About what to use to send bulk email, using WordPress as your homepage, and why nothing is free. All this and more…
Show length 26:45
Brought to you by MarketingProfs.com
06:20 Captchas and Turks, security and getting work done, John laments sending money abroad
08:12 Ozzie asks about website hosting and getting a website off the ground, the risk of CPU overage
15:00 Hosting a blog yourself versus using a service provider, and selling off third level domains as a Red Saber tactic
18:00 Google Apps and Salesforce.com Integration announced, and Google looking to aggregate Analytics data, tracking movement is more important than aggregating data
John is still on the wedding tour
Chris is going to Podcamp DC and then Podcamp NYC.
Our theme song is called Mellow G by Fonkmasters from the Podsafe Music Network
Get your coffee delivered!
What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for listening to the episode.
Unknown Speaker 0:08
This is marketing over coffee with Christopher Penn and John Wall.
John Wall 0:19
Good morning. Welcome to marketing over coffee. I’m John Wall. I’m Christopher Penn. And we are up and rolling here I was just commenting on the fact that it’s not pitch black out today. This is the first Wednesday morning where at least the sign of spring is in the horizon. Marketing over coffee this week sponsored by marketing props as always head on over to marketingprofs in the MP Daily Fix calm Thank you bailing me out there already dropping the ball. A little bit more tired today for some reason. All right, but we’ll go to the mailbag because this is good when I got the energy to come up with a show last weekend. Just go back and pull something out. Luckily, we’re to the point where our listeners can bail us out now which is wonderful thing Mark aka the boffin wrote in and was asking about email tools. So this is always a great subject. He says he’s using Vertical Response, which I haven’t used that I’m familiar with that because that integrates tightly with Salesforce. They’re like a featured partner. And he says, great for basic stuff, but he’s looking for an autoresponder. And so wants to know about how to get started. And I don’t know, he didn’t make it clear if he says he’s using Vertical Response, which is not cheap. Yet, he’s looking for an economical way to get rolling. So I wasn’t sure if this was like for his own hobby or, you know, beyond what he was doing.
Christopher Penn 1:35
Like, that’s the kind of auto response to
John Wall 1:37
Yeah, yeah. What type of, you know, do you want it to come from a form? Or do you want it to, you know, get more advanced as far as multiple mailings and things like that? What other things do you think about with
Christopher Penn 1:48
autoresponders? Well, exactly that and this, there’s two different terms. One is the you submit a form and right away or you get the mailing, saying thanks for filling out this form and so on and so forth. But there is It’s not someone I would call auto response, although that’s what you know, I use a service called Blue Sky factory. They they call our response, I wouldn’t actually call it that I call it like scheduled mailings where you program in exactly that a pathway of you know, two or three different mailers and then you just let it run. So, it remember a couple it was the last week of the week before we talked about the Dan Kennedy. Comment where he said the the credit bureaus or the credit agencies out there will send you mailings to people who can’t afford to you know, have no money to collect money from them based on the schedule three mailings, you know, 10 to 15 days apart, you know, for a second, no second, those third notice, and so forth. And you can do the exact same thing with just about any structured mailings, say vs first, second, third, notice, you know, I’ve used that exact language, but this, the software will let you configure that and that’s, I guess, a kind of an auto response to
Unknown Speaker 2:53
Yeah, well, that’s.
John Wall 2:56
We use Manta car and they call it a demand booster. You can see schedule and get stuff rolling. I’ll try to think of other packages too. I’ve used exact target, which is kind of a big name because they’ve been around for a long time. And they had a pretty powerful solution when I use that, but that’s going on about three, four years ago. So I mentioned that that a lot of features functionality. constantcontact as far as you know, doing it on ghetto budget, it’s like free for like the first 500 names or something like that.
Christopher Penn 3:23
I don’t go real ghetto. Though. Those lists are the powers marketing over coffee coms mailing lists, which we get to actually send a mailing out on his package called Dada mail. And that is opens with I don’t think it’s maybe open source or maybe it’s free. Let’s put it that way. There’s no money out of pocket. And I believe it has some of those features as well.
