Monthly Archives: December 2009

2009 List of Spam Keywords

When email marketing it would be nice to know what keywords should be avoided. Below is a list of 300 keywords and phrases that are often restricted by email spam filters. Avoiding these keywords will help your email marketing message to be delivered. We also suggest that you try to follow email marketing best practices.

The ProFusion Mailer has an excellent built in spam filtering tool that reviews your email blast for spam keywords prior to you sending. It also rates each keyword on a scale so you know which words are increasing your spam rating.

Note: We left out most adult spam keywords and phrases to ensure our list is suitable for all audiences.

2009 Spam Keywords & Phrases

! and $
! and free
,000 and !! and $
100% satisfied
accept credit cards
act now! don’t hesitate!
additional income
addresses on cd
adult s
adult web
adults only
all natural
apply online
as seen on
auto email removal
avoid bankruptcy
be 18
be amazed
be your own boss
being a member
big bucks
bill 1618
billing address
billion dollars
brand new pager
bulk email
buy direct
buying judgments
cable converter
call free
call now
calling creditors
cancel at any time
cannot be combined with any other offer
can’t live without
cards accepted
cash bonus
cell phone cancer scam
cents on the dollar
check or money order
claims not to be selling anything
claims to be in accordance with some spam law
claims to be legal
claims you are a winner
claims you registered with some kind of partner
click below
click here link
click to remove
click to remove mailto
compare rates
compete for your business
confidentially on all orders
consolidate debt and credit
copy accurately
copy dvds
credit bureaus
credit card offers
cures baldness
dear email
dear friend
dear somebody
different reply to
dig up dirt on friends
direct email
direct marketing
discusses search engine listings
do it today
don’t delete
drastically reduced
earn per week
easy terms
eliminate bad credit
email harvest
email marketing
expect to earn
extra income
fantastic deal
fast viagra delivery
financial freedom
find out anything
for free
for free!
for free?
for instant access
for just $ (some amt)
free access
free cell phone
free consultation
free dvd
free grant money
free hosting
free installation
free investment
free leads
free membership
free money
free offer
free preview
free priority mail
free quote
free sample
free trial
free website
full refund
get it now
get paid
get started now
gift certificate
great offer
guarantee and
have you been turned down?
hidden assets
home employment
human growth hormone
if only it were that easy
in accordance with laws
increase sales
increase traffic
investment decision
it’s effective
join millions of americans
laser printer
limited time only
long distance phone offer
lose weight spam
lower interest rates
lower monthly payment
lowest price
luxury car
mail in order form
marketing solutions
mass email
meet singles
member stuff
message contains disclaimer
money back
money back
money making
money-back guarantee
month trial offer
more info and visit and $
more internet traffic
mortgage rates
multi level marketing
must be 18
must be 21
name brand
new customers only
new domain extensions
no age restrictions
no catch
no claim forms
no cost
no credit check
no disappointment
no experience
no fees
no gimmick
no inventory
no investment
no medical exams
no middleman
no obligation
no purchase necessary
no questions asked
no selling
no strings attached
not intended
off shore
offer expires
offers coupon
offers extra cash
offers free (often stolen) passwords
once in lifetime
one hundred percent free
one hundred percent guaranteed
one time mailing
one-time mail
online biz opportunity
online pharmacy
only $
opt in
order now
order now!
order status
order today
orders shipped by priority mail
outstanding values
over 18
over 21
pennies a day
people just leave money laying around
please read
potential earnings
print form signature
print out and fax
produced and sent out
promise you …!
pure profit
real thing
refinance home
removal instructions
remove in quotes
remove subject
removes wrinkles
reply remove subject
requires initial investment
reserves the right
reverses aging
risk free
round the world
s 1618
safeguard notice
satisfaction guaranteed
save $
save big money
save up to
score with babes
section 301
see for yourself
sent in compliance
serious cash
serious only
shopping spree
sign up free today
social security number
special promotion
stainless steel
stock alert
stock disclaimer statement
stock pick
stop snoring
strong buy
stuff on sale
subject to credit
supplies are limited
take action now
talks about hidden charges
talks about prizes
tells you it’s an ad
terms and conditions
the best rates
the following form
they keep your money — no refund!
they’re just giving it away
this isn’t junk
this isn’t spam
university diplomas
unsecured credit/debt
us dollars
vacation offers
viagra and other drugs
wants credit card
we hate spam
we honor all
weekend getaway
what are you waiting for?
while supplies last
while you sleep
who really wins?
why pay more?
will not believe your eyes
work at home
you have been selected
your income

Best Practices for Email Marketing

With the New Year comes new marketing strategies. If you are considering starting up an email marketing campaign, you’ll want to follow the 7 rules below to make sure that you are CAN-SPAM compliant.

