spam en-US 7 Reasons Your E-mail Pitches Are Failing <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/7-reasons-your-e-mail-pitches-are-failing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've got a great product or service that you know people would love if you could just get the word out. And what better way to spread the word than via an email blast? It's cost effective. It reaches everybody. You could probably write it yourself. But in this spam-filled digital age, you need to make sure your message isn't tossed out with the rest of the trash.</p> <p>If you're finding that you're getting zero love back from your email pitches, it's probably not your service or product (because it's awesome, right?). It's more likely your delivery. As a small business owner myself, I get hundreds of solicitations from other business owners asking me to &quot;check out this service.&quot; Unfortunately, I often end up clicking the &quot;delete&quot; (or worse, the &quot;report spam&quot;) button, even though I know there must be a few gems in there.</p> <p>These are the seven most common mistakes I see from those trying to reach out.</p> <h4>You are sending it to the wrong person.</h4> <p>It should be obvious, but you <i>must</i> do your research before you send your pitch. Just because an email is easy to send, doesn't mean you shouldn't take the time to do it right. Find the right person and tailor your message to that person's needs.</p> <p>An email sent to <a href=""></a> will most likely end up in the black hole of emails. What did it matter that it took you very little time to send it? You've still wasted your time. If your pitches aren't landing in the right person's mailbox, then your email won't be useful, period, no matter how well written it is.</p> <h4>You are not offering a clear benefit.</h4> <p>The most annoying email that I get goes something like, &quot;Please check out my website and let me know what you think!&quot; Who are you and why should I spend my time doing you a favor? Entice me. Give me a reason why you're going to make my life better (but do it quickly and concisely). Tell me why your product is groundbreaking and offer me a sneak peak or free trial. And more importantly, make me like <i>you</i> enough that I would even want to &quot;check out&quot; what you have to offer.</p> <h4>You are writing too much.</h4> <p>No one is going to take the time to read through a long email from someone she doesn't know. Introduce yourself (briefly) and get to the point. Be specific and clear. Break down your message to its key elements &mdash; think &quot;elevator pitch.&quot; You only have a small window of time to catch someone's interest. There are hundreds of other emails waiting in line.</p> <h4>You are not asking for a specific action.</h4> <p>If you've gone through the process of explaining your company, but have left no specific call to action, it's likely that you won't get any response, even if the recipient is interested. What are the next steps? Sign up for an account online? Arrange a meeting? Don't expect the other person to take the initiative. Tell them what they should do next.</p> <h3>You are being mysterious.</h3> <p>This is another type of email that I <i>never </i>respond to: &quot;I have an exciting opportunity for you. Please call me to discuss it further.&quot; It tells me that you've got <i>nothing</i> interesting to offer me, and worse, that you've got no respect for my time. The Mr. Vague approach won't pique anyone's interest and it won't inspire follow up. If you want me to be interested, be direct and tell me what you're offering.</p> <h4>You are being too pushy.</h4> <p>It's fine to follow up, but you aren't entitled to a response. If you haven't gotten a response, you can assume that the other party isn't interested. Never send out a follow up message that simply says, &quot;I haven't heard back from you about the message I sent last week. Please respond as soon as you can.&quot; Instead, try a different tactic. Look at your last email and see if you could frame your message better. Was it too long? Did you not include a strong benefit? Try again with a shorter, smarter pitch. But stop after two attempts. You can try sending it to another person in that organization, but at some point you have to let it go.</p> <h4>You are expecting too much.</h4> <p>Telling someone that you did something for them (&quot;I linked to you in my blogroll!&quot;) and then asking for the same in return is simply bad form. If you are interested in a true partnership, the relationship has to be mutually beneficial and the terms agreed upon up front. You can send a note that explains that because you are a big fan of the site, you've added it to your blogroll, but don't expect <i>anything</i> in return (except a warm thanks).