John Wall 3:42
No kidding. Oh, that’s pretty cool. I have to dig into that a little bit. See what’s going on. I’m trying to think of other mailing stuff that I’ve used, you know, and then I have workplaces where people just got tired and built their own mail server in house and fire them sheet out. You can’t really get away with that anymore. You know, it’s tough to, because you never have any idea of, you know, unless you’re really good and you start getting auditing services to make sure that your IPS aren’t being blocked. But one thing was as far as volume, I mean, you set up your own box, you can just let that thing, tear, you know, 1000 a minute. And now you get throttled. So you have to watch that. Because if you hit the same domain, you know, 1000 times in a minute, you’re gonna, you know, obviously, that’s going to set up a flag someplace or somewhere.
Christopher Penn 4:24
Yeah, with. With that though, if you do set up your own, for love, well, that’s good and holy by a cheap hosting service or something, you know, the 695, server special or whatever, so that it’s not on your production web server or something like that. That’s the other thing with autoresponders. Especially the webform types, use something like recapture or something so that the bots don’t start hijacking your form and using it to send mail. You can actually send spam using someone else’s form if you you know, you want to go like way beyond red saber into just plain evil. There are bots that do that we had that problem a couple years ago, where we had a An information request form. And this bot was just submitting random AOL addresses to it. And then using a variety of alchemy to essentially pull it on our database, it will also that was sending them autoresponders back to those addresses because it was acting like a person had filled out the form. So make sure you’ve got a capture or some other, you know, human detection software if you’re using foreign based ones, because otherwise, you’ll find that your IP will get banned and be really pissing off a lot of people.
John Wall 5:28
Right. Yeah, it says, so there’s two big things. You know, one is any mailing and infrastructure has to be completely separate from the rest of your infrastructure, because you run the risk of damaging everything. And then yeah, filtering out bots is I mean, and it’s not as much as I know, thought originally, you know about doing it at the forum level. It’s all about the forum. But it goes beyond that. I mean, if somebody’s doing it in an automated fashion, they’re not filling out the form every time they’re hitting the scripts directly, you know, they’re going right into the, the code and they’re, you know, cutting it chunk of work out there so they can speed up their work cycle.
Christopher Penn 6:03
Yeah. reCAPTCHA is the one that I think is probably the neatest of the the human detection forms because it’s Carnegie Mellon project, they show you two words. And one word is that they’re both kind of male mangled letters. One is a word that they know is a good word. No one has a word that they’ve scanned from an OCR for doing OCR scanning from like an old book or something that their software actually isn’t quite sure what the word is. So they’re having essentially the web, put to work, reading old old textbooks and stuff old books too. And, you know, after like, 20 people all say it’s the exact same word. They go, Okay, that’s what that word is. So now the computer can clean it up.
John Wall 6:40
Oh, that’s pretty cool. So like, automated Turk. That’s it. Amazon has got a thing. Exactly. They do the same thing where you take these jobs that are just too impossible for one person to, you know, spend 40 hours a week doing but cut it into one single words and farmed out to the whole web. You can get a lot of stuff done. about farming out work though this I get into this for a second on the soapbox. We’ve been talking about transcribing the shows. And it has taken me the whole past week I’ve worked on trying to set up payment to our contractor to do this. Because it I’m, it’s personally I’ve worked with in India before. Did you think my name was Osama bin? wall up? Cool. Thomas. It’s like trying to send money outside of the country is unbelievable. It’s like the fees are gonna be a third of like, what I have to pay even probably
Christopher Penn 7:31
Wow. So no PayPal, because PayPal international is not bad.
John Wall 7:35
That’s what I finally took. Yesterday, I gave up and I was just like, login. I’ll throw you an extra 30 bucks feel take PayPal, because that will still be cheaper than me trying to set up international wire transfer. Exactly. And that’s it becomes a self fulfilling prophecies like only terrorists would, you know, use this service because you have to spend so much money to make it worth the fees that, you know, I’d be happy. I’d have to be sending 2.4 million over there. That’s awesome. Make things in a negative way. Yeah, no, there’s no better way to discourage than just make the fees absolutely unbearable. Keeping the jobs at home, I guess, I guess so, as part of that, you talked about hosting. So let me jump over this here. We had Ozzy’s written in asking about a startup website and getting something going there. What What could you recommend over there?
