Consumer evangelism

A buddy of mine, lives in Austin these days, wrote a couple of books about customer evangelism. What it is and how, to a certain extent, to exploit it. In the first book, if I recall correctly, and I might not, he used about a dozen examples of how a customer-based word-of-mouth campaign worked more effectively than a high-priced marketing campaign.

A marketing guru took one look at my arrangement, and wondered why I wasn’t harvesting e-mail addresses as I had a built-in target audience. Spam, the unsolicited commercial email, not the good potted meat, the crap has rendered that form all but useless for me. I do answer email. I do correspond, but I tend to write short notes. I gradually dropped any kind of an email campaign after getting accused of spamming someone. Then too, when I get spammed by someone else, it does irritate the bejeebers out of me.

potted meat
I’m sure it’s in the books, but the point is to make sure that the customer evangelist isn’t prostituted out, I suppose. And that’s why I have a problem with the idea, at least, trying to implement it here. No easy way to do it. What’s the fine line?

My buddy’s books, he’s got a number of people who wrote reviews and posted them on Amazon. While I can’t say for sure, I’m not entirely sure that he didn’t prompt those reviews. A little judicious prodding (begging, pleading) goes a long way. Which is another problem I have, I can’t ask for that. And when I encounter it?

“Self aggrandizing (illegitimate reprobate).”

There are three types of people who read these pages ( 1) loyal, paying customers, 2) search engine spiders, 3) net hippies, freeloaders, and other blood sucking vermin (leeches).

To this end, I did a quick inter-web search for “buy horoscopes” or “sell horoscopes,” and what I netted was a number of search-engine-optimized pages about how to make a bunch of money with free horoscopes (scraped from other sources) then selling chart interpretations (again, all from the same source), and none of that will be terribly original. Which is how I got by for years. However, the weekly missive is what is most amusing for me – it’s what I like writing best.

Everybody up-sells, first is free, and likewise, this blog is certainly free, but after that? Always catch. Which is why I prefer to keep it as a pay-per-view arrangement. Keeps it honest, and there’s no subliminal, overt, covert, annoying advertising.