</p> <p>Sending out a &quot;cold email&quot; may not be as difficult as cold calling on the phone, but it's just as important to get the pitch right. Otherwise you're wasting everyone's time.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Lynn Truong</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">This Is the One Skill You Need If You Want to Work for Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">10 Things All Successful Freelancers Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center cold calling email marketing sales pitches small business spam Fri, 27 May 2011 22:10:04 +0000 Lynn Truong 545045 at 3 Ways to Ban Spam and Stop Junk <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-to-ban-spam-and-stop-junk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src=" Mail.JPG" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><embed width="480" height="300" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" src=""></embed></p> <p>I work at home,&nbsp;often under high pressure,&nbsp;so I'm not fond of&nbsp;interuptions. And yet they come constantly:&nbsp;spam emails&nbsp;that&nbsp;bury ones&nbsp;I need to see,&nbsp;stupid junk mail I have to sort through, people knocking at my door trying to sell me everything&nbsp;from steak&nbsp;to magazines and phone calls from people trying to sell me something.&nbsp;&nbsp;I'm mad as hell and not going to take it any more!&nbsp;How about you?&nbsp;</p> <p>On the phone front, we finally acheived a partial victory in September when&nbsp;the Federal Trade Commission finally passed a ban on &ldquo;Robo-calls.&rdquo; Telemarketers can be fined up to $16,000 for some of these exceedinly irritating solicitations. But not all robo-calls are banned. You can still&nbsp;get them from politicians, some non-profits and various others.</p> <p>But there are steps you can take to at least curtail&nbsp;live telemarketers on the phone, spam in your email box and junk in your&nbsp;mailbox.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Junk &quot;snail mail&quot;</h2> <p>To stop junk &ldquo;snail mail&rdquo; for redit or insurance, you either go to <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, or call 888-5OPTOUT. That doesn&rsquo;t stop all junk: mainly just credit card solicitations. (And the economy has already stopped a lot of those.) But it will help.</p> <h2>Spam email</h2> <p>When it comes to email, sign up for a personal account to share with people you trust and a private account to use online when you shop or post. Then don&rsquo;t ever give out the private one. Ever.</p> <h2>Telemarketers</h2> <p>What about unsolicited phone calls? Your defense here&nbsp;is the &ldquo;do-not-call list.&rdquo; Put your name on it by going to <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or calling 888-382-1222. And if someone does call you after your name is on that list, report them to the BBB or FTC.</p> <p>Also:&nbsp;once a year you&rsquo;re going to get mail from lenders and other companies you do business with, asking if it&rsquo;s ok for them to share your personal information with other companies. <strong>Don&rsquo;t throw these away unread</strong>: return them and to quote Nancy Reagan: &ldquo;just say no.&rdquo;</p> <p>As for people on the porch?&nbsp;Next time I'm at the hardware store, I'm investing in a &quot;No Soliciting&quot;&nbsp;sign. Pity the idiot who ignores it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Stacy Johnson</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Eliminate Junk Mail With the Click of a Button</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">How to refill an ink cartridge with a small piece of tape</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">How To Get A Customer Service Phone Number, Fast!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Technology junk mail Robo-calls spam Fri, 20 Nov 2009 16:42:13 +0000 Stacy Johnson 3856 at Stop dissing Spam! <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stop-dissing-spam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Sir Spam" title="Sir Spam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Is it me, or are most people a bunch of Spam snobs? I admit it’s not filet mignon or a piece of finely seared Ahi Tuna, but come on people! It’s not that bad. In fact, I love it, and a lot of my friends and family do, too. It’s a great friend to the frugal chef, and if I can do anything today, it’s to convince Spam skeptics to change their ways (vegetarians excepted…maybe). </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Two of my fondest memories are of Spam. One goes way back to childhood. We grew up very poor at times, especially when my dad was unemployed for two years. Fried Spam with mashed potato was a highlight of my week. I loved slicing it into small, even squares and layering on big, creamy globs of mash.