Christopher Penn 8:24
Oh, you know, every single host out there is has had issues every single host out there has had, you know, people who love them, and stuff. And it really depends on on where you are in your budget. And that’s the thing, the most important thing is, you can I usually forget them what the marketing over coffee sets on a company called Bluehost. They had like, you know, the 695 special and stuff. And occasionally, yeah, if things get really really really busy, which we’ve had happen once or twice, you’ll get a this account has, you know, exceeded CPU usage or something like that. So we get what you pay for. In that case, we’re paying I think I paid 100 hundred dollars up front for the year or something like that for the or for the service. But it’s it’s it’s tricky. You know, what do you want the different hosts offer different things do you think you’ll use a lot of bandwidth? I think you’ll use a lot of CPU. For the average person, you know, a, the one that’s 695 blue light specials will be fine. But if you anticipate, for example, getting front page stories on Digg, or any kind of burstable traffic where you know, one day you’re you’re tooling along the next day you’re on, you know, the cover of Time Magazine, you’ve got to be keep that in mind. And it’s not always clear when that’ll happen either. Sometimes it happens without you knowing it’s going to happen.
John Wall 9:44
Sure, sure. Yeah. You’ll look back and we’ll do the same thing it was Friday. For some reason, somebody pulled an extra thousand of what two shows ago and didn’t show up in Feedburner. And it was only through Lipson our account. I liked as huge Buy and Sell a bunch of more from iTunes. So it must have been iTunes. That’s the only thing I can think of we got featured somewhere in something but no idea. You brought up another cool thing I wanted to mention to you that not everybody realizes and it was kind of a, it’s never happened to me, but I’ve heard about people being totally shocked about it is everybody kind of knows you have a bandwidth and a space requirement. Okay? It’s like, you get 20 gig of space on a hard drive somewhere, right? So that’s your space. And then you get to fire, you know, maybe 100 gig a month of that. So like, you can basically serve all that data up five times. Basically, that’s the amount of pipe kind of that you have. But a lot of places now do also throw in CPU cycles, where if you have a lot of forms, or you’re doing a lot of mailing back, whatever you got going on that server, they also meter how hard you’re making that box work. Yep. And so having a slow drip of just you know, five users a day is very different than getting all those users in one hour Exactly. Could spike the CPU. So all that stuff goes into one Another starter thing though, and this is something I finally have played with a little bit for a small business is just a WordPress account set up a mock and just use that as your web page because with WordPress, you can make the default not the block page, you can make it just a regular page. And you can go to someplace like template monster or any of these others and there’s tons of even free templates out there. So you don’t have to worry about design either just go get a blog template, throw something basic up there. And that requires almost no server or HTML skill at all. Well, I won’t say no, he did set up your blog template you need to know a little bit of what the hell you’re doing. But it sure beats you know, setting up an account and FTP files up to a server and all that kind of stuff.
Christopher Penn 11:41
Yeah, WordPress is kind of a neat little secret. You know, a couple of our sites you know about the student loan network sites, two of them are all WordPress you know, hundred percent WordPress and stuff. And the advantages in addition to the you know, the convenience of stuff as a WordPress has a ton of like tracking tools. It tells you when some Links to you, it tells you when someone you know, your pings one of your articles and something like that. And anytime you write a page or a blog post, it’s it’s something else that WordPress those out there, it will notify with the right plugins that will notify Google. There’s a Google Sitemaps plugin for it and stuff. So it is a huge, huge, you know, it’s secret for anybody getting started out. It is a blog. And we’ve always said on the show, you need a blog. And lately I’ve been saying You’re dead meat without one. But um, you really, it’s hard to over overstate how easy WordPress is to get up and running fast. And to still not look like you’re, you know, 14 year old clown. Actually, I don’t know most of the 14 year olds out there but I can do a blog
Unknown Speaker 12:45
totally smokin blog.
Christopher Penn 12:48
But um, you know, WordPress also has a ton of plugins and things. So if you use Google Analytics, there’s a WordPress plugin for that. But make sure the code is available all across your blog. If you Use services and social services like Digg and stuff. There’s a shareable plugin that will put a little Share button on the bottom of each your posts. You’ll find that at marketing over coffee calm as well. This plugins for everything.
