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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Free Advertising in the Grey Zone: CHAIN LETTERS!

Mornin' folks (at least, it's morning here),

I tell ya, I take care of my peeplez. So today, I'm sharing a hearty free advertising secret that anyone can put to use IMMEDIATELY. Remember the first post and all that talk about controversy? Well, what could be more controversial than free advertising through chain letters? ;-) Yeah, that's right -- free advertising via CHAIN LETTERS.

Quick, call the cops!

I'll spare you the brief history of chain letters, but I'm not really talking about those illegal things that pretend to be from the National Wellness Foundation or that tell you to send a $1 to the 5 people on the list OR ELSE...but just the kinda sort thing you'll see right here:

SMILE! (opens in a new window)

Now for those of you who made it back here, congratulations! Do you see the powerful potential in that? As long as the advertisement is cleverly inserted and runs with the theme, feeling or sentiment of the viewers, you're talking about a real winner for your online business. When you clicked "Search", and found yourself in my advertising network (which, at this point, extends to over 3,000 different spots on over 3,000 search portals, and growing), an ad TARGETED specifically for you came up in 3 places:

1) Top Left Spot;
2) On Top of the Search Results; and
3) On the Right Side Billboard Tower (a bonus showing for pro members)

That's because I've pre-loaded that search box with a keyword phrase on which I'm confident most of that target audience will gladly and curiously search. And that means -- FREE ADVERTISING -- because in my search portal back office, I've PRE-SET those 3 ads with the phrase "COOL_STUFF_FREE". It's a VERY powerful backoffice in that regard. There's so much power to it, that I'd have to write about it in another letter, OR you can begin an investigation on your own:


Look, you can even insert it in your blog! Leave the keyword in there, and click "Search" to see what ads I pre-loaded with it.

Internet search by SearchEstate

The potential with this is amazing! Since free advertising through LEGAL "chain letters" is the focus here, I'll leave that for another post. Just remember--

1) While I use the controversial term "Chain Letter," it does not refer to the ones we've all come to know as illegal. So be responsible. If you need a definition of what's legal or not, start with this:

Chain Letters Explained

2) You must never sell anything in the letter. Simply sending your friends a letter of good cheer that truly makes them smile HAS VALUE. Making it easy for someone to perform a web search HAS VALUE. It's not a dull, unimaginative letter, often sent by strangers, suggesting ill fortune if certain rules aren't followed. This is friend to friend saying, "Hi. How are you? I love you and want you to be happy!" and since statistics show that 30% of the time people leave a website it's to go to a search engine. Well, then, isn't it a great courtesy to save them the extra click? ;-)

3) Though I'm using a certain company's search box to illustrate this, they are in no way shape or form affiliated or linked with this blog. This is just one man's idea - and as you'll soon see, I've many of them. And furthermore, I'm not saying anyone SHOULD do anything -- remember, this blog discusses those borderline, grey areas of marketing and dares to provoke discussions on it. As an old saying goes,

"Play rough, but play fair."

Now, if you haven't figured it out by now-- someone sends you one of those letters, and as always, they leave all their friends names in forwards. Well, it's my understanding that as long as you're not directly advertising, and the names did legally show up in your inbox, you're well within your rights to "REPLY TO ALL" with your search engine box in the reply (mine is set up as a signature file after I edited a little bit with an HTML editor.) and an added note saying,

"Hey, THANKS for thinking of me. As always, this is awesome; keep 'em comin'! But since 30% of people leaving an email or webpage are headed to a search engine, wouldn't it be a great courtesy to send 'em one *IN* the email?!! I've included one to show you. You can use it or get your own. Luv ya!"

Then each of them sends it to 15 friends, and so on, and so on. Your spreading good cheer and making it easier for everyone to perform a search! How thoughful of you! ;-) Just a little ingenuity can go a long, long way, folks...! And that's exactly what I'm here to show ya...

Your friend,

Sam Freedom
Where to now, Jeeves?

Internet search by SearchEstate

Sam Freedom"s Internet Marketing Controversy Blog

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Magi said...

Hey Sam,

Great to see you spreading the love and the smiles on your blog!

And once again demonstrating how to educate and entertain at the same time.

If you are reading this folks, bookmark this site now! Your marketing will never be boring again.


Magi :)

Sam Freedom said...

Thanks Magi,

You're a sweetheart, and a good friend. Anyone who can humbly say, "Woohoo!" has a big heart. ;-)

I appreciate the contribution, the compliment and the wonderful kickoff to my new blog. And you were the one who sent me that smile starter page, too!

With Gratitude,

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Anonymous said...

Great to see you spreading the love and the smiles on your blog!

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prettu said...

without paid advertising through spam emails, even now very urgent can not be achieved poor results .. I know from personal experience.


I appreciate the contribution

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