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I never thought I’d find an equal Spam moment, but a few years ago it happened. I went on vacation to Guam, where my wife and her folks are from. And Spam is a big deal there. Christmas morning we went to a great little place called Shirley’s for breakfast and I ordered a big ol’ plate of fried rice, Portuguese sausage, eggs and Spam. It was fantastic. I asked for a plate of extra Spam and was thoroughly content before we’d opened any presents</p> <p class="MsoNormal">For those of you who think Spam is mystery meat, let me point out that it’s really no different than your average hot dog or slice of bologna. In fact, it&#39;s a little better quality than that. Here are the ingredients, and it’s a small list…</p> <ul> <li class="MsoNormal">Chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added. </li> <li class="MsoNormal">Salt (for binding, flavor, and firmness) </li> <li class="MsoNormal">Water (to help in mixing) </li> <li class="MsoNormal">Sugar (for flavor) </li> <li class="MsoNormal">Sodium Nitrite (for color and as a preservative)</li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal">That’s pretty much it. Now consider that a hot dog is made up of Mechanically Separated Meat (another way of saying all the tiny bits of meat and fat stuck to the bones) and Spam seems like a piece of Prime Rib.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Spam is also nice and cheap, around $2.20 per can at my supermarket (and even cheaper when you buy in bulk). A can of Spam will feed 2-4 people depending on the side dish, and is seriously tasty. Stop raising your is. It’s way superior to fried bologna in my humble opinion.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Ah, but what else can you do with it? Well, there are dozens of cookbooks out there devoted to Spam, but my favorite two come from the home of the humble meat, Hawaii. You can find them both on Amazon for a silly price.</p> <p><img src="" alt="Spam2" title="Spam2" width="240" height="155" /> <br /><a href=";tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0935848495">Hawaii&#39;s Spam Cookbook</a><img src=";l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=0935848495" width="1" height="1" /><br /> </p> <p><img src="" alt="Spam3" title="Spam3" width="240" height="156" /><br /><a href=";tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1573061352">Hawaii&#39;s 2nd Spam Cookbook</a><img src=";l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=1573061352" width="1" height="1" /> </p> <p><a href=";tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1573061352"></a></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I’ve included some great Spam recipes below (including the simple and delicious Spam Musubi) but before we get to those, a few Spam facts:</p> <ul> <li class="MsoNormal">SPAM is sold in over 99% of U.S. grocery stores. </li> <li class="MsoNormal">Over 60 million people <strong>in the U.S. alone</strong> eat SPAM. </li> <li class="MsoNormal">Over 141 million cans of SPAM are sold worldwide each year. </li> <li class="MsoNormal">By World War II, Hormel had sold twenty thousand tons of Spam. Then, during the wartime meat rationing, Spam got popular... </li> <li class="MsoNormal">If all the cans of Spam ever eaten were put end-to-end, they would circle the globe at least ten times. </li> <li class="MsoNormal">In the U.S. alone, 3.8 cans of Spam &quot;are consumed every second&quot;(assuming SPAM is eaten 24 hours a day, 365.25 days a year). </li> <li class="MsoNormal">Residents of Hawaii eat an average of four cans of SPAM per person per year, more than in any other place on Earth. Seems like a low number to me. </li> <li class="MsoNormal">By 1959, a billion cans of SPAM had been sold. The two billion mark was hit in 1970, followed by three billion in 1980, four billion in 1986, and five billion in 1993. </li> <li class="MsoNormal">In Korea, SPAM is sold in stylish presentation gift boxes of nine cans each. SPAM stolen from army PXs can be found on the Korean black market. And there are Korean imitations called Lo-Spam, Dak, Plumrose, and Tulip, to ensure that no one need go without. </li> <li class="MsoNormal">Nikita Krushchev once credited SPAM with the survival of the WWII Russian army. &#39;&#39;Without SPAM, we wouldn&#39;t have been able to feed our army,&#39;&#39; he said. </li> <li class="MsoNormal">The SPAM luncheon meat trademark is registered in 93 countries. </li> <li class="MsoNormal">SPAM is made in two U.S. locations - Austin, Minnesota, and Fremont, Nebraska - and seven other countries: England, Australia, Denmark, Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. </li> <li class="MsoNormal">In 1989, the U.S. armed forces bought 3.3 million pounds of SPAM. </li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal">Now, if 99% of all U.S. grocery stores carry Spam, and yet everyone I talk to won’t touch the stuff, I’m led to three conclusions; first, grocery stores are involved in some major conspiracy with Hormel; second, there’s a lot of Spam being eaten by a tiny minority of people; third, people do eat Spam and just don’t like to admit it.