John Wall 13:12
Yeah, no. In fact there’s a couple things I want to push on that one. One before plugins though, is WordPress tutorials. There’s a great site out there that has videos and stuff like that. I’ll throw a link to that. I just added to Ronan marketeer my own blog, a mobile login so that now if I want to check from my cell phone or somebody else wants to read from a cell phone before it would come up and it would be all screwed up it would put the sidebars first and things like that all this crazy stuff. Now you just go in and it’s just the post right there ready to roll. And then yeah, there’s just a host of all kinds of stuff. As far as great plugins that you can use. I haven’t even had a chance to explain everything, but it’s even I shot one for automating to the upgrade. So you can just add this plug in whenever there’s an upgrade. It just happens in the background because that was the only The most challenging thing I’ve ever done is my own upgrade. I’ve done you know a lot of services it just installs automatically and you can let your host take care of the upgrades for you they’ll just do it whenever they want to. But if you want to do it yourself it’s a little bit more work but it’s not impossible I mean once you understand how to get files up on your file server, it’s not a big deal
Christopher Penn 14:21
Yeah, WordPress is terrific. I mean, I would stay away from the their version of the WordPress com that they host because making the transition and eventually you’ll want to bring your your blog in house is is fairly painful. So you know download the software and run it on your own server or run on your own host hosting service in a lot of cases. You know the 695 blue light special also comes with WordPress you can get a pre installed or whatever like that so you definitely as much as possible want to use it on your own on a box or site you control.
John Wall 14:54
Right now I haven’t I’ve never done an export like that. I mean, I know you can export all your posts is there. What’s the other It’s a big database dump it Oh, it’s a lot of data to pump down Yes Sure. I hadn’t thought about it if you’ve been doing it for four years or something that’s a lot of stuff to yanked out. That’s a good one. Now, here’s another thing that I’ve kicked around which I haven’t been able to answer is what about the idea though, that if you do keep at least some of your blog separate on WordPress, right, that’s a huge referring site isn’t there some Seo? Well, because we don’t really know but you think there must be some great juice you get out of having all that great content over on a different server all pointing to your home site?
Christopher Penn 15:32
You can I don’t do is that much juice because I think in a lot of cases Google discounts the third level domains for it which is you know, John wall.wordpress.com wordpress.com probably does very well but John Wall dot WordPress, com, probably not as well
John Wall 15:48
is not getting the same. Otherwise, you just
Christopher Penn 15:49
run a script and set up 100,000 WordPress accounts. And I’ll point them at your your own site and in return for the year.
John Wall 15:57
That’s okay. So third level domain. That’s a good point. That’s a good point. So you’ve got backwards from Comm. Big first level WordPress second, and then the John Wall spends the world at the third part of the URL not getting the same level of additional attention.
Christopher Penn 16:12
Yeah, Google’s actually trying to deal with that issue of third level domains right now for educational sites. because.edu links, you know, in SEO are considered fairly valuable right below. gov links. But it turns out in the in the ICANN regulations, a third level domain in Edu domain does not necessarily have to be a school. So you know, bu Edu is required to be a nonprofit education student, you can have, you know, spam bot, but bu edu, and B, you could have sell off your auction off the third level domains for to anybody. So if they wanted to make a little extra coin selling, you know, basically a link farm from them, they just have to create a third level domain. And Google has not adapted its algorithm quickly yet to counteract all that because there’s plenty of their level D Edu domains that are perfectly, you know, clean, but they’re starting to crop up, you know, some of the schools that are you know, frankly you need more money I’ve shown to raise it any way they can.
John Wall 17:10
Right right and right yeah and that’s I we’ve seen that a bunch of times bumping up against CPUs that just man you just have such a hard time beating them back down the list because they get so much additional juice right up there with Wikipedia anything wikipedia.org to the prime domain so that’s that gives them some extra juice there too.
Christopher Penn 17:28
Not much.org So anything you can you can buy
John Wall 17:31
right is lower than the juicy right the dot add the.gov and.gov
Christopher Penn 17:36
is the is the the crown jewel, you can get a pile of links, go for it. Right
John Wall 17:40
right. That’s gonna say yeah, but and go so that’s it set up here on government agency. That’s the way to roll. Absolutely tell it to get things done. Surprise me.
Christopher Penn 17:47
I mean, if you were, if there’s anyone listening from, like a state agency, like you know, I don’t know the Massachusetts Tourism Bureau because there’s mass.gov. If you want to make some extra money for the state now cover the budget shortfall, give us a call. 206 through 501208 we’ll hook you up.
