information about this.

Keep sending those questions, and I’ll keep answering them!

WHAT YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT DO IN E-MAIL MARKETING
By Dan Harley, Jr.

Some of you have included me in your e-mail lists, and I now regularly receiving e-market material from my own readers. I am humbled to see many of you taking my advice and running with it. For those of you who haven’t done this yet, please include me in any of your subscription lists. I will do my best to critique your work so you can improve on what you’re doing.

A few of you are making a fatal mistake with your e-mailings, and I want to give you information so you can correct this immediately. So far, I’ve been giving you advice on how to use e-mail marketing by sending personalized or individual e-mails instead of broadcasting to a mailing list. The technique that I’ve shown you eliminates the possibility of being flagged for spamming, but there are different techniques that you need to use if you send bulk e-mail. You MUST use these techniques to protect your readers, let alone yourself, from spammers.

NEVER reveal your recipient’s e-mail addresses if you bulk-send to a mailing list. Always use BCC instead of CC or Recipient fields when you insert their e-mail addresses into your e-mail. Using BCC will hide your recipient’s e-mail addresses from others and especially from e-mail farmers who could sell such information to spammers.

NEVER send file attachments in your bulk e-mails unless you thoroughly check the attachment. Some of you are sending newsletters as a Word file to save time and trouble to reproduce it as e-mail. Word files are very susceptible to contacting viruses. If you must, create a PDF file and send the PDF file instead.

NEVER refer your recipients to a Web site without thoroughly checking it first. There is technology that can open a computer like a sardine can and infect it with a virus by just visiting a Web site, and you don’t want to be blamed for screwing up a friend’s computer.

Be careful with forwarding jokes, political statements, etc. E-mail farmers send chain e-mails through the Internet as jokes, political statements or surveys to collect e-mails when they receive their e-mail back. If you think it’s funny and you want others to know, make sure you rip out any e-mail addresses that were previously attached.

I’ll cover more of how to do bulk e-mailing next week. Until then, don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions on this.

E-MAIL MARKETING CASE STUDY
By Dan Harley, Jr.

This week’s case study is for anyone in the real estate industry. The real estate industry was my focus industry when I was working with a Web development company in San Diego many years ago, and I’ve done a lot of homework in that field. There are plenty of signs that the real estate industry has taken a turn for the worse right now, and it’s probably going to get even worse before it gets better. The readers who are in this field know this very well, because they are career realtors or brokers instead of the others who will be looking for gainful employment soon. Believe it or not, the change in the market and mass exodus of what had been your competition creates opportunity for you to capitalize on and to thrive.

As a career realtor or broker, you know how to get through the bad times by adjusting with the market. The market is becoming filled with foreclosures and those who want to get out of their properties before they get into trouble. You have privilege information that is valuable to others. I know of brokers who charge a subscription fee just to be on their foreclosure and pre-foreclosure mailing lists, and that should tell you how valuable such information is.

You can build a special mailing list very quickly by indicating that you will inform your subscribers about hot deals before you advertise it, which will give your subscribers an exclusive first look at hot real estate deals. Trust me on this, information on hot real estate deals get passed around the Internet faster than bad jokes do. This technique can be used by anyone in the real estate industry, but be careful that you don’t violate any disclosure laws.