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But hey, who am I to throw aspersions out there? I’ll leave you with some of my favorite Spam recipes, they’re all really simple and take no time. Please, give Spam a chance (as John Lennon almost said).</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="" alt="musubi" title="musubi" width="250" height="250" /> </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><strong>Spam Musubi</strong></span></p> <ul> <li><span>2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice</span></li> <li><span>2 cups water</span></li> <li><span>6 tablespoons rice vinegar</span></li> <li><span>1/4 cup soy sauce</span></li> <li><span>1/4 cup oyster sauce</span></li> <li><span>1/2 cup white sugar</span></li> <li><span>1 (12 ounce) container fully cooked Spam</span></li> <li><span>5 sheets sushi nori (dry seaweed)</span></li> <li><span>2 tablespoons vegetable oil</span></li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>1. Soak uncooked rice for 4 hours; drain and rinse. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>2. In a saucepan bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in rice vinegar, and set aside to cool. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>3. In a separate bowl, stir together soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar until sugar is completely dissolved. Slice Spam lengthwise into 10 slices, or to desired thickness, and marinate in sauce for 5 minutes. </span></p> <p><span>4. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Cook slices for 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Cut nori sheets in half and lay on a flat work surface. Place a rice press in the center of the sheet, and press rice tightly inside. Top with a slice of Spam and remove press. Wrap nori around rice mold, sealing edges with a small amount of water. (Rice may also be formed by hand in the shape of the meat slices, 1 inch thick.) Musubi may be served warm or chilled.</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><strong>SPAM Fried Rice</strong></span></p> <ul> <li><span>2 cups leftover rice </span></li> <li><span>1-1/2 cups SPAM, cut into small pieces </span></li> <li><span>1 egg </span></li> <li><span>1 tablespoon soy sauce </span></li> <li><span>3 green onions, thinly sliced </span></li> <li><span>Sesame Oil</span> </li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>1: Heat a small amount of sesame oil into a skillet and brown spam pieces on all sides. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>2: Mix in the rice. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>3: Mix the egg with the soy sauce and stir into the hot rice and spam. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>4: Stir gently until the egg is cooked. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>5: Sprinkle green onions on top and serve.</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><img src="" alt="wwii" title="wwii" width="250" height="250" /> </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><strong>WWII Spam &amp; Egg Sandwich</strong></span></p> <ul> <li><span>1 tablespoon butter</span></li> <li><span>2 tablespoons finely chopped onion</span></li> <li><span>1 slice fully cooked Spam</span></li> <li><span>1 egg, beaten</span></li> <li><span>2 slices bread</span></li> <li><span>1 slice American cheese </span></li> <li><span>1 slice tomato (optional)</span></li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>1. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion in butter until soft. Mash up the slice of Spam with a fork, and add it to the skillet. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until browned. Pour the egg into the skillet so that it covers all of the meat and onion. Cook until firm, then flip to brown the other side. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>2. Place the egg and meat onto one slice of the bread and top with cheese and tomato if desired. Place the other piece of bread on top. Bread can also be toasted first. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><img src="" alt="bake" title="bake" width="250" height="250" /> </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><strong><span>Spam &amp; Cheese Bake</span></strong></p> <ul> <li><span>1 (12 ounce) container fully cooked Spam, chopped</span></li> <li><span>2 eggs, beaten</span></li> <li><span>20 soda crackers, crushed</span></li> <li><span>2 cups milk</span></li> <li><span>1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided</span></li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>2. In a 9x13 inch baking dish combine the meat, eggs, cracker crumbs, milk and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Mix well. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese on top. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>3. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Let cool and serve. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p><em>This post is dedicated to my wife, her family and all the other great people who made me feel so welcome on Guam. Thank you all.  </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">5 Best Money-Saving, Healthy, Homemade Salad Dressings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">“Make your own Twinkies” and other secret recipes by the Food Cloner Dude.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">5 Easy Recipes Perfect for the Traveling Chef</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink cheap ham meat pork recipes spam Thu, 24 Apr 2008 15:35:49 +0000 Paul Michael 2038 at Womanhood microscopic and other hot stock tips <p><img src="" alt=" " width="170" height="254" /></p> <p>One of my favorite things about getting spam is... wait. Oh, I don&#39;t have a favorite thing. Unless you count the creativity involved in coming up with new filters to block spam, there&#39;s really nothing about spam that I find positive. Spam is completely obnoxious. It costs business a lot of money to filter out, and it is sent out people by whose kneecaps deserve a little rendezvous with my uncle, Big Meatball Gino, if you know what I&#39;m saying, and I think you do. </p> <p>Some email services, like Gmail, are really good at filtering out the spam. That said, they are also really good at scanning your email content and pushing targeted ads at you. [Incidentally, I was once writing to my sister about something really benign, like a birthday party, and for some reason, all of my targeted Gmail ads read &quot;SHAVE YOUR PUBIC HAIR&quot;, like, all over the screen. What the hell? We weren&#39;t talking about anything remotely pubic. I could use my mental powers to draw a very convulted connection between birthdays and pubic hair - birthday -&gt; birthday suit -&gt; naked, etc. - but there&#39;s no direct connection, and I was kind of offended. And I&#39;m not easily offended.]</p> <p>Anyway, when it comes to spam, the <a href=";artnum=4&amp;issue=20070131" target="_blank">most irritating and difficult to catch</a> are the <a href="" target="_blank">newer generation spam</a>, the ones that contain a sort of mangled embedded image instead of just plain ol&#39; words, or with really bizarre, randomly generated passages or simply copyrighted material stolen from a legit web site - you know, like this:</p> <p><img src="" alt=" " width="409" height="232" /></p> <p>I get hundreds of these per day (you probably do, too), and they are all attempts to get me to purchase <a href="" target="_blank">penny stocks</a>. Penny stocks are cheap stocks from risky companies, basically. They trade on the <a href="" target="_blank">OTCBB</a> rather than on a reputable exchange like the NASDAQ or the NYSE, and are the kinds of stocks that the guys in <a href="" target="_blank">The Boiler Room</a> will try to sell you over the phone. From <a href="" target="_blank"></a>:</p> <p class="blockquote">Definition: <strong>Penny stocks</strong> are a special category of low priced, usually $1 or less, stocks often issued by highly speculative companies. They are frequently the focus of stock scams and manipulations.</p> <p>There are lots of <a href="" target="_blank">people out there</a> who want you to buy penny stocks - usually not the people who work for the company that has issued the stock. Basically, the scheme is this: a day trader with shifty eyes and a heart of tar buys up thousands of penny stocks in a company. They then hype the company in some fashion, convincing other people to buy the stock as well. Then they sell. Buy low, sell high - super easy, you&#39;ve heard it all before, right? They dump the stock, they make a few dozen cents per stock, which, mulitplied by thousands, adds up to a hefty sum over the course of a few succesful scams.</p> <p>The stock hyping is done, these days, via email. Via those awesome spam mails that clutter your Inbox like electronic cholestorol in your virtual arteries. You know, the ones with odd subject headlines, like <strong>craggy glib</strong>, <strong>Thet was you needed - Yuno...</strong>, and <strong>{Spam?