John Wall 18:03
I can we can get something have a, the message to the podcast directory can’t get by without. All right, so it’s all Google all the time again here. We’re just Salesforce and Google announcing this week about integration with Salesforce and Google Apps, which was an interesting announcement. I can see how for small business, that would be great. I’ve heard some naysayers saying that, you know, large businesses are never going to agree to Google Apps, Terms of Service. But I don’t think this is about, you know, medium or big, large businesses. This is all about mom and pop shops that are you know, the fact there’s no infrastructure as a huge benefit to them.
Christopher Penn 18:42
Oh, yeah. I mean, if you as a mom and pop shop can plug into Salesforce, and Google Apps for your domain host and you know, just run everything with them. Why would you do anything else? I mean, Salesforce for the small businesses what it’s like 19 bucks a month.
John Wall 18:55
Yeah, yeah. And there’s even you know, for nonprofits and stuff like that
Christopher Penn 18:58
they have a free version. Yeah. Google Apps if you’re a nonprofit, there’s a free version of that. You plug in and compete with the big boys.
John Wall 19:04
Yeah, you’ve got your whole IT infrastructure and no IT department, you have to pay for it. All right. And so I get invited for Google Analytics to submit my information. And I didn’t see any promise of what I would get in return for that for sharing. Obviously, benchmarking was what they, they said would be the thing, and I’ve never been disappointed by what they roll out. So. But I also haven’t had the time to submit my info to them. But I imagined I won’t get to see it if I don’t. So I don’t know. It just seems to be more though, of Google watching the world. I couldn’t.
Christopher Penn 19:38
Yeah, I mean, if you think about Google already has the data anyway. So they’re just asking you to publicly add it to a large data set that they are publicly publishing. If you’re not familiar with this, Google Analytics announced that they are allowing you to see benchmarks for your vertical for your industry. So you identify yourself as an education or software development to whatever and then you can see How your site traffic and statistics compare with, quote the the industry standard, insofar as that it’s an average of everyone else who’s agreed to submit their data in that space to. It’s interesting. Honestly, I’m, I don’t think it does any, any harm to submit to the data set, because it is such a large data set. But I don’t necessarily see the value in that. Unless you’ve want to see, you know, roughly where your site compares, but I would think, at least, you know, from from my perspective, the, the bigger concern is, are you growing? You know, I don’t care what the what the measurement is I we’ve talked about the sun marketing over coffees on the podcast stuff. I don’t really care how you measure it, you know, podcast success, is it subscribers downloads, we just want to see if the trend is up or down. That’s same with web analytics. You can measure pageviews of visitors or whatever the industry trend is, but frankly, if you’re your own traffic by whatever measurement isn’t going up, there’s your problem.
John Wall 20:55
Yeah, yeah, that’s really all you’re concerned about it. That’s fine. I was writing about that last night to thinking about that more. More and more is we’ve really come to a point where it’s not. You know, it’s not just about the database of being able to know everything about every individual. But being able over time to track the way things are moving. That’s really the important part is, are you getting more customers? Are you getting in the door faster? Are you getting to buy more stuff once they come in? And are you beat? Are you able to sell them that additional product at a lower price? I mean, all that stuff are metrics that you finally taken and want to get to. That’s, that’s where the true value is.
Christopher Penn 21:32
Yeah, get them to convert, get them to convert as fast as possible. I mean, we were talking about that. I’ve actually been talking about that at PodCamp. DC this weekend is you know the basics of how you do a sales phone how you optimize your website, so that Yeah, get people to do.
