Email Marketing

Email Marketing

Like most people, we receive our fair share of unsolicted email, aka spam, which our email filters usually deal with effectively.

Although we have never outsourced our web design/development and search engine optimisation work, we often receive unsolicited mail from offshore (mainly Indian) companies touting for work.

Usually these are sent from random personal email accounts rather than from company accounts (not very professional really) presumably from people that are paid for leads.

This blog post was inspired by such companies.

Email marketing: How to do it

Only send email to persons that have expressed an interest in your product or services and have opted in to your mailing list and, most important of all, don’t overdo it. Most people are busy and have enough email to wade through without you adding to their load.

Here at Pinnacle Web Design we can assist you with your ethical email marketing campaigns, whether it’s HTML email design or you wish to use our copywriting skills. Please get in touch with your project details and we’ll get right back to you.

Email marketing: How not to do it

First Example

The following unsolicted email appears to be a genuine company and even if we were looking to outsource work (we’re not), we would not use a company that, not only keeps sending several copies of their unsolicited emails, but also, as in the case of the email below, fail to use the BCC field meaning that the 100+ recipients that they have emailed have their email addresses displayed publicly, thereby exposing us all to further spam.

On behalf of everyone that received the email; thanks guys at Bispage, that’s really appreciated. We’ve been monitoring spam levels and, although it’s been caught by our spam filters, the amount of spam received has definitely increased since their marketing attempt.

Dear Sir,

Hope you are doing well. We are developing websites according to customer’s need. We approach you professionally and attend you personally. Our websites are resulted by customer friendly methods, correct and informative links with easy navigation. We offer different kind of services with wide range of features.

For further details you can go through the site http://www.bispage.com/

Please feel free to contact us for any further assistance.

Thanks and Regards,

IInd Floor N.P Tower

Near Bindu Theater, West Fort ,

Thrissur, Kerala, India.

Phone: 0487-2389250, 3255711

Online Support Team

sales@bispage.com

Second Example

Between the 29th April 2012 and 14th July 2012, I have received the following email, or a slight variation of it, at least 27 times. The main reply to email addresses are imagingwork@163.com, imagingedit@163.com, ibimagework@163.com, imremove@yeah.net, contactrick@126.com and ibphotowork@163.com. It all goes to my spam folder, but hey:

You are receiving this email because we wish you to use our digital photo editing services.

We are a China based Imaging Professionals. We offer basic and advanced digital photo Editing services and solutions like photo Cutout, morphological photo Ediing, photoshop photo Editing, satellite photo Editing, color photo Editing and vector photo Editing using latest techniques.

Our mainly services are:

1. Photo Cutout

2. Photo Enhancement

3. Photo Retouching

4. Vector Conversion

5. Pop Art

6. Images Masking

7. Clipping Path

8. Photo Restoration

9. Web Design

Looking forward to work for you!

Best regards,

Rick

Rickkantuca Imaging Professionals

Contact: contactrick@yeah.net

Can I suggest to Rick that if you really wish me to use your digital photo editing services that you stop pestering me with your spam emails. If I wanted to use your services, I’d get in touch. OK? Oh, and you might want to use a spell-checker too.

In Conclusion

In case you’re not aware, spambots trawl the web looking to harvest email addresses for their nefarious ways by looking for the mailto: links that give you a clickable email address although and we’d usually recommend that these are obfuscated to help prevent this, but today we’ll make an exception.

Do your thing, guys…

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Ommwriter now available for Windows

Sceenshot of Ommwriter

I usually use Sublime Text for all my coding and writing duties, taking advantage of it’s full screen view, syntax highlighting, auto-complete features and other cool features.

Ommwriter, which was previously only available for the Mac and has thousands of fans, has none of these so why would I want to use a minimalist application like this?

Unlike the word processing applications you’re used to, such as Word, Writer or even Google Docs, there’s no myriad of features; you’re basically presented with a blank screen. The idea is that it allows you to concentrate on your writing.

After reading that a Windows version of Ommwriter was available, I downloaded the free version, known as Dāna I, installed it and thought I’d give it a try and see what all the fuss was about and what attracted so many Mac users to it.

I’m more into using the keyboard wherever I can and whilst I miss Sublime’s features such as spellcheck, auto-complete and being able to move blocks of text or code using the keyboard shortcuts and not having to resort to using the mouse, there’s something about the combination of the music and the pseudo-typewriter keyboard sounds (both of which can be changed or switched off) that somehow just works.

So, why not just fire up Sublime, load up some relaxing music in VLC Media Player and write?

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure; there’s somehow something different about Ommwriter. I’ve experimented with other distraction-free applications such as Q10 and WriteMonkey before but they never really did anything for me or offered me anything that Sublime didn’t.

There is also a “paid for” version, Dāna II which contains additional audio and visual options which you can purchase from the very low minimum price of $4.11.

From my point of view, for blogging, it’d be great if Markdown support was included and there are other features I’d like to see added, but that’s isn’t really what Ommwriter is about.

If you want a lightweight, distraction-free application for writing, whether your a journalist, copywriter, author or writing prose or an essay, I recommend that you give Ommwriter a try. If you do, let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

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Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year

On behalf of all the team at Pinnacle Web Design, I’d like to wish all our customers a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year and hope that like us, you’re looking forward to 2011 and the new opportunities the new year will bring.

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Pinnacle Web Design mentioned in Dot Net magazine

At Pinnacle Web Design we are long-time subscribers to .Net magazine (Dot Net), which we read avidly each month.

In the September 2010 edition (issue 206), there was an item in the expert_advice section from Mark Weston, a reader who said he was in search of the “perfect code editor”. The response from one of .Net’s contributors was that the “the editors mentioned are the best out there at the moment” and that “Dreamweaver provided the closest thing in terms of functionality” sought by the reader for the Windows platform.

As web developers and general code monkeys, we hand-code all our websites and therefore spend a lot of time editing code and manipulating data and prefer to use a lightweight text editor for this purpose rather than a WYSIWYG editor or Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

Now, we appreciate that choice of software is a very personal thing and something that suits us may not appeal to someone else, but felt compelled to put (the digital equivalent) of pen to paper and fire off an email to .Net magazine with our recommendation for some software that could solve Mark’s dilemma; an editor that provides proper auto-completion, snippet management and the ability to add your own keyboard shortcuts.

We received our copy of the November 2010 edition (issue 208) on Saturday morning and were most pleased to see that our email, which is reproduced in full below, was ‘Mail of the month’. Continue reading

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Improve your workflow with AutoHotkey

This post is the first of a series where we’ll review some of the applications that we find useful and use on a daily basis. To kick off, we’ll look at AutoHotkey, an old favourite of ours.

Overview

Do you ever wish you could automate those repetitive tasks that you do each day? Well, with AutoHotkey you can.

Screenshot of AutoHotkey script
AutoHotkey is a free, open-source utility for Windows that allows you to automate tasks or commands. Macros can either be written by hand or you can use the macro recorder that’s included as part of the installation to do this for you. Any key, button or combination of same can become a hotkey.

You can also convert any script into an executable file that can be run on computers that don’t have AutoHotkey installed (useful if you want to re-map the keys on a colleague’s keyboard for example, not that we would condone this sort of behaviour, of course!).

It can also be used to create applications with user-interfaces such as the text substitution application, Texter created by one of the guys over at Lifehacker.

The following may seem a little geeky at first, but bear with us, it doesn’t have to be that way! Continue reading

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