Check Out the Web’s Hidden Treasures
The World Wide Web is full of hidden treasures for direct marketers. The trick simply is knowing where these interesting spots can be found.
For this article, I asked catalogers and e-tailers for their suggestions of lesser-known online resources, information sources and new ideas related to e-commerce. The resulting list is somewhat eclectic. Hopefully, it will trigger a new idea and help with your Web marketing.
DNS Stuff, www.dnsstuff.com/
Ever encounter something odd such as a well-known site disappears, an e-mail to a good address bounces or a customer says your site is down when it isn’t? Often the problem stems from DNS, the system that maps a Web name (e.g., www.yahoo.com) to its corresponding Web location or IP address (e.g., 220.127.116.11). The DNS Stuff page provides a bevy of free tools for quick DNS checks.
Warning: This site is technical, so you may prefer to pass this link to your IT staff when things seem awry.
W3 HTML Validator, http://validator.w3.org/
The World Wide Web Consortium is responsible for specifications for the Web, and it provides free HTML mark-up validation programs. (Few Web pages truly are compliant with specs.) You may need to wade through many minor warnings to find real errors, but it’s worth it.
This site will challenge your Web team to get your site’s HTML as clean as possible. Why is that important? Well-formed HTML messages work reliably in more browsers, render faster and are preferred by search engines.
DISPOSABLE E-MAIL ADDRESSES
Sneak Email, www.sneakemail.com
When you’re worried that a Web site may not use your e-mail address responsibly, or when you want to sign up for a competitor’s e-mail newsletter anonymously, Sneakemail.com offers free “disposable” e-mail addresses.
For example, if I didn’t want to entrust a company with my real e-mail address, I’d ask it to mail me at email@example.com, and it will forward to my real e-mail account. Because you create a new e-mail for each use, you can determine the origin of any spam to that address and easily turn it off. You can both send and receive from these anonymous e-mail addresses.