John Wall 21:47
Right, right, driving through the funnel. No, that’s it have to have the end in mind. That’s cool. All right. So yeah, we should roll into travel. I am thankfully staying put for the next couple of weeks. So I’m very excited about that. But PodCamp DCs Oh, and we would be remiss if we did not mention the hardware, we’re definitely running running along today. I’ll save. I did get the Forrester report back, which was kind of cool. They’re making that available for free to bloggers. for corporate entities, of course, they still have to pay but we got to see that but we’ll talk about that next week. And the PodCamp Boston register now registrations open and but it is for pay it. So that’s been kind of a lot of yammering out in the, in the world about that. It is PodCamp Boston will be July 19 and 20th at Harvard Medical school’s Conference Center in downtown Boston, which is a great venue because it’s you know, the train stops right in front of it. So if you’re, you know, don’t want to drive around in Boston, and you shouldn’t,
Christopher Penn 22:43
you can get that. But it’s $50. This year, we’ve asked people to put some skin in the game, as as a few friends might have said and it’s not that we necessarily need the money. I’m sure we could raise the venue costs for you know, just with sponsorships and stuff. But the bigger problem last year was that we budgeted For a certain number of resources, you know, we budgeted for 1000 people based on 1400 registrations when 775 of them show up by the local homeless shelter got a real nice gift of you know, 200 some odd t shirts and stuff. But that was a complete waste of money. And that was not our money to be wasting. So this year, we’re asking everyone to pitch in a little bit. And I call it co sponsoring because you are your your $50 is going towards paying the venue and stuff like that. And yeah, we have a lot of corporate sponsors and stuff too. But by asking people to make a a relatively nominal contribution, especially when you consider what other conferences cost. I think New Media Expo is $300.
Unknown Speaker 23:39
I know the Jeff overs Vaughn conference is 20 $700. Ted is $6,000. So 50 bucks, by comparison is basically it’s, you know, dinner out somewhere one night,
John Wall 23:51
right? Right. Well, and you know, I mean, this just gets back to, no matter what you’re talking about, be it social media sites or whatever. Nothing is free. You know, you can’t put this stuff out there at no expense. I mean, it takes infrastructure it takes just cash to make things happen. Yeah, I mean, if you’re just going to everybody gonna drive out to a field in Iowa and hang out, well then you know, you know, you still got to find a field that’s free. You can’t just go in anybody’s field, you gotta find one that’s not being used. And you’re not either not going to get caught on or whatever.
Christopher Penn 24:21
We’ve spent, you know, between us, we probably spent about $1,000 or so on on marketing over coffee.
John Wall 24:26
Yeah. Coffee is not free. Yes, luckily, we have economies of scale that we’re doing other other shows and so what you know, I use the same equipment that I use for the show and but yeah, even the cost of the hosting like you said, there’s no getting around that it’s got a paid. Yeah, that’s, you know, even if you say you don’t take sponsorship, you’re lying, because that’s your sponsoring out of your pocket. You know, you are your sponsor. Yeah. You’re your own sponsor. There’s, there’s no, you can’t do it for free. You know, you still have to pay for web hosting. And for all this stuff, there’s no getting around at some Yeah, that’s part of the deal. But so, stuff 50 bucks, you get to go to the show. And of course, you know that the books are transparent. So all this cash is going to go back into the event. So you know, yeah, if we get enough people coming in and there’s enough sponsors, you know, there’s going to be quality food or quality other events, you know, the events that night can be underwritten by that and it doesn’t have to be just hanging out in a noisy bar, we can actually get a room at some place and have, you know, a little upscale and a little bit.
Christopher Penn 25:27
Yep, this year, we should definitely do marketing over cocktails.
John Wall 25:30
Haha, we’ve got to get that go get it live at the show. It’s just, I mean, you’d have to run around like a maniac for the week before. And then I was just like, dude, we have to find a place we have to do all this stuff. I just like couldn’t even bring myself to do it. I was like, Ah, this is just too much work. Can we get it? Yeah, we should we should make a better plan. Let me think so. We’ll have we’ll just take that offline. People don’t need to hear this. But Alright, so that’s the story is we will we will get marketing over coffee live and off the ground at this upcoming PodCamp Boston. So buy your tickets. Now jumping early, because we’ll have to limit the list I’m sure well, we can probably get six or so Mike switches in to limit it to the total amount of folks in the group but that’s gonna do it for today. So enjoy the coffee.
Christopher Penn 26:11
Enjoy the coffee.
Unknown Speaker 26:14
You’ve been listening to marketing over coffee. You can hear Mr. Penn daily at the financial aid podcast and read more Christopher s pen.com. Mr. Wolf blogs daily at Ronan marketeer.com and podcast theme show every Monday.
John Wall 26:33
The marketing over coffee theme song is called mellow g by funk masters and you can find it at the pod safe music network pod safe music network comm or follow the link in our show notes.