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Infuse Your Marketing with Technology February 2005

This month, I want to bring an increasingly popular scam to your attention, and while we're on the topic of computer security, I'll introduce a new logo / marketing / web project. Then we'll have a little fun with some ideas for showing customer appreciation this Valentine's Day, plus look at a way you can "monetize" your brand and promote your company, by providing branded promotional products to your customers. Lastly, a little more show and tell with the first ever e-book cover I've designed!

Happy Reading!


Oh, those evil [email protected]!

Today, I got three emails that told me that my PayPal account had seen "suspicious activity" and the PayPal Anti Fraud team was committed to saving me from my account being compromised. So, all I needed to do was click on the link below, log into my account and verify that it was a legitimate account, because they were going to shut off my account for fraudulent use. The email said it came from PayPal, had their logo on it, their return address, all the validating info you would expect.

Horrors! After all I went through to set up this account, that's the last thing I want! But this is just a popular form of evil-doing on the Internet. If I click that link, this bogus email and link will lead me to a fake PayPal page where I could log in and provide my account information (and YES, access to my bank account!) to some scumbag who has nothing at all to do with PayPal.

Can you tell I'm angry? I'm angry because at least half the people I know online are quite likely to assume an email like this is legitimate and do it. I'm angry because I'm sick of evil scum mucking up MY Internet. This type of scam is called Phishing - and I've only given you one common example.

The Bald Security Expert

Okay, now that I've gotten that off my chest, let me introduce you to Michael Santarcangelo. Michael owns a national IT Security firm, and wanted to create a separate identity for himself as an individual, to promote his speaking and coaching career. I worked with him to design that identity, which you see here, and then business cards, letterhead and envelope, and finally, a web site.

Take a moment to check out the case study and images from this project - then visit the site! You'll find a number of resources on other security threats that exist online, a newsletter to sign up for, and a chance to ask your own questions of The Bald Security Expert.

Love the One You're With!

Everyone expects and promotes the idea of sending customer appreciation messages around Thanksgiving and gifts to the clients over the holidays, and people expect it. Here is an idea - how about recognizing your clients and customers on Valentines Day! Although traditionally a day reserved for lovers, who is to say you can't send some love to your clients? After all, "they" say that it takes more marketing money to GET a new client than it does to keep a good one. So, I say, love the ones you're with!

To get you in the spirit, I've created a free, one page PDF document full of ideas - download it with my love :)

Mini Review: Café Press

Do you have a business which would benefit from selling promotional items? Is your logo so cool that people keep saying "I'd like a shirt with THAT on it." Do you think you could sell the image of your company or a message related to your mission, and make some extra money? If so, you might want to develop a Café Press store for your business and web site!

I have used this service to be able to provide "print on demand" for my artwork, and recently, some of my clients have begun offering Café Press stores on their sites. For example, the logo for OlderWiserWomen.com was a natural fit to begin offering t-shirts, bags and other items on the site. CartwheelsforKids.com has set up a store to buy product for the kids and parents who come in to play, as well as the web site.

The benefit of using Café Press is that you can create promotional items as you need them, without a huge cost. It's a fairly simple process to create a free, basic store, by uploading a good version of your logo and then selecting the products and prices. Premium stores, which allow many more products, and can be customized to look more like your site, start at $4.99 per month. You might need to get help with customizing the site, and assuring the imagery on your products is of the highest quality.

The only downside I've found is that the prices are a bit high to start with so there isn't room for huge markup. But considering it allows you to put an ecommerce store on your site, selling your own products, and there is no cost to you except time to set the store up, making a couple of dollars per item sold seems fair. Plus, every piece that is created puts your business in front of someone else. You can also buy your own promotional items at wholesale and bulk rates, and use for your own promotions for your business (like sending the love to your clients!). It's definitely worth a look - let me know if you have any questions or need help.

Check Out Cafe Press for yourself!

 

Stop Weighting!

It's a first for SOHO It Goes - an ebook cover design! Jennifer Clare in Australia hired me to design a graphic for her ebook "The No Sweat Guide To Fitness - Get Fit, Be Fit, Have Fun!"

What a cool idea! The No Sweat Guide is an innovative approach to exercise for the sedentary, the unathletic and those too tired (or too stuck in front of the computer. Hello!) to exercise. The ebook is filled with creative ways to move your body, motivational approaches to make you WANT to, and tips and solutions for ways to make it fun. And, if that isn't enough, Jennifer and her company Stop Weighting has a great bi-weekly newsletter that I've enjoyed every time it arrives.

Til Next Time!

That's it for this month. I look forward to hearing from you, whether it is a a story idea, feedback, or better yet, a way that I can help your business market with technology :)

Legal Stuff

© 2005 All Rights Reserved - This newsletter is intended to be read and passed around by entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations interested in electronic communication, marketing, design and technology. Please don't reproduce this document or its contents without permission and full credit to Eileen Parzek, SOHO It Goes!

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