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
  3. Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.

ProFusion Mailer

Using a newsletter management tool, like the ProFusion Mailer, makes these 7 items very simple as they are handled automatically. Having used the ProFusion Mailer to send out thousands of emails for hundreds of clients, we have come up with a best practices list of our own.

  1. It’s all relative – while at lunch the other day, we were talking about how inundated our inboxes have been lately with email marketing campaigns. Our CFO questioned if email campaigns were still effective. The short answer is yes, they are if they are done properly. I get 20 – 30 unsolicited emails daily from marketers that purchased my email address off of some list. All of these get filed in the trash can. However, if my veterinarian were to start sending out a monthly newsletter about dog health, I would probably read that one. I have a dog, and this is of interest to me. If the email is about a product or service that I have used in the past or have elected to receive information about, I am 10 times more likely to read, and forward that email on.
  2. Don’t make me hunt for the good information – emails that scroll on for days and days get sent right to the trash file too. I am way more inclined to read the high level points in a newsletter, and if something interests me, I will click on the article to read more. Don’t force me to read it all in my inbox.
  3. Your newsletter should not just be a jpg – we’ve all seen the email newsletters that are just a giant jpg. To me this is lazy. Take the time to recreate the email into a HTML format (using the ProFusion Mailer, makes this easy), with actual links and text.
  4. Don’t have all the links in your newsletter go to your homepage – by all means, have a link to your website homepage in your newsletter. A signature at the bottom is a great place for this. However, if you have a teaser headline and a link to read more, the link should take me directly to the article.
  5. Give me an offer – I am giving you my precious time by even reading your newsletter. The least you can do is give me an offer at the end of the newsletter. It doesn’t have to be a coupon. But give me a reason to want to read them again, to visit your site, to call you, to give you more love.
  6. I’d love to add to this list. So if you have any pet peeves or great ideas for email marketing, feel free to leave a comment here.

I’ve been in business since 1432 BC at the same location why do I need a website?

I get asked questions like this all the time. The simple answer is: “Maybe you don’t.” If you are comfortable doing what you are doing and your business is meeting it’s growth projections, you may not. But, consider this; if you are not growing or you are tired of advertising that is becoming less and less productive and more and more expensive, then a website is your most effective least expensive marketing vehicle next to a business card.

Let’s face it. If you do not have a business card and a business phone today. How serious are you really, about being in business? A business card facilitates someone getting in touch with you after a meeting.

There is no substitute for just getting out and meeting the people. Face-to-face customer interaction has been and will always be the best way to win new clients. I still have business cards from people I have met at networking events from years ago. And I can remember what most of the people who gave me their cards look like and what the company does. And if I ever need their services I will call them.

But next to talking to people and handing them a way to contact you in the future, a website is by far the most effective marketing tool available. They are low cost. You can have a very effective, very attractive web sites today for less than the price of a soft drink and way less than the cost of a latte a day.

When was the last time your refreshment brought you any business? But your website can. And it will work tirelessly for you 24/7. Unlike any other marketing vehicle, you can tell someone everything that they need to know to learn how to buy what you sell with a website. Can’t do that on a 30 second spot on the radio or TV. Can’t afford to do it in a phone book or newspaper ad either. But whether you say a little or a lot, a website costs the same. So let your website tell volumes about what it is you do. Why you are better. How to buy what you sell. How to tell the difference between you and your competitors. And most importantly why you are the better value. Not the cheapest. People do not want the cheapest things they can buy. They want the best VALUE. If everything is the same then the way to differentiate is price. But rarely are all things the same. Not even with car dealers who sell exactly the same products with the same options in the same color. No two dealerships are the same. Price is not the only factor.

