IMPORTANT: This is a rant…and not directed at you personally, unless you are who I am speaking to…

[Begin Rant]

For those of us that actually make a living online and aren’t chasing the latest“money maker”, we are in business to provide value and help others in exchange for the almighty dollar.

So why the heck do some of us hide behind our websites, computer screens, and stupid emails?

And the follow up question…If some of us are doing that, how can it be good for internet business as a whole (not just for the individual playing hide n’ go seek)?

Let’s take those questions, one at a time, starting with why are we hiding…etc…

Here is an all-too common example…probably sitting in your email inbox right now as a matter of fact…

donotreply@I-Am-Too-Good-To-Put-My-Real-Email-Here.com

or a variation of that…like…

aweber101223@autoresponder-email-instead-of-realone.com

Why the hell can’t you put an email address that people can contact you (or a member of your staff) with right there in your autoresponder messages by hitting “reply to”?

It’s available…you are a person…and we are marketing to people right?

Come on folks…you can operate an internet marketing business better than that, can’t you (if you are one of those folks) ?

And yes, I do use a real email for my own autoresponder messages.

Now the qualifiers/excuses for not using a real email (and I am sure there are more)…

Yes, there are people who might misuse your email address…yes, there are people who will try to suck up your time…and yes, there is a book called The 4-Hour Workweek that promotes using autoresponders to manage your time (keyword: manage).

Get over it. We are in a people business, so you, or your customer service/admin staff should be working with people, not trying to hide from them or avoid them.

Instead, here is a novel thought…engage your people (clients, JV Partners, friends, etc…) instead of wasting efforts trying to “shield” yourself from them, start a conversation with them.

And here is a BIG secret…since we are in an age where social marketing is finally taking its place on the Web…

You might actually increase your chances of Joint Venturing, increase online sales, and yes…your marketing efforts will become easier when your customers can access you or your business quickly and easily (go figure, more contact with people=more results from people, hmmm).

Why make it hard for them to get in touch with you or your business at all? There is no good reason to.  But so many internet marketing operations hide in a bunker, it’s not even funny.

A customer should literally be able to send you/your company mail, email you directly (or a general manager etc…), or pick up the phone and call the top-level executive (could be you), to voice a concern that could not be handled.

Do you have to answer your phone? You should, but if the customer has to leave a voicemail…return the call or hire a staff person to do it (a good one, not the cheapest).

The email burning excuse is usually “I get SOOOOO many emails that…”, to which I would say, “Get someone to handle it for you, expand your business, or even better…GET ORGANIZED ENOUGH OR STAFFED TO be able to handle the extra email load and quit whining about it.”

By the way, every single email doesn’t have to be responded to within 20 seconds…just a reasonable amount of time.  Check your inbox twice a day, and just schedule it in (or once again, have someone do it for you).

Next question…
When those that are “hiding” continue doing so…because I know that it is hard to change the habits of business people with just one blog post.

But here’s the reality of that mindset…

Those that “hide” actually make it more difficult for internet business to be conducted…because you reduce the “trust factor” that customers already have a hard time building with businesses all over the place…because today’s customer is already “jaded”.

So quit fucking hiding.

Start to do business with your market, and stop shoving your stuff in front of your market and taking shelter behind false emails, your monitor, false logins on forums etc…


Until the next time we look in the mirror together,

Joseph Ratliff - Theres no such thing as DoNotReply in my book

Joseph Ratliff - There's no such thing as "DoNotReply" in my book

Joseph Ratliff
Internet Business Growth Specialist

Email Address: joe@josephratliff.name

(go ahead, send one , ask me anything in fact, just be prepared for the real, uncensored answer when you do…
[/End Rant]