Subscribe in your email box!

Subscribe in your feed reader!

I try to write about three times per week. Most of it is pretty good and will probably help you grow your business. If it doesn't, then I probably can't help you.

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

You can use a traditional RSS Feedreader with this fancy-dancy link. I think this approach is harder but if you want to do it the hard way, who am I to say otherwise?

Never Buy Lists

posted this on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at about 8am.

When my wife and I were ready to sell our first house after living there a few years, we were able to sell it pretty quickly. A very nice young couple made us an offer that we accepted.

The last name of this couple was Smith. In case you haven't realized it by now, since my name is Corey Smith, our last name is Smith as well.

We laughed at the idea that we were able to sell our first home to another couple buying their first home with the same last name. But, that ended up not being the funny part.

We found that the couple, at the time of the purchase, was still engaged. Her maiden name was Smith. So, a Smith marrying a Smith bought a home from the Smiths.

I hope I'm not giving away too much when I say that their names were Jeremy and Kelly Smith. I only point that out because of the quantity of junk mail we get at our home for them. The image above is just an example.

Since that move, we have lived in four other places. We lived in one home in Utah and three homes in Idaho. When mail would get forwarded to our first place, it was understandable and the post office was able to get it worked out within the first couple of weeks.

All the mail that we have received since is because someone purchased a mailing list. They purchase a mailing list that has perpetuated this for a very long time. How long? Well, we moved from that house almost twelve years ago.

Whether you are buying a list for snail mail or buying a list for email you can count on two things.

  1. Your recipient never asked for their name and address to be sold so therefore they really don't want your mail (or email).
  2. You can't count on the fact that what you are mailing will make it to the right recipient because you never know how verified the address really is.

I recognize that I take a pretty hard line approach by saying in the title to never buy lists. The reality is that for a lot of companies this type of marketing works. Just understand that when you annoy your potential audience by spamming them all the time, your brand could suffer the consequences.

Oh, and if Jeremy and Kelley are reading this blog, hopefully they forgive me for the "grape juice" stain in the hall closet.

Corey Smith and his wife are the proud parents of five wonderful children and live in Meridian, Idaho. He is the president of Tribute Media, a Meridian based Web Design & Marketing Agency.

He is the author of two books, "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter." You can learn more about his books here.

Interested in having Corey speak for your organization? Need help building or marketing your organization? Want to tell Corey how cool you think he is?

Losing on Mailing Lists

posted this on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at about 1pm.
Banner Bank Junk Mail

When my wife and I first got married we bought our first home. It was, by any modest measure, a starter home. It was small and perfect for the two of us.

A few years later, we decided to sell and move up to our second home. Within a couple of weeks, we had a great offer on the table from a couple getting ready to get married. They wanted this to be their first home.

Their last name was Smith. What was more interesting is that her maiden name was Smith as well. So, a Smith was marrying a Smith and they were buying a home from the Smith’s.

For the post office, you have an option to forward all mail or just for individuals. We were very careful about making sure that the post office only forwarded mail for my name or my wife’s name. We knew that the common last name could pose a problem.

After about a year, we would start to get mail for Jeremy Smith. Some we’d return to sender with “does not live here.”

Then we moved to Idaho and lived in an apartment for the first few months. Then we moved to a new home and finally, a few years later, moved again.

So, since that home, we’ve moved four times.

You’ll notice from the picture above that it’s not my name. I’m amazed that now, ten years later, his mail is still following me around. Sure, it’s junk mail. It’s obvious that wherever Banner Bank chose to buy their mailing list from doesn’t understand who really lives where.

Oh, we’ve also received mail in the past with my stepmother’s name and I haven’t live there in nearly 20 years.

The moral: be careful when you buy your mailing lists because you might be sending mail to an address that will end up being nothing but a waste of time and money for you.

But, perhaps that’s how the post office plans to stay in business.

Subscribe to RSS - Mail