Wednesday, 23 December 2015


My Christmas spirit is wearing somewhat thin.  

I been out of commission lately with a recurrence of the symptoms which had me hospitalised in October and I've been feeling a bit low and bleargh.

Anyway, at the moment I'm not particularly amenable to advances of a less than positive nature.

So when the following email popped into my inbox this morning, rather than simply ignore it, and consign it straight to the virtual bin, I felt minded to reply.......

Here is the offending item in its entirety.  I get these all the time but this one really got my goat.

To Whom It May Concern,

I recently visited the Tower House Dolls website. Target Web Design creates websites that allow businesses to build a better overall presence on the web. We build websites and execute marketing plans that drive traffic to your site and make you more money.

As a first time visitor to your site, I was able to experience what others will encounter when they visit your site for the first time. With that knowledge fresh in my mind, I would like to offer a few suggestions that will increase time spent on the site, traffic to the site, and revenues derived from the site.

These simple improvements to your website that I am suggesting will help you engage new visitors more quickly and efficiently. Perhaps most importantly, these changes will make potential customers want to contact you quicker.

These improvements will:

  • Strengthen your 'Call to Action'
  • Drive your client to "The Point of Purchase" 
  • Build your 'Unique Value Proposition'
  • Build Credibility, Urgency, Uniqueness, and Overall Value
Best of all, these simple ideas will cause you to earn more money.

I feel you are losing page visits, and more importantly revenue due to the mistakes that exist on your current site. While the problems are hurting your business, they can be easily rectified.

For starters, your website is outdated - you need a fresh, modern approach. Modern websites can do much more than what your present site is doing for you.

A more modern design will not just attract new visitors; a new design will also reinvigorate your old customers.

Your current website reads less like a marketing tool and more like a book. Once again, you require a strong "Call to Action" to be embedded into your site. You need to make people call, email, or visit you...NOW!

Accomplishing all of the above is simple in the hands of the right people and the right company. Best of all, this would require virtually no effort or investment of time on your part.

I would like a chance to assist you in improving your business's online success.

Perhaps we can schedule a meeting via telephone to discuss my thoughts and ideas?

In the event you are interested in spending five or ten minutes talking about what you can do to have a better, more powerful website, please send me a quick e-mail at the address listed below and we can set up a time that is most convenient for you.

You can also visit our website and our portfolio of current clients at

Thank You,
Lauren Adams
Target Web Design

"Gee, thanks Lauren".... wasn't my immediate reaction.  But mindful of her parting offer to discuss the matter, I put fingers to keyboard.

Hi Lauren,
Thank you for your email.
If you really did visit my “old, outdated, mistake-ridden, bookish” website, it wouldn’t have taken much ingenuity to discover my name, rather than addressing your email to “To Whom It May Concern”.
Lauren, I have a natural adversity to cold calling.
I have a particular adversity to cold calling which is so negative, bullish and hectoring.  I’m sure that in the thrusting modern, dog-eat-dog world of website design it’s all the rage and perhaps it is successful in getting spineless website owners to avail themselves of your no doubt attractively priced services.
However, here’s some feedback for you.
Don’t just email someone out of the blue, three days before Christmas, to tell them their website is cr*p. 

Trust me, this approach does not endear you to a prospective customer.

My website may not be the Starship Enterprise of ecommerce, but it is just perfect for my target audience, who are perfectly well able to find it, navigate it and make use of its shopping facilities.
My website my not have flashing bells, whistles and folderols, but it’s backed up by a blog, business FB page and a variety of on and offline social media/advertising platforms.  All of which work for me. 
I like the design.
My customers like the design.
It fits perfectly with what I do.   Do you even know what I do?
I’ve had a look at the Target Web Design portfolio, just in case I was missing something, and you were in fact, the holy grail of website design.
Not so much.  Am I really to believe that the website you created for Advantage Power & Control is the epitome of web design? 
OK, so perhaps I’m being a tad unfair.  I could only find one site you’ve done for a ‘creative’ company but (and I’m sorry if this sounds a bit harsh) Rae Lou’s site looks like a generic template with nothing to differentiate it from any other ‘out of the box’ offering.

So, Lauren, thank you very much for your ‘kind’ offer of help to drag my website out of the dark ages.  I’m sure you’re a really nice person and if I met you we’d get on like a house on fire over a few glasses of chilled Sauvignon Blanc. 
I seriously recommend that you alter your ‘call to action’ first contact email.
It’s not nice, it’s not friendly and IT’S NOT WORKING!
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and a happy, healthy New Year! 
Kind regards

Wonder if I'll get a reply.........


Robin said...

First ...words failed me....but then I thought...NICE REPLY MATE!!!
Have fantastic festive season....put the cra*p behind - open another bottle!!!

Jennifer said...

I get a lo of those kind of e-mails too but I've never had one like that. Mostly they are telling me the wonderful virtues of SEO and how their company can do it so much better than anyone else, often in India.

That is a terrible marketing approach and I would seriously have considered going to her superiors and given them a tongue lashing too!

Hope you're feeling better.