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By Tammy Miller Design

Recently, businesses around the globe have been receiving calls and emails from people claiming to work for Google. These con artists are telling businesses that they need you to pay a fee to be on the first page of Google, sending fake invoices, and do it in a convincing fashion. Without a doubt, some of you have received these phone calls, or even have fallen victim to these scammers. Those that haven’t, the following are a few types of scams and how to detect them.

You Google Account Has Been Hacked 

If you receive a text or email claiming that your Google account has been hacked and they need to verify your ID via a phone call, ignore it. This scam is designed to collect your personal information and possibly steal your identity. 

What to look for: Google does not send text messages that require you to give any sensitive data about yourself, so this will tell you right away if the request is fraudulent. 

Google Requires Payment for Better Search Placement 

You cannot buy your way to the top of Google’s search engine unless you’re using AdWords. Con artists will claim that they are affiliated with Google and that for a $XXX fee you will be granted the #1 spot on your targeted keywords. 

What to look for: Google will never contact you asking for money for better website placement. If someone does, it’s a scam. 

Random Invoices from Google 

Many people are receiving invoices from “Google” that claim to be for services like SEO, Google Maps optimization, etc. Many businesses will pay for these invoices thinking that they are legitimate. They chalk it up as the cost of being on Google. 

What to look for: Google will only send you an invoice if you are using AdWords or another one of their advertising services. If you receive an invoice from Google and you can’t remember what it would be fore, it’s going to be fake 99.99% of the time. 

Telemarketing from Google 

Probably the most popular of the scams, many golf facilities have received calls from people claiming to be with Google soliciting services. They will tell you anything you want to hear in order to get you to pay a fee. 

What to look for: Google doesn’t telemarket. If you ever get a  call from Google offering “updates” to your business, just hang up the phone. 

Protect Yourself 

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Whenever you’re asked to pay or provide sensitive information to someone that you don’t know, always ask for proof. Ask them to provide you with documentation that they are who they say they are. More than likely, if you’re being contacted by “someone from Google” without notice, it’s probably a scam. You can always call us at (407) 395-4701 and we can help determine if you are experiencing fraud. 

Feel Like You’re Being Scammed? 

If you feel like you being are or have been scammed, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission here:

Still not sure? Send us an email at for more in-depth analysis. With so many con artists out there these days, it’s more important than ever to educate yourself. Let us help you avoid a mistake that could be worth thousands of dollars.


By Tammy Miller Design

With so many festive promotions to offer during the holiday season, attracting new customers from Black Friday through the New Year isn't a problem for most email marketers. The true challenge is getting new subscribers to stick around after the holiday hype dies down.

After putting effort into pulling in new customers for the holidays, the key to long-term success is retaining those new subscribers and fostering strong customer relationships. However, the biggest mistake many marketers make in retention is treating new subscribers like the rest of their contact lists.

Below are a few tips and best practices to most effectively retain this season's new subscribers and turn them into loyal brand advocates:

Hone Your Holiday Tactics

The holiday season is a great time to prepare new subscribers for a lifetime of happiness with a brand. Marketers should use these first few months to grab their attention and leave a lasting impression.

This can be done by revamping the standard welcome message with a personalized seasonal greeting. Holiday subscribers aren't a brand's average contacts and shouldn't be treated as such. Adding a personalized touch will make a strong first impression and give them an idea of what a long-term relationship with the brand might look like. Additionally, marketers should make sure transactional emails are well branded. Holiday subscribers will likely receive a flood of transactional emails during the season, so a company will need to ensure it stands out above the rest.

Slow and Steady, Santa

Once brands have these new contacts, they have to treat them uniquely and avoid approaching them too aggressively. There should be a "slow and steady" period in the initial engagement, focused on building rapport rather than overwhelming new contacts with a blizzard of emails. To build trust and "introduce" a brand to new subscribers, companies should send informational content over promotional deals – they'll probably be cutting down on the shopping after the holidays anyway. Futher, if marketers purvey information, send surveys and request feedback about the customer experience, it proves that they appreciate the business. This will ensure a brand is still top-of-mind without being overbearing.

Re-Gifting Isn't Always Tacky

A retailer's contact list will likely double, or even triple, in size between Halloween and the New Year. Retailers should use this as an opportunity to recycle old content. All of the content will be brand new to holiday subscribers, so they could be a more receptive audience for campaigns that have some more life left in them. This will allow marketers to not only predict which campaigns will garner success (since they've executed on them before), but to also maintain efficiency despite a flourishing contact list.

Be the Gift that Keeps on Giving

The secret to retention after the holidays is continuing holiday engagement even after the holiday season ends. By studying contacts' engagement with a brand throughout the holiday season this information can be leveraged in upcoming holidays in the New Year. By using reporting and analysis tools, companies can identify what type of product or deal attracted holiday subscribers to their brand initially and use that information to tailor and personalize deals moving forward. For example, if a man bought a woman's necklace around New Years, send him jewelry promotions around Valentine's Day. Or if a woman purchased children's toys for Christmas, deliver toy promotions around Easter.

Don't Be a Greedy Grinch

Subscribers earned over the holidays aren't always long-term wins. Email marketers should work to build a relationship with new contacts for the first few months of the New Year, but may want to taper off if they don't receive engagement. Further, they will want to use engagement scoring to determine who is open to communication. If recipients are not interacting with the content, they should temporarily be suspended from the mailing lists and re-engaged after Christmas.

Holiday subscribers can be valuable contacts long after December but only if approached correctly. Still, even failure in a retention effort can be a lesson that pays off. Use new subscribers as a testing group if you lose more than half after the holidays end, and re-evaluate your overall email marketing strategy to optimize for retention. In short, don't waste the opportunity holiday contacts offer. Whether they're naughty or nice, there's insight to be gained.

from By EJ McGowan, General Manager, Campaigner at J2 Global - See more at:

By Tammy Miller Design
1) Death of single-page websites
Over the past year, we have seen more and more company websites adopt the single-page site model. A multi-page site gives you more chances to be known for all of the things that your company does, and it gives consumers multiple site entry points.

2) Mobile domination
In May, Google confirmed that more searches are conducted on mobile devices than desktops in 10 countries As mobile use continues to dominate so, does consumers’ demand for a seamless mobile experience. It is now more important than ever for your website to have a responsive design. Google also released the “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update this year to severely penalize sites not optimized for mobile. If you haven’t already, we recommend investing in a new, responsive website, to maximize return in the long run.

3) Goodbye Google+
After launching four years ago in hopes of becoming a major rival to Facebook and LinkedIn, Google+ has decided to throw in the towel as a social networking service.

4) A monopoly in the paid search arena
In October, Yahoo announced that it would be partnering with Google. What this means for you: Yahoo can now show Google’s search results – both organic listings and paid ads – giving your business more opportunity to be found.

5) Increase in Bing search
Since Windows 10 launched in July, Bing advertisers have been expecting to see a lot of opportunity for more search volume. Why? Bing is the default search engine for the new operating system.

These certainly won’t be the only five trends to emerge next year, and there’s no guarantee exactly how they will evolve. We can promise, however, that it’s worth considering each of them when creating your marketing plan for 2016. The earlier you begin implementing new digital practices, the more time you’ll have to fine-tune and leverage the benefits of your informed, overall strategy.

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