Next time, I’ll talk a bit about why educating your prospects about how to buy what you sell is so important. And why if you do it you will benefit thanks to the laws of reciprocity.

Till next time, good luck and prosperity.

Justices and the Seven Dwarfs

Ask the average person to name 2 of the 7 dwarfs and 99% will be able to do it. Ask that same person to name 2 of the 9 supreme court justices in the US and 80% won’t be able to do it. Maybe its because we don’t give our Justices cute nick names. Judge Roberts was nominated by Bush and went to Harvard, if you combine the 2 we could call Judge Roberts, Hushy. More people might be able to remember it that way. They still wouldn’t remember his politics, but that is another blog.

What does that have to do with marketing? Plenty.

The creators of Snow White and the 7 dwarfs spent plenty of time pairing the names of those silly dwarfs with how they looked. Doc looked smart, sleepy looked tired, dopey looked, well, dopey, and sneezy always had that darn red nose from sneezing so much. Giving something a snazzy name that fits and is easy to remember, is called giving it a Handle. What is your handle? Internet Consultant? Principal Consultant? If you are at a backyard BBQ with a bunch of beer drinking pals, what would they say you do? Would they really say “Your name here is an Internet consultant?” or would they say “Your name here owns a company that builds websites”.

I’d bet money that they would say the latter. No one knows what an Internet Consultant does. Do you consult the Internet? Do you just charge a lot of money and tell me what to do but not actually provide me with the solution? What do you do? Can you say I am “Sneezy” and people instantly know what that means?

If your explanation of what you do is longer than 10 seconds (and that is being generous), no one knows what you do. If no one knows what you do, they can’t refer you to others who may need your help. If you have to say “I am an Internet Consultant. I work with all kinds of businesses to build web applications, solutions, and sites to help them increase sales, get a return on their money, blah blah blah blah” is about what I am going to hear.

We all know that we need one quick, concise sentence that says what we do and we need to use that sentence over and over and over and over again so that we have it memorized and all of the people around us have it memorized. “My name is Patrice Valentine and I build websites for companies large and small”. In 14 words and 4 seconds of speaking, you know who I am and what I do.

I do not love that sentence, I don’t think it is as black and white as “Sneezy”, but it gets it done and it works. People I meet at networking meetings can now introduce me to others as “This is Patrice Valentine and she builds websites for companies large and small”.

I’d love to hear back from you on what your handle is. Are you using Internet Consultant? Do people “get it” when they hear that?

Let’s figure out something that works.

Stay tuned for next weeks blog which will feature my biggest pet peeve….. the overuse of punctuation!!!!

Communication, Why is it so hard?

Do you ever find yourself using Instant Messenger (IM) to communicate with another person; the conversation has drawn on for so long your fingers are getting tired? Or you have typed so long trying to relay an issue that you find yourself back where you started? Usually, these IM conversations are done in an effort to avoid having to call the person you are IM’ing with. Sometimes this is faster and easier, allowing you to have three and four instant message conversations at one time. In today’s day and age this is amazingly efficient. IM is an invaluable tool when used properly. However, conversations need to be clear and direct; otherwise picking up the telephone is far easier and more efficient.

In the same light, Net Solutions North America provides another method of communication that allows for multiple people to communicate on an individual project. It allows all interested parties to be contacted via email every time there is a post or comment made to a project. As remarkable as this technology is it does not work properly when certain communication features are avoided or neglected. Below are a few tips to communicating effectively on the Project Management System (PMS).

Be Clear and Concise; Brevity is the Key…The key to a good post or comment is brevity. Not all posts can be minimized down to a few words but most can be reduced significantly with a little effort.

Mark Twain once said “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

Twain clearly expresses the idea, that it is difficult and time consuming to keep thoughts and ideas as clear and concise. However, when communicating via the PMS, clarity and brevity are two mandatory qualities of any proper post.

Provide a call to ActionThe first few sentences of your post should express what action is required. Then the rest of the message can be used to communicate the required information to complete the task. This allows all readers to understand the issue at hand and then to follow your line of thought. A call to action in the first sentence also serves as a reminder to everyone when they go back to review your post at a later time/date.

