Idea of The Week: Is it s-p*a-m yet?

>The Situation:

I get the same question again and again. “How often should I send marketing emails to people in my data base?” And… “What should I write about?” And, “When is it s-p*a-m?” Etc. My answer is simple and clear, and always the same. Read on.

>The Idea:

The idea (and my answer) is just this: “Never send an email that your recipients won’t thank you for.” That’s all there is to it. Don’t send an email message (or an email newsletter) promoting a sale, or event (or anything), unless it’s accompanied by content that is of genuine value to the recipient (unless, of course, the sale or event etc., is so spectacular that the news of it, in itself, will be of real value to your recipients). Follow this rule, and you will stay out of trouble.

>The Risk:

When I repeat that rule, the response is pretty predictable: “How can an ordinary business like mine come up with all this valuable content?” Fortunately, there are tricks to the trade – including using other peoples’ material. For example, I received an email from my daughter Leagh a few days ago that contained really hot content. The subject line (“Things your burglar won’t tell you”) compelled me to open it immediately. Inside, it provided a list of tips – from real, hard core criminals – in jail house interviews – on how to protect yourself and your property.

>The Reward:

Here are a couple of the tips:  1. Forget pepper spray – you have to be up too close – instead use wasp spray which shoots up to twenty feet-plus, with accuracy. 2. Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear someone trying to get into your home, press the panic button on your car keys and the alarm will go off – attracting the attention of neighbors and scaring off the thief.  3. Carry your keys in hand while walking to your car in a parking lot – and if necessary, use the panic button in the same way.  (Scroll down to see all the tips). I think you’ll agree that most people would be very grateful to receive these tidbits – which means they are perfect for passing along in an email marketing program. The reward? Sharing valuable information buys us the right to include our promotional content as well. How simple. Thank you.

>The Call to Action:

Where to start? You can begin by looking for and collecting great content, no matter where you find it (or how it comes to you). Obviously, your content doesn’t have to be about your product, service or industry (as in this example); it just has to be hot, interesting, compelling, eye-popping, mind-changing, fun – something! Some marketers resort to the time tested technique of sharing famous quotes from famous people – or really funny (but clean) humor. Whatever works. As always the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Happy Tuesday!



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Thursday, April 14, in Langley, BC

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course was designed over many months through our one on one training sessions with individual companies. We saw  a great need for big picture understanding as well as hands on learning in regard to social media. We also recognized that small businesses needed this training in social media to be highly cost effective.

So we now offer a one day intensive course to help small businesses owners or their delegates to come join us – in a small group setting – to learn the top 5 routes to instantly gain a social media presence. Bring your lap top and by the end of the day you’ll be fully set up and ready to start engaging with your customers and potential customers through Social Media.

The cost is just $399 for the whole day, including lunch and a detailed workbook to take away.

NEIL GODIN will join us over lunch and will deliver a brief presentation on

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If you have questions please call Jonathan, or email him at


Here is the complete email in regard to todays MD article….


1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste… and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it..

5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom – and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door – understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.

12. You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system . If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at <http://www.faketv. com/> http://www.faketv. com/)


1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

3. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again.. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.

4. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

5. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address.

7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.

8. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Kentucky; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs <http://www.crimedoc> http://www.crimedoc and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job

Protection for you and your home:

If you don’t have a gun, here’s a more humane way to wreck someone’s evil plans for you.  WASP SPRAY (I guess I can get rid of the baseball bat.) A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead.

The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn’t attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection. Thought this was interesting and might be of use.


On the heels of a break in and beating that left an elderly woman in Toledo dead, self defense experts have a tip that could save your life.

Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania Southview High School . For decades, he’s suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed. Glinka says, “This is better than anything I can teach them.”

Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says, “spray the culprit in the eyes”. It’s a tip he’s given to students for decades. It’s also one he wants everyone to hear. If you’re looking for protection, Glinka says look to the spray. “That’s going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out.” Maybe even save a life.

Put your car keys beside your bed at night. Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr’s office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It’s a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage. If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won’t stick around. After a few seconds all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough the criminal won’t want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or avoid a sexual abuse crime..

P.S. I am sending this to everyone I know because I think it is fantastic. Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can’t reach a phone.

(MD Editor’s note: The email is unsigned, so we can’t credit the original source).

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