} Womanhood microscopic </strong>from &quot;people&quot; with &quot;names&quot; like <strong>Infatuation E. Flatfoot</strong>. Great stuff. </p> <p>There is also the <strong>Why be average length any longer viagra</strong> emails, but those... well, I just can&#39;t care about them. Men want to lose money on scams that claim to increase the size of things that really can&#39;t be increased without surgery? So be it. </p> <p>Spam probably wouldn&#39;t be sent out if there wasn&#39;t some kind of return on it, right? Which means that there are people out there who click the links to buy the cheap, possibly fake Cialis and people who go and buy penny stocks based on advice from an email that landed in their Bulk folder. It means, in essence, that there are still suckers out there who think that they can get rich, cheap and quick, buy purchasing these &quot;hot stocks&quot;. And it means that the people who send the penny stock emails <em>are actually making money from them</em>. The scam works.</p> <p>Anyway, when I first read about penny stock spam scams, my first thought was, &quot;Bastards! You stinking bastards! How dare you try to take advantage of people like that?&quot;. My second thought, which quickly followed the first, was &quot;What kind of stupid stupid bastard would actually buy stock on advice that come in an email with the subject heading <strong>Hi lsljjfcmkijanucgwopt</strong>? They deserve to lose everything.&quot; My third thought was, &quot;How can I scam people into buying penny stocks? Or can I buy early enough, before the other poor doofuses get the hint, and then sell?&quot;</p> <p>Well, other people have, of course, beat me to the punch. <a href="" target="_blank">Joshua Cyr</a>, a weblebrity, starting trading hypothetically trading the stocks and posting the information on <a href="" target="_blank">his web site</a> in May of 2005. Joshua, who is so <a href="" target="_blank">sweetly humble</a> about how famous his web site made him, has continued the experiment to see just how much he could make using the tips contained in the stock spam. His net profit so far? -$60K. I&#39;ll spell it out just in case you miss the little minus sign: NEGATIVE sixty-thousand dollars.</p> <p>[Fascinatingly enough, the Google ads on Josh&#39;s web site tout penny stocks, as will the ads that appear on this blog post - I so wish that Google&#39;s powerful alogrithms were able to determine the tone of an article from the wording used. Penny stocks are a scam. I&#39;m writing about how terrible it would be to fall for them, and yet - there are the ads. This in no way diminishes my desire to work for Google... Google HR, if you&#39;re reading this - we cool?]</p> <p>, who like me, is left-leaning and many, many steps behind the zeitgeist, <a href="" target="_blank">recently published an article</a> more or less ripping of Josh&#39;s idea. Sure, they quoted him, but whatever, right? BTW, you may not be able to read the article if you don&#39;t subscribe to Salon, but the gist of it is that the author loses money by hypothetically trading penny stock in the same way that Josh did, only several years later. </p> <p>I, fortunately, was hampered by the lack of actual cash with which to purchase stocks, and the lack of imagination to simply track the stocks AS IF I had actually invested in them. But people do follow spam advice, do buy these stocks, do make the spammer rich and fat and well-suited in navy blue pinstripe suits, and consequently lose thousands and thousands of dollars overnight when the spammers dump their stock for profit.</p> <p>Now, short of joining a boiler room team (I DO look great in pinstripes, though) and trying to bilk poor schmucks out of their hard-earned 401k dollars, I can&#39;t see a good way to get rich on penny stocks. I&#39;m sure most Wise Bread readers aren&#39;t about to go out and start buying them en masse. But you probably know someone who is stupid enough to consider doing it. I know I do.</p> <p>It&#39;s <em>your</em> job, Dear Reader with Functioning Brain Cells, to prevent your stupid friends and family from letting spam scammers get rich. It&#39;s like the War on Drugs, except that it makes sense, and it might actually work - I&#39;m calling it the War on Greed &amp; Stupidity. It starts now. Educate your fellow Americans.</p> <p>Don&#39;t tell the Canadians, though - it&#39;s high time that we took them down a notch.</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Is Paying Off Your Mortgage Early Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Best investment: yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">4 Cheap, Easy Ways to Invest Your First $1000</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">Can Reinvesting Dividends Really Save You on Taxes?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="">5 Dumb 401(k) Mistakes Smart People Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment annoying finance fraud investing penny stocks spam tips trade Wed, 07 Feb 2007 19:03:12 +0000 Andrea Karim 256 at