I don’t know about you, but it frustrates me to no end that my clients are getting tons of solicitations from scam companies preying on their ignorance.
You know the ones I’m talking about— “#1 Top Google Guaranteed” or “We found errors on your website”.
Of course, my kind (but non-internet-savvy) customers don’t know what to make of this.
‘Is there something wrong with the website Kyle built me?’
At least, that’s what I worry they are thinking.
Some for sure are. Because I get the emails forwarded to me asking about their legitimacy.
But today I’m applauding those spammers— today they helped me earn praise and strengthen the relationship with my clients.
You know what they say— "When life hands you spam, make lemonade" (or something like that).
One Rotten Apple
From the minute the client registers a domain they start getting emails— typically solicitations to get them a new site built.
It seems to never end. It moves from a new site, to fixing a broken website, to improving search engine rankings, adding videos, guest blogging— the list goes on and on.
The problem is, many of the services being offered are legitimate services— they are just being sent by hacks.
Sadly, this leaves a stain on our industry as a whole. Clients who aren’t savvy enough to quickly spot the scams and ignore them accordingly can begin to wonder if all of it is a scam.
This makes it more difficult for us, as legitimate service providers, to help clients with solutions we might be well-positioned to provide.
Getting Ahead of It
This weekend, after being bombarded with random offers and a forwarded spam email from a client, I started trying to think of some ways I could get ahead of this.
Especially as I prepare to arrange some chess pieces to offer additional services to some of my care plan clients in the second quarter of 2020. The last thing I want is for my service to be stained with the offerings of the Nigerian prince.
I wrote up a quick blog called ‘Scam Emails About Your Website’ (original, huh?). While the title or blog isn’t highly optimized for search rankings— that’s not the goal here.
What I wanted was something brief (Kyle-brief anyway— I ramble), that helped my client understand, in plain-English, why they get these emails, what to look out for, and what to do when they open them up.
Besides being useful here (and in what I’m about to tell you I did next), this little blog would serve as a nice reference for future clients who will, inevitably, be faced with the same circumstance.
I don’t mass-email my care plan customers often, and when I do it’s usually about something important.
While I’d like to improve my email marketing game, because I’ve kept these emails to a minimum, my clients are very likely to not only open them, but to read them and reply (more on that in a second).
Sunday afternoon I crafted a quick email to all of my care plan clients with the following message:
Hey, [Customer Name]
Scam emails have been on the rise lately. Recently I implemented some security enhancements to slow them down from coming through your contact submission forms on your website, but you still may get these as just direct emails.
I just finished writing up a quick article that will help you better identify these scams, understand what they are after, and most importantly— what to do with them.
Hopefully you aren't getting hit badly- but I've noticed an uptick and have confirmed this with my developer friends who are seeing the same thing.
Just want to make sure you're careful and you don't fall victim to one of their scams.
Here's the article I wrote and wanted to share with you.
If you're ever unsure about an email you receive, you're welcome to forward a suspicious email to me and I'll have a look at it for you.
Have a great weekend, and if I can do anything to help you just let me know.
All the best,
Kyle Van Deusen
Owner / OGAL Web Design
What I really like about sending emails like this (I’ve done similar ones in the past) is that it’s just a quick reminder that even if you’re not seeing it— I’m here in the background taking care of things for you.
Things you might not even consider.
Sending out an email to businesses on a Sunday afternoon isn’t optimal for a quick response— but by mid-morning on Monday I got several replies:
“Thank you for the heads up.... The article definitely helped!”
“Appreciate all that you do for us”
“Glad to know I’m not the only one.. . I just delete them”
By no means did I make their day or blow their mind— but I quietly and subtly reminded them that I’m on their side and looking after their best interests.
A source they can rely on.
This is exactly the kind of relationship I want to build with my clients— and honestly the kinds of things I am doing for them behind the scenes.
The reason I wanted to share this with you today is that I think something, even as simple as what I’ve outlined above kills a few birds with one stone.
- Content for my blog that I’m always wishing I made more time for.
- Answering question(s) I know my clients have.
- Creating a resource for all the future emails that I can reference instead of crafting similar emails time and time again.
- A more genuine way to show my clients I’m here and I care.
Any time I can implement something that checks this many things off my list is a good thing. This one particularly good as the whole endeavour only took about 30 minutes and I did it all while watching the game on TV.
Empathy & Listening
While I think about empathy and actively am trying to become a better listener— it’s easy to get lost in our own little world.
A world where these spammy emails don’t even register on our radar.
While it might seem like common knowledge to mark these emails as spam (or just delete them) and move on about your day— what about your clients?
They likely do not have the same experience and knowledge as you… and if you listen closely you’ll hear them asking.
If you’ve been putting off your blog, or falling behind in your email marketing, or just feel like you’re not sure how to continually strengthen your relationship with your clients— remember this:
You don’t have to save the world or win the day. You can simply make one little thing better, easier, or less confusing for your client.
By continually providing value, and genuinely having your clients best interests in mind, you’ll become one of their heroes.
Thinking of Doing Something Similar?
I would highly suggest it. In fact, I just created a new to-do list that I'm going to collect some ideas for how I can continue to do this on other subjects.
If you want, you're more than welcome to take the email I sent out to my clients (above) and tweak and use it for your own needs. Of course, you're better off writing a similar blog (not linking to mine, or stealing it word-for-word) that you can link out to with your advice and tone of voice.
If you do— let me know. I'd love to hear how it goes.