applehead — 2014-03-03T08:47:01-05:00 — #1
The majority of my clients' end up being contact by a certain 'web design company' via contact details on their website. The contact comes in two forms either;
- via email (the email address listed on the website)
- via the form (contact form, usually on contact page)
The emails are always the same, and I have even received them myself through my own company website.
They go along the lines of "hi there, I had a look through your website recently and we think it can be improved, we can get you higher rankings, develop it further, bring you more enquiries. why not reply or contact us on xxx for a free consultation and proposal or read our testimonials on our website www"
Obviously that is much abbreviated, but it is something to that effect over the course of a few paragraphs with a name and staff photo in the signature.
It is the same company (random SEO spam from india aside), and it always happens to client sites eventually.
It's really annoying and I just wondered if any other agencies, companies or even freelancers had experienced this and what you've done to stop it if anything? I've not lost any clients to these UK based spammers, thankfully as I have good realationships with all my clients, but their templated emails touting for business on every client site I build, within 6 months of it launching is getting pretty annoying.
I have contemplated removing email addresses from client sites (but this does seem like it would damage user experience somewhat), and we could of course add some form of blacklist 'word' filter to contact forms but that feels a tad backhanded.
I invite your thoughts...
spikez — 2014-03-03T09:33:37-05:00 — #2
Its a widespread practice that although not illegal it certainly is unethical.
A blacklist word filter would help if you could identify words that can be singled out for immediate dealing with or at least put into a moderation queue.
If they are sending from the same company email address then you could target that as well.
applehead — 2014-03-03T09:58:59-05:00 — #3
Thanks for your reply!
That's a good idea about the email address. I guess that could be an extension of the 'word' blacklist. I hadn't thought of that.
I just find it odd that every one of my clients are targeted, like I say, within 6-8 months of launch. It's not like the site's are poorly built by any means!
Some of my sites are 'new' to the web on new URLs and others are redesigns. I just don't know how they find them to be frank. Its not like we're based anywhere near them at all. I'd love to know how many emails they send out a week, it must be crazy.
I also thought there would be a lot more responses on this subject from fellow business owners or freelancers experiencing this type of problem :rolleyes:
spikez — 2014-03-03T10:05:39-05:00 — #4
You could well be on a 'hitlist' as it doesn't sound like a random drive-by contact.
Are your sites hosted on the same server or are they spread around? Do you advertise them in the same place each time?
Look for similarities in each site, what you do and where you put them.
You will probably get more in time, give it a while!
mittineague — 2014-03-03T10:06:16-05:00 — #5
You're not being singled out by any means.
When I get them I ignore and delete. I imagine most others do the same.
applehead — 2014-03-03T10:21:01-05:00 — #6
All of my sites are stored on the same server (I sell hosting to my clients too) so that is a possibility I suppose.
Other than that there is only really coding style that they have in common, good design and coding practices aside.
bluedreamer — 2014-03-03T12:51:48-05:00 — #7
I get these spam emails as well (who doesn't!). That's just what they are - spam.
unit7285 — 2014-03-06T07:05:47-05:00 — #8
That's because it's not a problem.
Surely private communications from a third party (the other web design company) to your client are none of your business?
Even thinking of crippling a client's website by removing their email address, or filtering their contact responses, just to prevent your competitors from contacting your client, is somewhat ridiculous. Where would it end?
Anybody who owns a website gets similar messages every week. There's nothing basically wrong with that situation. There's always someone who wants to eat your lunch, whether you're selling websites or washing machines.