Proof Reading/SpellingWhen you have finished writing a post you should re-read your post out loud. This will allow you to “hear” your message. Often times when you are reading a message that you just wrote, your mind you will read what you “intended” to write instead of what you actually wrote.

In addition, if you know that your spelling is sub-par. It is very helpful if you cut and paste your message into Microsoft Word and then use the spell check feature before you post to the PMS.

This process takes about 5-10seconds for you and eliminates multiple minutes for all readers; who have to read and reread your message until they understand what you are trying to convey.

Remember, you know what you wrote; it is your readers you who must understand your words and sentences. If you do not write in a legible manner, your readers will misunderstand your intentions and directions, resulting in delays on your project.

Address your Post
Every message you write should be addressed to someone. In modern time we all receive countless emails everyday, if the message is not addressed to you, then you are less likely to read it.

Start every post with the name of the people you would like to read your message. If your message is intended for everyone then put “All” at the top of your message.

By remembering these four simple ideas when writing a post to the PMS, both you and your readers will be more efficient and effective.

Stay tuned for next week when I discuss:

Tips and Secrets to make your Posts more Readable…

How To Use The Project Management System

Last week I discussed Communication, Why is it so hard? ; we analyzed a few very important items that all of your PMS posts should include. This week we are going to look into enhancing your PMS posts to emphasize important features.

Net Solutions North America makes every effort to allow you contact with our Developers and Graphic Artists. This allows you greater control and input in the Website Design and Creation.

Providing unedited & unapproved control to our clients is a double edged sword. While it is quick and efficient to get changes made to your site, it also has the potential to overwhelm our lead developers with hundreds of emails every day. With that in mind I have created a few tips and tricks to organizing your posts more effectively to produce a more readable post.

Below is a summary of my favorite tips and tricks. You can use these symbols around your word/sentences to add emphasis to the post.

Here are a few more tips/tricks to enhance your posts:
1. When creating a new thread there is a link: “Message body: (Show extended message body)” below the Title and the Category. By clicking on this link you are able to create a two part post. The upper section should be a summary of what you require, the lower section can then be used to cut and paste an email correspondence, or a summary of an IM thread, or other information that should be posted for reference but does not necessarily require the reader to process immediately.

2. On the right hand side of the PMS, is a link to “formatting guide” this will change the layout of the PMS screen to show formatting guidelines for your PMS post. This can be used as a reminder of what you can do to enhance your posts.

3. Stay current on your projects status by subscribing to the project RSS feed. If you go to the overview section of the project. In the upper right hand corner is a link to the personal RSS feed for this project.

4. Change the color of the text in your post. Do this by starting your sentence with “%{color:red}”then place your text here and finish with a “%” symbol.
Example: %{color:red}Blog’s are Wonderful!%

Remember, not every post needs to be bold and colored red, but the occasional word or sentence will add emphasis to what you are trying to accomplish.

Tune in Next Week for Shane’s Update on Organic Search Engine Optimization

Free Google!

Google is constantly working on developing new and innovative ways to allow webmasters to promote their sites and increase the rankings of their client’s sites. It seems that almost every month, Google releases a Beta version of a new application. The following is a description of three of the primary free features Google offers to webmasters to promote and list their sites. Continue reading

Meta Tag Titles, Keywords and Description Hints and Tips

Welcome to the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) section of the NSNA Newsletter! Each month you will provided with the most up to date tips, tricks and suggestions for SEO success in this highly competitive market. For the first couple of months I will provide some suggestions for cheap and easy ways that you can get your client’s site started on the track towards Search Engine greatness!

