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danger_poison.jpgYeesh! Me neither!

And I especially don’t want you and everyone else in my address book to get an inappropriate or unsolicited e-mail that looks like it came from me. But that’s the kind of thing these viruses can do. The havoc they wreak on our customers’ computer system could infect our BRANDS as well if that is all of a sudden the main impression the members of our address book have of us! Everything is branding!  

Here’s a little tip a colleague shared with me:


A computer repairman says this is like having gold. (this is a good thing)

I learned a computer trick today that’s really ingenious in its simplicity. As you may know,when/if a worm virus gets into your computer it heads straight for your email address book, and sends itself to everyone in there, thus infecting all your friends and associates.

This trick won’t keep the virus from getting into your computer, but it will stop it from using your address book to spread further, and it will alert you to the fact that the worm has gotten into your system.

Here’s what you do:

First, open your address book and click on “new contact,” just as you would do if you were adding a new friend to your list of email addresses.

1. In the window where you would type your friend’s first name, type in “A”.

2. For the screen name or email address, type “AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA“.

3. Now, here’s what you’ve done and why it works:

The “name” “A” will be placed at the top of your address book as entry #1

This will be where the worm will start in an effort to send itself to all your friends.

But, when it tries to send itself to AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA, it will be undeliverable because of the phony email address you entered. If the first attempt fails (which it will because of the phony address), the worm goes no further and your friends will not be infected.

Here’s the second great advantage of this method:

If an email cannot be delivered, you will be notified of this in your In Box almost immediately. Hence, if you ever get an email telling you that an email addressed to AAAAAAA@AAA.AAA could not be delivered, you know right away that you have the worm virus in your system. You can then take steps to get rid of it!

If everybody you know does this then you need not ever worry about opening mail from friends.

Ride the Cow Catcher!

By Dr. Burt Smith December 5th, 2007

edison_cowcatchr.jpgAt Work With Thomas Edision is full of neat stories about Edison, but presented in a way that inspires entrepreneurs and business people! One story the author shares is how Edison took a train journey across the country and opted to ride not in the cars with the other passengers, but instead on the front of the train where the cowcatcher was located in those days. Edison’s rationale was that doing so helped him “see things differently”, so that although he wasn’t alone on the trip, he also didn’t take the same journey as everyone else.

It’s a good idea to find ways to see things from different perspectives in our businesses, too! When’s the last time you sat in the lobby of your business? Or parked in the same area as your customers? Or called the main number of your business and listened as though you were a customer calling for the first time?

The customer IS the answer to every marketing question. By putting yourself in their shoes, you can experience their experiences and build the business in a way that best serves them.

So take a ride on the Cow Catcher and you’ll be on track for profits!


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Yet another reason to love Amazon.com!

Amazon has several programs in place that enable customers to get free shipping. On most items, in fact, if you spend 25 bucks they offer free shipping.  As the holiday season gets underway, they are offering a free upgrade to Two-Day Express Shipping, which is a noteworthy customer benefit!

But it’s also a good thing for Amazon, too. As you can imagine, Amazon is going to be swamped with orders as the holidays get closer. While this is good news for online and traditional retailers because they know revenue is a given, it’s also bad news because it creates a situation I talk about in my ECHO Marketingtm program called “Hyper-Growth.” The orders pour in, more staff has to be hired, training may be cut short, overtime has to be spent, tensions mount, tempers flare, customer expectations aren’t met, and if we’re not careful, the growth ends up costing us more in the long run than not growing. In other words, Hyper-Growth is not Healthy Growth!

Very wisely, by offering a few dollars per sale discount in the form of free premium shipping, they are also potentially spreading out their orders so they will come in like a stream and not a flood! I suspect they’ll still be plenty busy as the holiday deadlines approach, but making an attempt to manage the growth rather than just deal with it is very smart management. They are shooting for Healthy Growth, not Hyper-Growth!

And just in case you haven’t found that perfect stocking stuffer for that special someone…  

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