I received the following email this morning, and given its urgency and importance, felt that I should both reply and make my reply available to you, the loyal readerbase of domesticat.net:
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 22:50 -0800
To: webmaster [at] domesticat.net
From: Katherine Rappaport [katherinerappaport [at] link-builder.com]
I discovered domesticat.net in Yahoo, my favorite search engine. I am requesting that you create a link from domesticat.net to my client's web site if you feel that their content is in some way related or complements your site. In exchange, I'll post a link from their site to yours.
Exchanging links will help bring in more business for both your web site and my client's. An added benefit is increased search engine traffic because the search engines rank sites higher that have a good number of relevant links.
This is not a free-for-all link exchange, I don't waste my time with them and you shouldn't either. I am only linking to related web sites so that all my links are relevant to my site.
I would like to send you my client's web address, so that you can review their site. My client is the internet source for low insurance rates on the web, such as health and life insurance rates!
Please let me know if you are interested in exchanging links. I'll send you more details once I hear back from you.
Looking forward to your reply.
P.S. If for any reason you don't want me to contact again, just email me and let me know.
I gave this offer much thought. Proselytization aside, I think it important that the domesticat.net brand be made visible to as many people as possible. I have sent the following reply, and await a response:
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 11:30 AM -0600
Subject: RE: domesticat.net
To: Katherine Rappaport [katherinerappaport [at] link-builder.com]
From: webmaster [at] domesticat.net
I was pleased to see that my site came up on yahoo, and greatly surprised to see your request. I am always interested in increasing the amount of business generated by my bustling little web site [domesticat.net], reasons for which will become clear over the duration of this letter.
I was intrigued by your offer to exchange links with your client, who apparently deals in insurance rates over the web. I believe the exact details of the offer will be of great interest to the readers of my site.
My readers come to domesticat.net for an almost-daily dosage of truth, humor, and photographs from the point of view of a woman located in northeast Alabama. I have a loyal and growing userbase, many of whom make a point to visit domesticat.net daily to read and discuss my latest content.
While I believe that my providing a link to your client's site might be both beneficial and intriguing for your client, I am far more concerned about the benefits for my own site. I am relieved to hear that you are only interested in promoting links between sites whose content areas are actually related, as I wish to protect the sophistication and the integrity of the 'domesticat.net' brand.
Our goal at domesticat.net is to gear our content to the small subsection of the web-surfing population that understands and appreciates the beauty of written sarcasm and wit. However, given the downturn in the economy since the bursting of the tech bubble, we find ourselves needing to retrench and solidify our core userbase in a time of low user loyalty. Instead of marketing only to readers who are capable of appreciating sarcasm and wit, we are instead marketing to those special individuals who are capable of reading.
Our campaign has proven to be unexpectedly successful. At the time of our last reader survey, 95.63% of our readership (plus or minus two percentage points) is capable of reading. (Through research, we have determined that at least 1% of our readership consists of two-year-old children who, through banging on the keyboard, came to domesticat.net by accident.) Our goal for 2003 is to reach at least a 97% literacy rate in our readership, turning more non-readers into full-fledged literary appreciators of wit, sarcasm, and the foibles of humanity.
With that stated, if can provide me demographic data that indicates that a high percentage of your client's visitors are actually capable of reading, I think perhaps that we might be able to do business.
Be aware that any and all communications you or your company have with the owners and maintainers of domesticat.net are subject to public use and discussion on domesticat.net.
I look forward to relaying your reply to my readership.
The owners of domesticat.net
Remember, the only thing better than ignoring a spammer or telemarketer is wasting their time.