The first step is using our ProFusion applications built in abilities to have dynamic Meta Tag Titles, Descriptions and Keywords. This should be unique for each page of your site. Here are a few guidelines for each section:

  1. Meta Tag Titles:
    • Make sure that the text in the title tag conveys the meaning of the page.
    • Depending on your primary search engine of choice
      A) Google indexes 65-68 characters of title tag text
      B) Yahoo and other search engines tend to index more character
      C) Play it safe, keep your first 70 characters the most important, then add another 25 or so for the other search engines. Le them use what they want…
    • You can use your primary keywords in the Title, just make sure they are applicable
    • When possible shake it up and pose a question to your reader
      A) “How to Cook Lobster?
      B) “When is the best time of year to visit Lake Tahoe restaurants?”
    • Some readers will respond to numbers in the title
      A) “101 Ways to clean Laminate tiles
      B) “177 different styles of Women’s shoes”
  2. Meta Tag Descriptions
    • Should be under 250 characters, keywords should be used, however most importantly the content should be readable by the end user
      A) Side Note: Google only indexes around 160-175 characters
    • Remember to research Industry specific keywords to use in the Descriptions.
    • Each of your page descriptions should be unique, do not simply copy and paste them on every page. Each one of your pages is an advertisement, be sure yours can sell the reader.
    • Try providing your end user a reason to come to your site. Calls to action can be very helpful
  3. Meta Tag Keywords
    • Should also be fewer than 250 characters
    • Try not to reuse the same word over and over on a page. You want to try and bring a large audience to the page, make sure your wording can reach all audiences.
    • Use a thesaurus to discover similar words you may not have thought of
    • The basic guideline is 5-6 keywords or phrases per page
    • Have friends and family tell you what they would search in Google to find your company or product. Be sure those words and phrases are used throughout your keywords and site in general

The key to successfully setting up your site is, studying your end user. Search Engines like Google raise their stock price by being the most used search engine on the internet. People use search engines they feel generate the best results. Thereby forcing the search engines to constantly strive to provide the most relevant results for their users if they want to keep the end user happy. With that in mind if you are writing for the end user, you are also writing for search engines.

Stay with the above guidelines and you will find yourself on the road to success. Stay tuned next month when we will analyze Google’s Free Search Engine Features!

Google Base – How to Use Google Base

Last month we reviewed three free features of Google: site submission, sitemap and maps. These are all essential to anyone interested in getting indexed by Google and more importantly found by potential clients.

This month we are going to look at another free feature of Google called Google Base

As described by Google:

“Google Base is a place where you can easily submit all types of online and offline content, which we’ll make searchable on Google (if your content isn’t online yet, we’ll put it there). You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they do related searches.”

Google Base is a must have for any eCommerce website, but is also very valuable for any service related business as well. The first step is to create an account with Google Base, if you created an account with Google last month to submit your site, sitemap and maps you can use the same account this month.

The next step is to select a category for your products to be added to or you can create a new category. I would suggest for your first use to select an existing category. Following the category selection you will need to provide details regarding your item, from the title through the overall description. Google also allows you to upload a photo, and provide basic contact information.

The final step is to indicate the how long this item will be valid for, the maximum is 30days. The nice part about the expiration is once your ad expires, Google sends you an email asking you if you want to renew it. With a simple click of a button the ad renews for another 30days. Your ads are editable at any time, simply log in and edit your ad. Google Base also allows you to control a few options under the settings tab that will assist you in providing your potential client more information about your company (URL, Email, and description).

Google base is a great way to enhance an existing business, promote a seasonal item, or reach a new market. Once you get comfortable adding a few items, you will find more and more reasons to add Google Base ads for more then just products and services.

Stay tuned next month when we discuss the advantages of Google Adwords

“F” is for functionality

What do users see when they see your website?

According to a study conducted last year by the Nielsen Norman Group, they see a big F. The study, which used special eyetracking equipment to measure how much users looked as specific parts of a web page, showed users tended to view sites in a pattern that looks roughly like an “F,” scanning across the top and down the left-hand side. In addition, they spent almost no time looking at large images, banner ads, or other graphic content. In fact, they often skipped over meaningful content if it looked too much like an ad.

What does this mean for your site design?

Never forget that your customers come to your site looking to solve a problem. They want to buy a product, or find out information. It doesn’t mean that they are indifferent to design — a poorly designed site can look unprofessional, undermining confidence in the solutions you offer. However, design should never get in the way of the functionality of your site. It should never be difficult for your customers to find the solutions they are looking for.

Design enhances functionality. But functionality always comes first.

Ref: Eyetracking Study