Wise Marketing - A lesson in keeping your emails

Surley it doesn't just happen to Auki?
WISE MARKETING or The story of why it pays to keep your emails.

I am a great believer in keeping correspondence, whether it's because I was taught to do so by a careful senior public servant of a father (who is also a wise man in general) or because I have learnt from the experience of being burnt a few times in the past. Nonetheless I still find myself shaking my head when situations arise where I need to go back through the archives to remind people what was said and what was agreed upon.

 As a blogger I occasionally get approached by marketing companies who request publishing of an article (they offer to write) on one of my sites. They usually will offer a small sum of money for this which I am completely open to, gotta pay those domain registration bills somehow! I clearly state rules to them, one of the golden ones being "nofollow" attributes being applied to any links external to my site. Any self respecting blogger interested in maintaining their site's SEO would ask this. Needless to say most internet marketers lose interest at this point. The whole point of them publishing their articles on a site tends to revolve around the 'link juice' they can leverage from their article to their clients links.

However, one marketing company that seemed completely happy with my approach was Wise Marketing, a division of We Love Media based in Twickenham UK. On agreement of the terms via email, including the inclusion of "nofollow" attributes on external links, the article was published, checked and seeing as they were happy payment via paypal was received.  Well thank YOU for your business!

I must say I was impressed by the experience from start to finish, the friendly exec 'Lara' who initiated the process and liaised with me to the end was what I would expect from any professional organisation; courteous, helpful, prompt, communicative. Glowing experience all round from Wise Marketing, they ticked all my boxes to the point where if asked I would have recommended the experience to others, that is until this morning.

 So what was it that detracted from this little enterprise? It is now just a few days shy of two months since I sent a thank you to Lara for the pleasurable experience of working with her, this morning I woke up to an email from 'Sam' insinuating that I had altered the article against the agreed terms and that if I didn't modify it to suit I should process a refund.

BAM, I haven't had my morning coffee yet but I am pretty sure what 'Sam' is saying is not correct, check out the letter, I have removed some parts of it out of privacy and respect for people and their clients. 

On Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 4:48 PM, Sam [surname removed] wrote: 

Hello Auki, We have an advert with you on [URL removed]. The advert html appears to have been altered shortly after the payment. It needs to remain the same throughout the contract to keep our tracking accurate.

The advert HTML on the page is:
<a href="[URL removed]" rel="nofollow">[keyword removed]</a>

The correct HTML is:
<a href="[URL removed]">[keyword removed]</a>

Please reinstate correct HTML of the advert or process a prorated refund.

 Regards, Sam

Still no coffee, but I am not feeling the love from Sam today so lets just open up my file on the subject and check I haven't indeed done something wrong. See I am conscientious like that, the old "if you've done something wrong just cop it on the chin and fix it" will take you a long way in life.

Nope, sure enough plain as day is the pre-requisite agreement that all external links in the article will have the "nofollow" attribute applied.

Now had Sam sent the email after my morning cup of Joe I might have chucked a couple of smiley's in my reply to emote some happiness and to represent my patience on the matter, unfortunately pre-caffeine Auki is a different kind of animal. Again I have removed some parts of it out of privacy and respect for people and their clients.

---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
From: Auki Henry <[email removed]> 
Date: Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 8:22 AM 
Subject: Re: Advertisement on Aukihenry.com 
To: Sam [surname removed] 

Dear Sam, 

Thank you for your somewhat abrupt and misinformed email. 
Your assumption that "The advert html appears to have been altered shortly after the payment" is incorrect. 

Please see the below email trail on what was agreed for your article to be published on my website, in particular take note of my advice that to have your articles published, external links "will all have a rel="nofollow" attributes applied which may not suit some marketers interested only in link juice for SEO." 

I habitually keep records specifically to ensure fair play in situations where external parties request an agreement of me.

The CORRECT HTML that was AGREED to between your representative and myself was put up initially and remains exactly as it was originally today and therefore meets your stated requirement "It needs to remain the same throughout the contract to keep our tracking accurate."

If you or Wise Marketing disagrees and would like to take this further please let me know. 

Sincerely Auki Henry 

 ---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
From: Lara [surname removed] 
Date: Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 1:04 AM 
Subject: Re: Editorial content for Aukihenry.com 
To: Primary Contact <[email removed]@aukihenry.com> 

Hello Auki, 

Thanks for your email. Adding a "nofollow" attribute to the links on our article is fine. I have requested for the content to be written up and send it to you once it is completed. I also have informed the writer about the topics and guidelines you have mentioned.

We also do our payments using Paypal. Payment takes not more than 2 days from the article's published date.

Please feel free to let me know if you have other questions. 


Email: lara.[surname removed]@wiseoutreach.com 

---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
From: Primary Contact <[email removed]@aukihenry.com> 
Date: Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 7:11 AM 
Subject: Re: Editorial content for Aukihenry.com 
To: Lara [surname removed] 

Hi Lara, 

Generally I comment mostly on video and photography as that is what I do, however my site is varied so I will often stray from these topics ... online gaming, movies, fitness. From the perspective of acceptable articles; My site is aimed at English speakers, articles would have to be in English of course. I would not publish anything politically controversial or products that I would not personally endorse, for example pharma or cures supported only by pseudoscience. I also would like to make sure content is unique. 

While I have no problem providing html links to external websites in acceptable articles they will all have a rel="nofollow" attributes applied which may not suit some marketers interested only in link juice for SEO.

Please let me know if this still interests you. Yes please to seeing the offer of any article first to review, also may I have some details surrounding how you arrange delivery of the article and payment upon publishing.

thank you for your time again Lara.


Now logically, given the provided email trail I would be expecting that I have supplied enough of an explanation to clear up the misinformation, but like my experience in the importance of retaining emails has shown you can never take 'logically' for granted.

Stay tuned for the next episode ... if there is one.  Auki - 10/04/2014

UPDATE*  I have now received a reply in the way of an apology from Sam a few hours after this article was posted. Thank you Sam for both the reply and acknowledgement.  Wise Marketing remains in good standing with an acknowledgement of what hopefully was an honest mistake. Auki - 10/04/2014

Date: Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 1:03 PM
Subject: Re: Advertisement on Aukihenry.com
To: Auki Henry <[email removed]>

Hi Auki, 

Thank you very much for the information. Apologies for the confusion. 



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